Tuesday, April 6, 2010

New Cheese Maker#4 - Jayne Maker

Jayne Maker in Warwick, RI

Jayne Maker sent us a link to her blog recently.   She calls it “The Barefoot Kitchen Witch.” We were amazed at the clarity of  the pictures (she learned a lot from her father, a retired photographer) and the way she describes every single detail of making cheese.


She documents Mozzarella (the long way), Ricotta (with both cow’s milk and goat’s milk), and Chevre.

She also makes her own bread, pasta and pizza dough (as her talented children demonstrate at left).

Ms. Maker has earned her last name.  She makes rosaries, jewelry, paper hearts (which she sells on Etsy) and quilts.  She also decorates cakes (Cake Boss style) and she is growing vegetables in her yard this year.  Her husband makes beer and, in fact, there is a great article on her blog about pumpkin ale.

So, how did you get started making cheese?

I started by making Ricotta from a recipe I found online.
Then, I read Barbara Kingsolver’s book “Animal, Vegetable, Miracle.” As soon as I had finished reading it, I ordered your book, “Home Cheese Making.”

I started by making the long recipe for Mozzarella, and then I experimented with it a few times by varying the amount of lipase I added.  (Note:  Lipase is a flavoring often used in Italian cheeses.)  Then, that same summer, I made Chevre and Goat’s Milk Ricotta because I was able to get the milk.

After that, for some reason, I didn’t make cheese at all last winter.  I got going again this spring with Queso Blanco and the 30 Minute Mozzarella.  (I felt I had earned the right to make it that way because I had already made it the “hard” way.)  It was amazingly easy.    

What’s next?

My son doesn’t like soft cheeses, so I bought the Basic Cheese Kit and I will be starting with either Farmhouse Cheddar or Monterey Jack.
What’s your advice for others starting out?

Have fun with it.  It might be messy at first, so keep distractions to a minimum.  It’s magical!

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