off to mexico...

Joel and his co-worker Hugo are off to Mexico for memorial day weekend. Hugo has been trying for years to get Joel to come to his home town of Tlaltizapan,Morelos, Mexico.
Joel finally agreed when Hugo mentioned the possibility of visiting cheese-makers that he knew. The two set off last night around 8pm and had to drive to Tijuana, get on a plane and fly to Mexico City then take a bus into town. It was an all night trip for the two of them... The last night we spent with Hugo was when we went out with him and his wife Rosie. It was interesting to say the least. It started out with dinner then it was suggested we go to a Mexican bar that was close by. Well... what can I say? At about midnight I found myself dancing on the dance floor in a dirty Mexican bar, being the only white girl within 100 yards. I asked myself "What is going on and how did I get here... on my 14th wedding anniversary?" I am dancing the salsa (which I don't know) listening to the live mariachi band. All I could do was go with it. The music was loud and ever so often the singer would shout out towns in Mexico and those who are from that town would yell and shout claiming their homeland "viva Morelos- viva Tepoztlan!". We just laughed and shouted along with them. A few songs later Hugo went and whispered in the ear of the singer and gave him a buck- they started up again with the towns and then it came..."VIVA ju-tah!!!" Well at that point we all started screaming... Me and Joel, his brother Josh and Hugo & Rosie. It was hilarious. And that is how I spent my anniversary with Hugo & Rosie. Josh was the lucky one, he got to have a dancing partner for only $1/ dance. She was also our waitress. She would sit on your lap or sit by you for a nominal fee for the night. The best part is that Hugo paid her at first to dance with Josh but after a while she was asking Josh to dance... for free. What a great culture clash moment. We shall see if their trip is successful. I am hoping he will gain some insight into how smaller cheese-making shops are run.


juustoleipƤ- ja paholainen

Who ever invented this stuff was an evil genius. JuustoleipƤ is the Finnish word for "cheese bread" pronounced (HOO-stah-lee-PA). It is made like most other cheeses. We cook the curds and place them into the press and once pressed for the proper amount of time we have to cut them horizontally into 3 equal rounds, all about 1" thick.
Then we take the rounds and place them on a cookie sheet with olive oil and bake them 'til golden brown on top. We would flip them so they could get browned on both sides, pain to flip but worth it.
We cut them into desired shapes, sealed them and kept them in the freezer 'til ready to eat. Just heat and top with your favorite topping:
Cilantro & Jalapeno
Raspberry Jam
Fresh Basil
Marinara Sauce

It is unbelievably delicious and salty... herkullinen!



So we ordered our first molds from this great site He was very helpful and seems super excited about people making cheese. We ordered a white mold for camembert and blue mold for our highly anticipated blue cheese. We decided to start off with the camembert to see how it goes and then move on to the blue. It was a great process and not too complicated. We write down every single step for every batch we make. They say notes are the most important thing you can do when making cheese so you don't forget something important when trying to re-create a batch. The camembert is coming along nicely. We made 4 rounds and it was so exciting seeing tell tale signs of white peach fuzz growing on them. Each week they would get furrier and furrier. We tried the first block after it had aged 5 weeks. It wasn't quite ready, though it still tasted good. We have tried one each week since and from what we have seen ours takes about 8 weeks to ripen to proper consistancy.


girls just wanna have fun

Our daughter Maddi and her life-long friend Alex decided to help Joel make a batch of Cheddar.

They really just wanted to stir the curds with their hands.

They were very sanitary and had to wash their hands a million times.

In the end it was a great batch... we won't know for sure until mid July but it was delicious to eat fresh! Thanks ladies.

chocolate cheese...

One night we were buying milk for our next batch of cheese and I noticed the chocolate milk. Am I crazy or is there a possibility that it could work with chocolate milk. It makes perfect sense to have a cheese that would be salty with a hint of chocolatie goodness... It is worth a shot!

Well I worked on this brilliant idea till midnight and I did all of the steps very well.
It cooked well...

It curdled well

The curds were the perfect consistency and it kept it's chocolate color throughout the process...

I feel as though it would have been a HUGE success if it didn't look, smell and taste like vomit.