"We must achieve the character and acquire the skills to live much poorer than we do. We must waste less. We must do more for ourselves and for each other. It is either that or continue merely to think and talk about changes that we are inviting catastrophe to make. The great obstacle is simply this: the conviction that we cannot change because we are dependant on what is wrong. But that is the addict's excuse, and we know that it will not do."
—Wendell Berry

Thursday, 2 May 2013


A while back I mentioned I was attempting to make a Stilton cheese.
This blithe comment hides the six nights of research, trawling the web for details, cross referenced against the cheese manuals I have, all in an attempt to arrive at a workable method. You see, Stilton is probably one of the most difficult of all cheeses to get right. One step slightly wrong and you can end up with a mess or at best a load of blue cheese. 
Disaster. Tasty, tasty disaster...
My first attempt produced curd that was too firm to be "rubbed up", a process whereby the cheese is rubbed all over to close off all pores and cracks on the surface. This first cheese went blue too early and so became about four kilos of rather tasty creamy blue cheese. As a simple blue cheese it was excellent, good with wine and on steak. As a stilton it was a disaster. If only all disasters were this good- I am eating some as I write.
Back to the drawing board and with a bit more research I revised the method. Try two produced a much softer curd that did all the things it should have. The curd was cut gently then "hooped" and turned for five days before being rubbed up.
Half way through the rubbing. Note the un rubbed right side.

Rubbed up and ready to be aged.
Next the cheese is aged in the cheese fridge for seven weeks before being pricked full depth all over. This will allow oxygen in to begin blueing the cheese from the centre out. At around nine weeks it will be ready to eat. I will keep you posted.
Off to do the morning milking on a fine Cloud Farm day.

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