Cheese

Cheesy Stuff

First of all, I can no longer keep track of time. 

I used to have the sort of annoying memory where I could obnoxiously say "No, that was on November 2nd at 2:35 in the afternoon, and you didn't say that, you said this…."

(Oh, and I have to interrupt myself because Julia just came halfway down the stairs to say "remember the store we went to when we got my dress for the father/daughter dance?" and I said "yes…" and she said "did we get leggings?" (she means tights) and I said "well, no, we put them back because you were going to wear sandals and we wanted people to see the nail polish on your toe nails, so we didn't get the leggings."  (this was at the beginning of march, by the way.  a month ago.) and her face clouded over, she sighed, and rested her sorrowful chin on the bannister.  Then she looked at me with tragical eyes and murmered "well I really wanted leggings……"  sigh.  I have – yet again – been a great disappointment to her.  How DOES she go on?)

Anyway, years ago my memory was a frightening and wonderful thing.  And probably very annoying to people, too.

And now?

Now my mind is a collander with really, really wide holes.  Most stuff wiggles through the holes and runs down the drain these days.  I'll think of something and then I turn my head a few inches to look at a kid or a cat or out the window, and just that little bit of motion dislodges the baby thought from its precarious hold on my tiny brain, and the thought slips through one of the many collander holes and disappears.  I try to get it back.  I put my head back in the position it had been before I turned it and made the thought fall.  I try to remember (ha! there is no try…there is only do, or do not.  why do I remember the wisdom of Yoda but I can't remember my own thoughts?  Maybe because my own thoughts are not chock-full of wisdom?) what I'd been thinking BEFORE the thought came into being, so maybe I can repeat the process and get another identical thought.  But…well…I would be a great disappointment to Yoda, I fear.

So there's that. 

And so for some reason I've compressed my brief life of cheesemaking into one summer instead of two.  I'd been thinking that I started a year ago, when in fact (and if I just checked my own archives, I'd have realized this before now), I started nearly two years ago – June of 2008. 

What happened to 2009?  I feel like I just skipped right over it or something.  I don't know.

But anyway, that's the first thing.

So I've been making cheese (on and off, admittedly) for nearly two years, not just one.  Hm.  Well, that's interesting.  To me.  Probably not to anyone else, of course, but whatever – it's my blog and I'll be interested in it if I want to.

Now, back whenever it was that I started making cheese…once I'd made my first batch of mozzarella, using the recipe published by Ricki Carroll in her book Home Cheesemaking, and I'd posted these on my little website here, I thought I should maybe write to Ricki to thank her for writing her book and to invite her to take a look at my silly posts about my cheesemaking experiences.  OH – and also, I'd purchased the 30-minute Mozzarella kit, and the rennet that was supposed to come with it was accidentally omitted, and I contacted The New England Cheesemaking Supply Company and they got the rennet to me SUPERFAST, as Alex used to say.  So I emailed her to say thank you for the quick service and to let her know about my cheesemaking, and that was that.

For a while.

And then, a few months later, I got an email back!  From Ricki!  The Cheese Queen herself!  I am easily excited!  But no (well, yes) I was thrilled that she'd taken the time, in between running her company and giving her cheesemaking workshops and all that, to respond.  I was happy, chapter closed.

For a while.

I recently ordered the Basic Hard Cheese Kit, so that this year I can make some cheddar and feta and whatever else Alex might like, because he's not a fan of the soft cheeses I've been making so far.  While I was on the NECSC website, I noticed that they'd started a blog somewhere around the end of 2009.  Cool.  I ordered my kit, and that was it.

For a short while.

At the end of March I got an email from a name I didn't recognize, but the subject was "blogging" and so I figured that it was someone asking me about a recipe or something, which happens from time to time.  I opened the email, and nope – I was wrong.  The email was from Jeri Case, the woman who writes the blog for NECSC.  She's doing a series on "New Cheesemakers" for the blog, and Ricki had given her my email from back whenever it was, and Jeri wanted to know if she could interview me for the New Cheesemakers series.  She'd taken a look at my blog, and would it be okay if she included some of my pictures in her post, and would I prefer to be interviewed by phone or email, and she'd also need a picture of me to include in her post. 

Well, except for the part about a picture of me, I was very happy about the whole thing, and I took a look at the previous New Cheesemakers in the series, and naturally my many insecurities kicked in, but I fought the raging tide and agreed to do the interview.  So the next afternoon, Jeri called and asked questions and I babbled on and tried to sound a bit intelligent, and that was that.  I couldn't find a picture of me that I liked (my wedding picture didn't seem appropriate, though at least in those I looked pretty good and my hair was nice), so I had Bill take a few pictures of me and among them I found one that only made me cringe a little bit, so I took a deep breath and sent that to Jeri.

And last night she emailed me to let me know the post was up.

So here's the link, in case (after all this insanity) you want to read it.  And check out the other posts in the New Cheesemakers series – I thought it was interesting that among the (so far) four of us interviewed, there are a number of similarities.

So that's the second thing.

Third thing…hmmmmm…well, not a lot of a third thing, but I plan to make a batch or two of hard cheese very soon.  The cheddar, for instance, will need to age.  And I would like to make feta, mainly because I like to EAT feta, and it would be cool to make my own. 

So, well, don't hold your breath, because it certainly won't be happening today, but keep checking back, because I'm getting back into the cheesemaking with a vengeance this spring.  With a vengeance! 

I'm so ridiculous.  And now I have to go pack Alex's lunch and get him to school.

10 thoughts on “Cheesy Stuff

  1. Very cool that you were featured!

    I don’t feel like I’m old enough for colander brain yet but I definitely have the signs and I do the same thing of trying to retrace my steps to reclaim a lost thought!

  2. That’s so excellent, what a great article! And your picture is great, don’t worry! You’re beautiful!

  3. Hi there Mrs. BKW! I am back in the real world in New Haven!!! Just stopping by to say hello, hope you and the fam are well and happy, give scratchy a pat from me!

  4. Yep, I just came over because of that post on Ricki Carroll’s site. I’ve tried the mozzarella a couple of times but have yet to make it work. I’m always glad to read about cheesemakers.

  5. YAY! 😀 It is weird that I feel like this is like the “big reveal” in a movie? That we *finally* got to see your face?

    Jayne, you are a beautiful woman and you have a gorgeous smile! You look so happy in that picture! I see where Julia gets her smile from.

    BTW – did Bill tell you to say “cheese?” (har har har)

  6. Actually, yes – I think I had to say cheese and brie and a few others. Mozzarella didnt work – made me look like I was ordering people around. I think I also said souffle which was what Julia Child suggested in photo situations. Apparently when you say the ay part at the end, you end up with a relaxed, open smile.

    I think I was just laughing like a wacko, though, in the shot they used in that post. I guess wacko works.

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