Wednesday, January 1, 2014

Rachel Chamberlain in Turlock, California

Rachel Chamberlain with her 6.5 lb gouda

We're fortunate that we have the opportunity to talk with many of you when you call to place your orders.  After Rachel Chamberlain called, she followed it up with a picture of her gouda.  She appeared to be so young, it seemed astonishing that she was making such fabulous cheese.

As it turned out, she was 20 years old and recently married.  I asked her a few questions and she sent a few more pictures:

How did you get started making your own cheese?

I grew up in southern California and wasn't around the farms, so I didn't know that cheese could be made at home!

We moved up to central California when I was 11, and being around all the agriculture slowly started getting us into the "from scratch" mindset.

About 3-4 years ago, my older sister found Ricki's website and decided that it would be fun to make our own mozzarella. We bought the kit, and after watching her make it, and eating it myself, I immediately wanted to make cheese too. But not just soft cheeses...the hard ones. The kind we would slice up at night and eat with apples and chocolate as a snack.

With this new passion, I began researching to see what I would need. Not too long later, with Ricki's book "Home Cheese Making" and her Basic Cheese Making Kit, I made my first hard cheese; Farmhouse Cheddar! (which actually didn't taste that good, but I had confidence that with time I would get the technique down better...)

Grandma's cow, Buttercup

What kind of milk are you using?

I got married this past summer, and my husband's grandparents have a bunch of cows. (some for meat, some for milk) We go up there often and help them on their land, butchering, etc. When we leave, grandma sends us home with lots of milk! :)

Rachel's gnocchi in brown butter sauce
(recipe for gnocchi - click here)

What are your other interests?

Cleaning, babysitting my adorable niece, and cooking/baking keep me quite busy. :P

Hobbies that I enjoy are typically linked to art. I LOVE drawing, making cards, baking desserts (and making them look pretty), playing the piano, and making cheese I look at as "art" too. Pretty much, I just like making things!! Other hobbies are things that get me out in the outdoors. I LOVE hiking, playing competitive sports with friends, harvesting from my parents garden, going on evening walks in the summer, biking with my husband....and I could go on and on. :)

Buttercup with her calf

Making ricotta with leftover whey

Rachel's pepperjack

Rachel's feta

Pictures of Rachel Making Colby
Rachel uses our recipe from "Home Cheese Making."


Unknown said...

I'm about to tackle Farmhouse Cheddar. I read that you didn't really like the taste of your first attempt. What, if anything have you done to improve the taste? More salt? How long did you age it? 1 month or more? Impressed with what you have made. I"m 52 yrs old so I"m starting late. Just made some jalepeno mozzarella that was great! Waiting on my thermostat to come in.

Rach said...

Rachel here: I haven't tried making the the Farmhouse Cheddar again, but I thought it tasted a little sour and not salty enough. Personally I would recommend trying stirred-curd if you want a cheddar-like cheese with less effort, but again the Farmhouse was the first cheese I ever made so the "off" flavor could just have been bad procedure. :) I aged it 1 month, because that's what my recipe said, but maybe aging it longer would improve it?? I have aged traditional cheddar for over a year with success, but I don't think the Farmhouse is designed for long aging.
Never too late to start making cheese! :) Jalapeno Mozz sounds delish!

Anonymous said...

Your an inspiration Racheal! I made the farm house cheeder about a month ago will do a taste test in a month. I love your wall hanging... " in everything give thanks" that is a word in season! God bless you and Happy New Year to you and your family!

Rohan Deshmukh said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Anonymous said...

What kind of yield you have got when you made large batches of mozzarella cheese. Also how did you made mozzarella from fresh milk