I love cheese but have never considered attempting to make my own. Until now.
A group of friends recently decided to travel from Jaén province to Granada province and as it was my birthday I treated myself and joined them for a two hour car journey to Las Chimeneas Open Garden at Órgiva where Sue Halfyard runs Las Alpujarras cheese making workshops.
Now, the venue, Las Chimeneas Open Garden is an experience in itself where you can view (and buy) plants, vegetables, chickens, ducks and peacocks. I think you can only buy eggs not the birds themselves – and by the way the owners are trying to source a female Muscovy duck if you can help? I acquired a horseradish plant as a birthday gift from my walking buddy, Fran, as she knows I haven’t been able to source fresh in rural Andalucía and now I will have no excuse not to make beetroot and horseradish cured salmon.
We had lunch in their garden which was just as exciting as making the cheese. Local wine to boot.
Anyway, getting back to the cheese making which isn’t rocket science, of course, but involves a lot of goat’s milk* together with muscle engaging pressing which produces lovely rounds of cheeses that you get to take home and eat fresh or age in your fridge. With the remaining curds you make Ricotta – easy. My Ricotta is now in the freezer waiting for the day when I make cheesecake and my own hand made round of cheese will be presented to my cookery school clients who have booked in just when the cheese has aged sufficiently.
Now where is Paco the goat man when I need him.
*15 litres will make approxiamately five or six 500g rounds of cheese.