A few minutes ago I flipped over my Farmhouse Cheddar and put it back in the mold and under 20 lbs of weight. It sat under the weights all night - for a total of 12 hours, and will remain under 20 lbs for another 12 hours. Then tonight I peel off the muslin/cheesecloth and set the cheese on a wooden board to start the drying process.
That should take anywhere up to 4 days, depending on heat and humidity and all that. I'm keeping the cheese in my pantry while it dries - it's the perfect spot - I can close the door and keep cats, children and other critters out. Then I'll be waxing the cheese and aging it for a while. I've read different things - some say you can eat it right away, others say to age it at least a month, or at least 8 weeks. I'm going to go (hard as this will be for my "I want an oompa-loompa NOW!" tendancies) with the 8 weeks.
But I also want to make more. I'm wondering if I should make smaller wheels, so I can age them differently, you know, try one at 4 weeks, one at 8, one in 6 months, and so on. So that's on my mind. And I want to make all the other hard cheeses I can...I'm thinking Monterey Jack next...and Feta...and Gouda...and on and on and on.
I made a quick batch of mozzarella recently. I was going to make pizza for dinner, but then those plans changed. Maybe tonight. I also made chevre again recently, and this time I used the whey to make bread. I'll be posting abou that next.
This morning I took a quick drive over to the police station to check on Mama Goose. She's still there, or maybe it was Papa Goose. I'm guessing Mama. She had that look. I didn't take a picture, because I didn't want to bother her and because it wouldn't look all that different from the picture I'd taken before. I don't know how long she's been there, so I don't know when to anticipate seeing goslings. I'm just keeping my fingers crossed. I've read that Canada goslings take about 28-30 days to hatch, so I'm guessing within the next few weeks I'll either see the babies or an empty nest. I'll let you know.
Thursday afternoon/evening we had a lovely downpour and accompanying thunderstorm. The rain fell in fat, heavy drops. Summer rain. Bill was working, but the kids and I snuggled together on the couch and read books for a while. I love storms.