For my birthday this year, my daughter, Jo, paid for me to attend a cheesemaking workshop with her. It was held in Angaston at the Barossa Valley Cheese Company and the workshop on making washed rind cheese was run by Carole Willman of Cheeselinks, Little River, Victoria.
Having purchased a new pair of clean rubber galoshes, unearthed an apron in the depths of my kitchen cupboard and found a plastic tub with two lids, I presented myself at the venue, ready to make cheese. Jo and I were introduced to the other 5 participants and Carole introduced us to the art of making cheese.
I won't go into details - hopefully the photos will do that, but suffice to say that it was totally fascinating and at the end of the workshop we proudly carried home our embryo cheeses with instructions on how to proceed to mature said cheeses over the next few weeks.
At home we had to keep our cheese at a constant temperature between 11 and 14 degrees until the mould started to show. The hardest part was actually maintaining such a temperature as it has been so cold and unless I put it on the mantlepiece over the fireplace, I could only get a temperature of 10 degrees anywhere in our cold old house. Next we had to wash and turn our cheese every few days until the washed rind culture became established (it was supposed to go reddish, but neither Jo's or mine did). Instead it started to go runny inside the rind, so I wrapped it in baking paper and foil and popped it into the fridge to mature slowly.
Well, mine is maturing! I'm not sure that it is maturing as it should, but it is sitting there doing something. It smells OK and tastes OK, but I'm not sure that it looks exactly as it should. Despite this I will purchase some cheesemaking supplies and try again, because it was fun and a challenge. When I actually taste my cheese in a couple of weeks, I will give you a taste report. Until then I check it regularly and give it more care than I did my children. LOL.