So, here we are at Stage 10 and I have only brought you one recipe! What have I been doing?
Well, I have been learning to make cheese! I have embraced my inner fromagère to take some time out and learn to make brie cheese, fresh ricotta and goats cheese. While they were all interesting, and surprisingly simple to make it the brie that has captured my heart…
Over the weekend I was lucky enough to attend a cheese making course run by the lovely Tamara at Boatshed Cheese on the picturesque Mornington Peninsula. Tamara is one multi-talented lady and has worked extensively in France, including time spent as an affineur – the cellar master in charge of loving, caring for and refining the cheese as it matures. When Tamara talked us through this experience, I was thinking to myself ‘those crazy French people, of course there is someone whose job it is to sit with the cheese for weeks on end …’
… Yet, here I am. With Tamara’s expert guidance I have found myself as an affineur to my very own little cheese baby. We are four days in and I am totally smitten with this little round of ripening curd. I have caught myself talking to it, I’ve considered leaving the radio on for it while I go to work so it does not get lonely, and I spend minutes on end just looking at it as it presumably ‘does stuff’ that I cannot see (but in which I have total faith will yield something delicious!)
Already I have imbued it with its own personality. My brie is a ‘Mister’ cheese and he is a fairly complex fellow. Often he looks like he is just doing nothing, but day by day subtle differences are occurring and his visage is almost imperceptibly evolving. I get the feeling he is a pretty deep kind of guy, but only time will tell.
So, as I said we are four days in. Tamara tells me that I am going to nurture this little guy for the next three to four weeks. Turning him, talking to him, and making sure he doesn’t catch and grow anything undesirable. I think I may also wash him as well. I do love a nice washed rind cheese and as fate would have it, my husband does not (more cheese for me!) although I feel a little guilty at keeping all the cheesy goodness for me. Oh well, I have a few more days to decide before I need to start washing him in alcohol… I just need to decide what type of alcohol I will use if I do it. Feel free to hit me up with your suggestions.
Stay tuned over the next few weeks to see how my cheese journey pans out and if you are local, check out Tamara’s one day Bread and Cheese Making course at www.boatshedcheese.com.au. It is a lovely reminder of how simple (and much more enjoyable) the simple things really are.