It's called Easy Cheesy and it turned out to be just that. A lovely morning spent on a property in Cooran with five other would-be cheese-makers and the lovely and helpful Dawn. Dawn has been making cheese for quite some time and is obviously very experienced, with a very professional set-up in one of her outbuildings. She's using local Cooloola milk
and Suncoast limes
, which is great news for these local producers. Yum.
I've looked at cheese-making courses before...mostly expensive and intensive weekend long courses held in capital cities away from my family nest. But this course was held locally, on a Saturday morning, and was a birthday gift from my two sisters. Ticking all the boxes, I was signed up pronto.
After a quick welcome cuppa, we were instructed in some basic cheese-making hygiene. Very, very important. Then straight into our first session; First up a ricotta, followed by a soft lime cheese. Both very straightforward and easily reproduced at home. Using the by-product from these, we made a tasty and interesting whey lemonade. Delicious and apparently very good for you.
After morning tea (we're talking homemade goodies such as fruit cake, rum balls and all sorts of cheese testers), it was back into the kitchen to make marscapone and yoghurt. By lunchtime we were done, our take-home bags packed full of our cheeses to show off to our peeps at home.
The lime cheese pretty much disappeared as soon as I got home. Great just on a cracker, the kids tucked in with gusto. The lemonade was a hit too, although there's a very mild cheesy odour which put my youngest off a bit. But whey has it's other uses too. Apparently it's very good sprayed on your veggie gardens as a bug deterrent! And on Sunday morning I turned some of the ricotta into raspberry ricotta pancakes, decadently topped off with marscapone. Needless to say they did not last long.
I've been eating the yoghurt on my breakfast muesli, with a good dollop of honey rounding it off. The yoghurt turned out really well. It's less tart than the store-bought ones, with a good thick consistency and a lovely creamy finish. I'll definitely be making this again.
Anyone else dabbled in cheese-making?
Any interesting recipes for ricotta?