I finally did it! I’ve been saving my money and I finally raised enough to buy myself a cheese press! I looked at a lot of reviews and chose the one above from Homesteader’s Supply. This is their Hard Cheese Making Kit (you can click the link or the photo see it). It was $200 for the whole thing. I decided to get a kit instead because it comes with starters, rennet, cheese cloth, a thermometer, lipase and calcium chloride. The press itself was $165, so I figured an extra $30 for all that stuff (separately it’s about $70), would be a good deal.
It should be shipping out today or tomorrow and I can’t wait to get it! I’ve been saving odd job money, online advertising (on twitter) money and my grandparents (on my mom’s side) sent me some money for my birthday that gave me just enough to get it! I’ve already decided my first hard cheese will be farmhouse cheddar, a good beginner hard cheese. After that I plan on trying Muenster for sure, it’s my favorite. I’ll probably experiment with hard cheeses for a while before I move onto bacterial cheeses like Muenster or fungal cheeses like Bleu Cheese.
Also, Dad got us a vacuum packer for christmas, so I’ll be using that to age my cheese instead of wax. Everyone says they work just the same, but I won’t have to deal with wax or buy it. Around here, frugality wins most of the time, unless it comes to quality purchases like these!
I will admit, I was saving up for a stand-up mixer, a 5qt. Artisan Kitchen Aid mixer. However, I realized that I can do everything a stand-up mixer can do, by hand. Where as I can’t make hard cheese without a press. The cheese press will help us eat foods we like without the extreme cost of cheese (holy shit cheese is expensive) AND with my garden, I’ll be able to make cheeses that possibly don’t exist in stores. I still want my stand-up mixer, but it’s not necessary. I would buy a cheaper stand-up mixer, but I’ve read through reviews and found that Kitchen Aid is really the only one built to deal with bread dough over a long period of time. Most mixers only last a few months with constant bread making. I’m not gonna blow $120 to get something that’s going to break. I’d rather save and spend the $299 once.
So there will probably be cheese posts soon. Maybe I’ll make everyone a cheese sampler for christmas or something. That would be fun and an “adult” present to give. Who doesn’t love getting food? Especially homemade stuff?
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P.S. I have gone too far into hippie-ville, there’s no going back now.