Tuesday, December 26, 2006

Highs and Lows

Well, not all things turn out right. I made a semi soft, bloomy rinded goat cheese to give away at for the holidays. I was happy early on, but when I tasted it last week, something was amiss. It had a faint taste of bleach. Chlorine and cheese do not mix. Damn! They looked good. Perfect little hockey pucks of cheese. Soft, velvety coats encasing snowy white cheese. Too bad they are so unappetizing. A big waste. I hate throwing out cheese. Into the trash with it.

I was not going to be stopped. Three days before Christmas I ventured out into the crowded parking lots of suburban San Francisco and went to Trader Joes. I needed more goat milk. If I couldn't give anyone an aged cheese, I'll give 'em something fresh. I also stocked up on other essentials like cereal and uncured bacon.

After a harrowing time at the grocery store, I managed to get home safely. I cleaned the counters and my stockpot. I dumped the goat milk into the pot, heated it, added my starter and let it sit for 18 hours.
The next day I gently ladled the firm curd into clean cheese cloth and set it over the prep sink to drain for another day. I like my fresh chevre to be creamy, yet dry. I actually let it hang for a day and a half.
The next evening, I plopped the beautiful blob of fresh cheese into my Kitchen Aid mixer, started it on low and added some salt. Not too much, but enough to enhance the flavor and give me the creamy texture I was looking for.
I grabbed an ice cream scoop and dished some up into four containers. I was sharing it for Christmas with Jim's family, my mom, and my sister. I got to keep a small amount.
It turned out well.
Now I've got to clean out the cheese cave in the garage and make sure it doen't smell like chorine. No more bleach flavored cheese for me.

Happy New Year.

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