The pleasures of cheese making

Recently, I have been making some cheeses with a slightly different approach; I say that because I have been trying different maturation processes. An example of this would be the four Goats milk cheeses I recently made. All of the four cheeses came from the same 5 litres of milk and went through the same production process (Fig 1), but once dried, some were matured differently. One was immersed in Olive Oil with herbs (Fig 2), another one was rolled in smoked Paprika (Fig 3) and two were wrapped and placed immediately in the fridge.

Yesterday I was prompted to write this blog as I looked at the Stilton I had made at the same time as the 4 goats cheeses. I was checking the Stilton to ascertain if the maturation box needed draining, however I noticed a wonderful "Bloom" on the skin of the cheese (Fig 4). This caused me to reflect on the variety of the cheeses I had made on the one weekend (Fig 5).
The "Bloom" on the Stilton developed further overnight (Fig 6), so much so, the following evening I pierced the cheese (Fig 7)to allow the air access into the centre of the cheese. Once I had done this, I decided, this cheese was to be the Christmas Stilton for the family; how lucky are we?

The point of this blog is just to reflect on the varieties of the humble cheese we can all make at home (Fig 8) and how it can give such pleasure to those who make and eat their own cheese.

I suppose it would be remiss of me not to draw attention to the fact I do run cheese making courses - for more information click here.

Figure 1 Figure 2 Figure 3 Figure 4


Figure 5 Figure 6 Figure 7 Figure 8



Cheese Jokes

What do you call cheese that is not yours?

Nacho Cheese


What cheese would you use to lure a bear out of a tree?


What did the cheese say to itself when it looked in the mirror?


What cheese would you use to obscure a small horse?


There was an explosion at the cheese factory. Everything was covered in debris.


How did Mr Cheese paint his wife?
He Double Gloucester


A man threw a lump of cheese at me! I thought "that's not very mature"



Kindly provided by Rorie...

Lamenting the end of Summer

I fear there is no way to avoid the fact that summer has passed us by and we are now on the downward slope to winter. At least that's how it feels in my neck of the woods. This weekend the weather man is getting all excited about temperatures of 17C with sunshine – I wistfully look at the weather reports for Tuscany which are 'fine with sunshine' too, but their temperature is forecast to be 27C, not fair.

Why am I looking at Tuscany? Apart from being great fans of Tuscany, we returned from a week there on the 12th and it was noticeable the difference in temperature, but it was not only the temperature difference, it was about the difference in the feel of the air, the moisture and chill mornings you get with the onset of Autumn are already here.

Added to that chill feeling is how the allotments are performing now – my Italian garden has starting to look tired and sorry for itself; the courgette plants are withered and the Fennel had gone to seed.

I probably picked the last of the outside Tomatoes, Peppers and Aubergines at the weekend (Fig 1) I certainly picked the last of my wonderful white potato crop (Fig 2) and have started on the Red potatoes I use to store and feed us over winter. The Grapes are starting to ripen (Fig 3) and the Borlotti beans are drying on the plant. I have lots of weeds to take out and burn and need to start bedding everything down for winter and preparing the Onion beds for overwintering Garlic and Onions.

I have foraged some Sloes (Fig 4), they are already soaking in Gin. Autumn is here!

Roll on retirement!

Figure 1 Figure 2 Figure 3 Figure 4