making what's her name

On September 8, 2010 I made my first batch of "what's her name" with raw milk, all by myself. It was a bit intimidating to do since I had to follow Joel's note keeping ex:
My dad brought me milk from a raw milk farm and, yes, you walk into the cooler take your milk and leave $4.50/ gallon in the box.... gotta love small towns. I followed the recipe pretty well and everything went smoothly. It was fun having Joel's aunt there to help, too. While I am tending Bleu boy he is tending "what's her name" in California. He let her age a few weeks and get covered in mold-

He then gives her a salt water cleaning & vinegar bath-

He rotates her every day and will rotate the salt & vinegar rubs-

These salt & vinegar rubs enhance the cheese flavor while keeping the mold to a minimum. It also helps develop a good rind, which will hopefully keep the cheese moisture in. We will be eating her around Christmas time which will make her almost 5 months old, which is the longest aging we have done thus far. We will also be taking her to our 2nd annual Rocky Mountain Dairy Sheep meeting. It will be held in Logan this year and I get to help with the catering. Very fun!

bleu cheese- 12 days old

Well our bleu baby is very interesting. We don't quite know how he's going to turn out. We didn't follow the recipe exactly... we added less of the Penicillium Roqueforti and added the Roquefort cheese itself. So it isn't really looking like the pictures from the recipe. I guess this is what we call "live and learn". We will do a few things differently next time such as cut smaller cubes or even mash the curd up by hand just to make sure the gaps aren't too big. The most important part of cheese making is of course, taste which we can't determine for another...50-90 days. But once you open that lid the smell hits you and makes you want to take a bite of it, it is amazing.


bleu cheese- 9 days old

The bleu is well on its way. How pretty! I will be piercing thin holes into it tomorrow which will stimulate the growth of the bleu mold. Anywhere there is access to air the bleu will grow.
This is an aging cave in France where they age the Roquefort Bleu Cheese and wow... so we have our work cut out for us.
This image comes from Hotel Cap Vert Saint Affrique, Roquefort France. If you are ever in the area please stop by and see the caves. One day Joel & I will go... I am sure of it.

Les grands classiques
Entre le mythique Viaduc de Millau qui s'élance vers le ciel et les légendaires Caves de Roquefort et leurs mystérieuses fleurines, classées site remarquable du goût, l'Aveyron oscille entre modernité et tradition.

I took one year of french in High school and 2 semesters of it in college so I will translate this for you.

The Grand Classics,
Enter the mystic viaduct of Millau
..um..something-something.... the legendary caves of Roquefort .. lets see here... um... mysteries ...what? uh.... classes a remarkable ...something or other.... something else... ok so basically that's it.


bleu cheese- 5 days old

Into day 5 and it is looking good so far but since it is our first bleu we really have no idea if its really looking good or if we are fooling ourselves, either way we are having fun trying. I removed the block from the mould and set it in the pot to age for the next 60-90 days. Now the temperature in our basement is perfect- it stays a nice 55-60 degrees and the humidity is around 85-90%.

I set in limestone rocks just to see if anything happens. I am sure it needs to have more limestone surrounding it but this is all I could fit in the pot. I still have to flip it every day so hopefully we will see some mold start to grow in the next few weeks.


bleu cheese- 4 days old

Well she is now 4 days old. She held together very well and as you can see she has kept her cube like features though they stick together. There should be holes throughout in order for the bleu mold to grow.

Very exciting.