It appears that we are not fulfilling our duties my Pickren brethren. We were all together saturday night. We even talked about how much fun this blog was and yet, where have we been? There must be some sort of online blog etiquette right? It's our duty to post something every couple days I imagine even if it's rubbish. Brennan is in Pennsylvania talking to squirrels or something, Pick's getting backhand slapped by resort world, and here I am priming the kitchen walls watching Jersey Shore. So I got a three parter but I'm not sure in what order?
Let's say that you have never considered making cheese. But let me assume that 99.9% of all people have some sort of secret love affair with it. Imagine a world without cheese. Honestly. I have always been a cheese whore. As a kid it was land o lakes orange slices and port wine cheese spread at Xmas and the weird fake ones you get in those lame gift assortments from Pepperidge farms. I started in restaurants and a new city or maybe county of cheeses opened up. I remember being the Pizza guy @ Sienna, pounding shredded asiago and prosciutto in the walkin when no one was looking. Then, a few years later, I found myself getting off a metro in Paris. Where in NYC you get off the local and smell rust, old gum, and sewer, in Paris I could literally see this trail of scent wafting through the air, curl around the wino mumbling to himself on a bench, past the Orangina machine, and punch me in the face with funk. There was a cheese shop a stone's throw from the entrance to the metro station and when I fell into it, a whole new world of cheese erupted....it didn't come out of no where, it had been there for thousands of years, had the odor to prove it, and was like "where have you been?" I'll never be the same. Now I could go on about all the varieties and techniques that exist and until recently make cheese in this country a joke but I guess that's for another day. Besides, two of my favorite cheeses are Epoisse and White American.
What I can say is that the process of making cheese is really quite..I don't know bonding, celebratory. Let me elaborate and get all mushy. I have found that much in the same way as working on the art of making bread, cheese making gives you this sensory connection to thousands of years of history and the billions of people who have done this before you. It's all about time, patience, and respect for what you have.
I started making cheese back in September. I sucked. I got better. There are 5 aging in the fridge outside. Real quick....you add cultures, curd the milk, set it, press it, dry it, and age it. I made 2 bleu cheeses and that's where the dead body comes into play. Even aging in a fridge @ 50F, it was bad, real bad. Eventually I had to wax them cause the neighbors were asking questions and I kept having visions of me standing over a pit in the garage going "it puts the lotion on the skin." They are all aging fine now. In fact, I just got 5# of wax cause I promised to mail out samples to my brothers. If anyone is interested I have gouda, jack, gorg., buttmilk bleu, my own italian brie-ish one, and one yet to be determined. Just ask I'll send out samples. I need feedback.
It's late. Induction cooking is next me thinks. Hold up. Wheat...that's quick. A book Soul of a Chef asked famous chefs their desert island top 3 wish list foods. #1 for me is wheat. I was making pasta today and had an hour of cutting ravioli to ponder the uses of wheat/flour. A man can not live on bread alone.....yeah right. Well, maybe some cheese, and beer. Good night....