Thursday, February 23, 2017

Smokin' cheese

Well here in Colorado (and other states in this country as well) there is a lot of smoking going on - and I don't mean tobacco- but today I smoked my first cheese.
smoky golden color
 CoCo gives me enough milk each week to make a 2-3 pound wheel of Gouda cheese.  It needs to age at least 2 months to get a great flavor but it's my favorite goat milk product so far.  Now if I could just smoke the outside.
Cheese has to be cold smoked: creating smoke but not letting get higher than 90 degrees in the smoker or the cheese will melt.  So what better day to smoke than today
snowy February day

The cheese is formed in a mold with pressure and then soaked in a salt brine for 12 hours.  Then it "dries" tabletop for 5 days.  That hard rind on the edge of your cheese that you buy is just the dry part...same ingredients as the edible cheese
2 1/2 pounds of dried un-aged Gouda
I week of milk from one Mama

I sliced the cheese to be 2 inches thick and placed it on a SS rack 

Put the A-Maze-N smoker in the belly of my tiny Weber

And added the cheese

Two hours later:

A really smoky fragrance and a beautiful golden color.  Now I must wax it and let it age.  Ready in 2-6 months
Bon Appetit!

Saturday, February 4, 2017

travel safe, my friend

my dearest friend, Dee
Today I said "Goodbye" to my friend, Dee Henderson.  We met when we were in second grade and could barely stand to be separated.  At the end of each day  I would walk her half way home and then she would walk me half way home and it kept going.  It must have taken 2 hours to travel less than a mile between our houses.  As teenagers we studied every musical we had heard of and recreated it in our bedrooms often....singing every lyric of every song.  We learned about curling irons and hair straighteners.  We were in each other's wedding. We knew everything about each other and no matter matter what...we were there for each other.  This picture was taken at the Stanley Hotel in Estes Park neat the gateway to Rocky Mountain National Park in Colorado.  There was lots of giggling lots of joy and another night of singing songs from musicals.  It was certainly a cherished time for both of us.  Thank you my friend for loving me and making my world a better place to live in.  Travel safe to Heaven where there are special people waiting to greet you.