Thursday, June 16, 2011

Cheese making and fermentation - part 1

Oh's been a while since I gave my poor blog any attention. I had intended doing this post the day after I attended a 'Cheese making and all things dairy' workshop, however time just got away from me. Here we are, more than a week has passed and I'm just finishing the post.

Now back to the workshop, it was fantastic! Loads of information and tips, great atmosphere and a terrific bunch of people. There were 25 of us there, all eager to learn about making cheese and other dairy products using raw milk....yes you read right, all made with raw milk. We learnt about the value of raw milk, how to make cheddar, brie, cottage cheese, ricotta, neufchattel, fermented cream, butter, ghee, sour cream, milk kefir, yoghurt and using different types of whey. Talk about brain overload. Whilst we didn't individually make cheeses, volunteers were asked to help in each part of the cheese making process. With a very funny mishap along the way!

For morning tea we had sourdough pikelets with kefired cream, cream cheese and jam.....yummo. Then at lunch we had a feast of fermented foods including sourdough bread, kimchi, sauerkraut, tempeh, fruit and nut kimchi, salad, fruit and an assortment of Elisabeth's homemade cheese and to finish off, some homemade lemon wine. For me the taste of fermented foods was a real shock to the taste buds, it really is an acquired taste. However the health benefits of fermented foods are well documented so it really is worth a try.

If you live in South East Qld and are interested in a good basic cheese making and dairy product course then I would thoroughly recommend this workshop. Elisabeth Fekonia from Permaculture-realfood is an accredited permaculture teacher. Her enthusiasm for home food production and preservation is infectious. One point that she stressed was for us to pass on our new skills and knowledge. Sounds familiar doesn't it. Elisabeth also runs sourdough and lactic acid fermentation workshops. I'll be booking in for one of those as well.

All in all it was a really enjoyable day. It was great to be amongst people who were all interested in knowing where there food came from and wanting more control of what they ate. By sheer luck I got to meet Holly (albeit very briefly), one of the members from the Down to Earth forum. I think there may have been another new member there as well.

On the subject of raw milk, I've been buying Cleopatra's bath milk for a while now. It's a great product but rather expensive if you intend using it for cheese making. Luckily for me a neighbour purchases milk in bulk from a local dairy. I got my first lot this week, it's not organic but it is raw and at a great price. Once I get all my cheese making equipment sorted there will be no stopping me!

I'll be back tomorrow with part two - milk kefir and the BEST tasting yoghurt ever.

Cheers Lisa

I seem to have made a bit of a mistake with this post i.e. when it was published. I've deleted the originl post and reposted today. Sorry Rose your comment got deleted as well.


Rina ... also Chester or Daisysmum. said...

Oh you lucky thing, I so want to go learn to make cheese, esp feta ricotta and cheddar

Vi said...

How wonderful! I bought a cheese making kit awhile back, just have got around to making it yet. Will oneday. lol

Vi said...

sorry..mean't to say "haven't" got around to making it.

Fiona from Arbordale Farm said...

Thanks for sharing this great info. When I started reading I was thinking tell me where so I can go too, and then you did. I will be looking her up and booking in for a class.

Lisa said...

Rina, I was surprised at how easy cheese making appears. The tricky part is in storing and maturing at the correct temperature.

Vi, dig out that kit and get started!

Hi Fiona, hope you can book in to one of the workshops. I know of another more advanced cheese making course in Bris that goes over two days. I can give you the details is you are interested.

Fiona from Arbordale Farm said...

Not sure I am ready for advance yet I think I should start with the basics but once I have that covered I will ask for those details.