Cheese Making Workshop

On the 19th of October, Owen and I attended a cheese making workshop at Huapai (near Hellensville). It was a fabulous experience, and I can’t believe that it has taken me nearly a whole month to write about it! The course was held at the home of Alison, who runs the Auckland chapter of the Weston A. Price Foundation. Alison’s daughter, Natalie, makes wonderful cheeses and was generous enough to share her expertise by running this workshop.

It was an action-packed day, during which learnt to make cheddar, feta, ricotta, and soft curd cheese. Natalie also discussed how to make yoghurt and kefir. The workshop was set up so that all the participants could get hands-on experience at cheese making. We took turns stirring, checking the temperature, and cutting and handling the curds. Each participant went home with a folder full of clearly explained recipes, tips, and information. Now, I feel so much better prepared to start making cheese at home.

Highlights of the day included the delicious lunch prepared for us by Alison and Natalie, and a chance to sample some of Natalie’s delicious cheeses. The workshop was a neat opportunity to meet some other people with a common interest in good food. . . including a couple of people who I’d already been in touch with through this website.

Natalie was very kind and accommodating about letting me bring Owen to the cheese workshop. All things considered, this arrangement worked out pretty well. Everyone was very kind to Owen, and I don’t think he was too disruptive to the workshop. Still, a lively eleven-month-old does demand quite a lot of attention! In truth, my attention was probably only focused on the cheese making about 50% of the time, and I didn’t manage to meet and chat with the other course participants as much as I’d have liked, either. Owen was happy to stay in the back or front pack for some of the time, but at other times he was very busy trying to kiss the dogs, launch himself off the verandah, or get himself made into a big lump of cheddar cheese. Actually, it was a pretty neat day for Owen in the end. I’m not sure he’s an expert cheese maker yet, but he enjoyed learning all about dogs.

Coco is VERY in-calf

I’m not going to write about the details of making cheese in this post. Rather, I’m going to save that part for when I actually start trying out my new skills at home. Once Coco’s calf is born and Kevin is milking her again, we will finally have lots of lovely fresh raw milk for some exciting cheese projects. We can’t wait! Coco’s udder is springing already, and she looks very big and fat. I am watching her with great anticipation, even though she’s still not actually due to calve for about another week or so. Owen’s favourite foods (aside from breast milk and cod liver oil) are raw milk yoghurt and kefir, so our supply of raw Jersey milk can’t start soon enough!

3 Responses to “Cheese Making Workshop”

  1. Sarah Walsh says:

    This comment is actually nothing to do with making cheese…just wanted to know how you give Owen his cod liver oil 🙂 Liquid form? mixed with anything? and what age did you start?

  2. Rebecca says:

    Hi Sarah,
    I started giving Owen a little bit of cod liver oil when he was about 4 or 5 months old. It was the first substance to pass his lips, other than breast milk. I gave it to him using an eye-dropper for a start, then progressed to a spoon. He loved the cold liver oil from the first time he tried it, and would open his mouth for it like a little bird. It’s still one of his favourite treats. I just give it to him in straight liquid form. I guess I’ll have to start mixing it with something or diluting it if he ever decides that he doesn’t like it, but so far this hasn’t been necessary!
    Best wishes to you and your family. It was lovely to meet you in person.

  3. Steve Bayliss says:

    Can you put me in touch with the people running these workshops. We are milking 12 Saana goats and experiementing with cheese yoghurt etc. Need to do a course, and buy some gear. Cheers Steve