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Cheesemaking Newsletter-2011-January

January, 2011     New England Cheesemaking Supply Co.

The Queen's Castle is Being Transformed!

If you've been to one of Ricki's workshops, you know how beautifully she has furnished her big, sprawling home.  It's filled with Ricki's own art and a large collection she has built from her travels around the world.  (More about that next month, as she is now spending five weeks in South Africa at a singing camp.) 

For years, one of the main contributors to the beauty of Ricki's home has been Richard Dunbrack who creates artistic, asymmetrical furniture from bits of period architecture and antique artifacts.  He tries to acquire these handcrafted gems at the point where they are about to be destroyed and replaced with the new.  Formerly a bush pilot, Richard has been honing his craft for over 18 years.  (Below, see 4 of the pieces in Ricki's home.)

Now, Ricki has asked Richard to re-do her kitchen, a major project, guaranteed to be a fully functional, stunning work of art.  He has just begun the work, but as you can see from the picture at left, it's coming along nicely.  When this is done, we'll post a zillion pictures at our blog (and Facebook page) so you can view the end result.

To see more of Richard's work, check out his website:

Got Gouda?

Suzanne McMinn does!  She's very proud of this month's accomplishment (in fact she's sure it should be in a museum!).  It came out of the press smooth and shiny, which means that in only a few short months, Suzanne has become an honest-to-goodness serious cheese maker.  She's very excited and when Suzanne gets excited, it's fun! 

Go to her fabulous website- Chickens in the Road to read about her Gouda adventure or to see it at our blog, click here.

Parma Style Cheese - Part 1

During his last 3 or 4 trips to visit cheese makers in Italy, Jim Wallace, our technical advisor, has concentrated on learning to make Parmigiano and Grana Padano from the finest cheese makers in the region.  If you're interested in making these cheeses, here is a great opportunity to benefit from Jim's expertise.

He is covering them  in two parts- this month he features a simple Parma style cheese for the home cheese maker using store-bought milk, and next month, he will expand on this to show how it is actually made in Italy with farm fresh milk.

For Jim's recipe, click here.

Crock Pot Yogurt

I loved reading the Diane Wyatt's inspiring story of Green Mountain Yogurt in the December Moosletter.  Since I am not in Vermont to buy Green Mountain Yogurt and I noticed the yogurt machine in the Moosletter, I realized that many of your customers may not realize they already have a yogurt maker in their home they don't know about: their crock pot.

I found the recipe to use my crock pot at the blog, A Year of Slow Cooking.  There are great pictures and detailed instructions at the blog, but here's a recap:

You will need:

  -a crock pot
  -1/2 gallon milk (I use whole organic)
  -yogurt starter (I have used YoGourmet, 1/2 cup of the last batch I made, or 1 carton of   live-active store bought yogurt)
  -a heavy towel (I use a beach towel)

Put the 1/2 gallon milk in the crock pot on low for 2 1/2 hours.
At the end of the 2 1/2 hours, turn off the crock pot and let the milk sit for 3 hours.
At the end of the 3 hours, spoon out 2 cups of the warm milk and mix it with the starter.  After mixed well, put back in crock pot, and wrap with your heavy towel for 8 hours/overnight.

In the morning, you will have yummy home made yogurt.  Since I like 'Greek style' yogurt and the whey in milk doesn't agree with me well, I take an extra step to strain my yogurt.  I line a colander with coffee filters and spoon the yogurt into the lined colander.  I cover it and put it back in the fridge and when it is done draining, I have thick, creamy Greek yogurt. We use the unsweetened yogurt as sour cream, too.

I haven't tried your yogurt starter yet, but since it is more economical than what I've been buying, I look forward to using it.  I'm sure the yogurt maker you are selling is top quality like all your products, but I thought the other Moosletter readers should know they can use their crock pot to make their own yogurt.

Carol Mathews

... I have started making cheese at home using a lot of your products and would love to spend a week or two over this upcoming summer interning or working at a cheese making facility.  I live in San Diego, CA.  I was hoping you could let me know if you knew of any creameries or artisan cheese makers on the west coast that will entertain such a request.  I would love to learn the art of cheese making from someone skilled in the art.
Sergio Duron -

My name is Meghan Finamore and I am a culinary instructor in Buffalo, NY. This is my first year as a teacher and I am already starting to wonder what to do with my time off this summer when school is not in session. My goal is to spend some time this summer learning about something new. I have always been interested in cheese making and the process that goes into creating such unique products from milk ...
The reason I am writing is because I am interested in working for about a month over the summer at a place where I can learn more about cheese. I do not expect to be paid much (or anything at all). I would be happy to help out in any way needed in order to broaden my knowledge. If this is something you would be able to offer, please let me know. I would be happy to send you my resume along with more information about myself.
Meghan Finamore -

If you have any of the recipes requested below, please send them to us at and we will post them here or on our blog.

  ...I would like to know how to make butter like the Amish.  My friend stopped by an Amish store somewhere up north in Michigan and bought me five pounds of it rolled like a log.  It was so good and tasty.  Could you send me the directions for how to make it??  
Vee Laura

I was hoping you could post a request for anyone with knowledge about a Prättigauer recipe ...
John Reese

I am wanting to make a cheese from Germany called Handkase (hand cheese) it is made with skim milk and is a somewhat clear golden color like a glycerin of soap.  It is considered a very smelly cheese.  I can buy it from a very few places, but it's shipped frozen and when it's thawed it looses it's creamy texture and becomes crumbly, so I would very much like to make it myself.
Etta Kelley

Send your news to Jeri at
(Note:  Questions about cheesemaking still go to

Archibald's Swiss Cheese Mountain

( B48 )   For a little mouse, Archibald has some big dreams!  He teaches his readers to pursue their most unreachable goals because this world is one great big adventure.

This book won the Best Children's Book Award at the Hollywood Book Festival Competition in 2008.  Ages 4-8, Hardcover, 48 pages.

Digital Thermometer with Automatic Calibration Feature

( E7 )  This thermometer is equipped with a 5" (125mm) stainless steel probe. The sharp conical tip provides fast response and trusted accuracy over the entire range.

When the instrument is turned on, it performs a self check of its calibration status and displays it on the LCD. Accuracy is assured and your measurements are reliable.

Supplied with battery and instructions.


8th Annual Sonoma Valley Cheese Conference

Sonoma, CA

February 27 - March 2

Hosted by Sheana Davis of The Epicurean Connection and featuring our own Ricki Carroll, the Cheese Queen as one of the guest speakers!


2011 United States Championship Cheese Contest

Green Bay, Wisconsin

February 9 - Deadline to Enter

March 8 - 10 - Judging

April 1 - 4 - Awards Banquet

Hosted by Wisconsin Cheesemakers Association


Cheesemaking 101

Workshops with Ricki Carroll

A full day of hands-on cheese making with Ricki in her beautiful house in the foothills of the Berkshires. You will learn to make Farmhouse Cheddar, Queso Blanco, Whole Milk and Whey Ricotta,  30 Minute Mozzarella, Fromage Blanc, Creme Fraiche and Mascarpone.

April 9  (WK4911)

April 16 (WK41611)

May 15 (WK51511)

Cheesemaking 201

Advanced Workshops with Jim Wallace

April 9 - 10

Your Next Big Step in Cheese Making (Item #WKJ040911)


April 30 - May 1

Semi Soft and Early Ripening Cheeses (Item# WKJ043011)


May 21 - 22

French Cheese Making  (Item # WKJ052111)


June 11 - 12

Your Next Big Step in Cheese Making  (Item # WKJ061111)

South African Cheese Festival

Sandringham, Stellenbosch

April 22 - May 2


2011 American Cheese Society Conference & Competition

Montreal, Quebec, Canada

August 3 - 6