Workshops 2013: Naturally Wrapped And Clabbered Cheeses

This is a Hands-on Two Day Workshop
April 20-21 (Saturday/Sunday), 2013 from 9am to 5pm
State of Maine Cheese Company, Route 1, Rockport, ME

Sullivan’s Pond FarmBonnyclabber Cheese™ founder Rona Myers Sullivan of Sullivan’s Pond Farm, Inc., will offer a workshop covering the basics of her clabbered milk cheeses and their natural wraps and coverings. Rona will go over the conditions, techniques and troubleshooting methods that she finds crucial to the most consistent rustic fermented milk cheese. You’ll learn about culinary-safe leaf wrapping options and how she macerates them. Rona will share the secrets of her beeswaxing technique and appliques, and how you can make your own grapevine ash in a retort.  Bonnyclabber curds take a couple of days to prepare, so they’ll be ready before class for your hands-on shaping, wrapping, ash coating and waxing pleasure!

Space will be limited to this hands-on two day workshop: the first 15 students who send a deposit into our Guild Treasurer will be guaranteed a spot. Additional students may choose to be placed on the waiting list in which case they will need to be prepared to join the class with a few days notice in case of any cancellations.

COST: $150 for Guild members, $175 for non-members (price includes a one year membership to the Guild)

Send your $75 deposit (checks can be made out to the “Maine Cheese Guild”) to guarantee a spot to:

The Maine Cheese Guild
c/o Mark Whitney, Treasurer
Pineland Farms
32 Farm View Drive
New Gloucester, Maine 04260
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Now, We’ve Got The Blues

The British Blue Cheese Workshop led by Kathy Biss from West Highland Dairy in Scotland took place last weekend and the participating Guild members all took a lot away from it — information as well as workshop cheese that they will now age!

We made four recipes in two different milks for contrast:

  • Blue Leicester — goats milk
  • Ascaig Blue — cows milk
  • Strathdon Blue — goats and cows milk
  • Lymeswold — goats and cows milk

The first two are made with scalded curd for a firmer texture, more mechanical holes, and longer aging potential. The last two have a much higher moisture content, and the Lymeswold actually incorporates a bloomy rind with the blue interior, though it will age no more than four to six weeks.

The contrast between all of these recipes provided and excellent background on what is needed to adapt any recipe to a blue recipe, and how to work with Penicillium roqueforti, which digests the milk fats for its distinctive flavors, but requires oxygen to grow. That’s why piercing cheese wheels is necessary to allow blue to grow inside.

As with any workshop, much of the information applied to cheese making of all kinds, and most importantly what to do when your make isn’t progressing the way you would like. In this case we needed to re-warm the buckets in which we were making the Strathdon Blue on the second day because the acid was not developing, which was evident because the curd was slow to reach the right texture.

Overall a great experience for Maine (and beyond Maine) cheese makers.

Kathy Biss will return the following weekend to lead a workshop on making Hard British Cheeses.

Rennet Workshops May 6th

Rennet Harvesting and Goat Kid Butchering Workshop

Every year, dairy farmers are faced with what to do with the male offspring of their cows, sheep, and goats. Come learn one creative way to use this resource and preserve one of the vital cheesemaking ingredients yourself. Participants will learn how to slaughter, butcher, and harvest rennet from a goat kid.

March 25 at Appleton Creamery in Appleton, 10am – 4pm (CONCLUDED)

May 6 at Fuzzy Udder Creamery/South Paw Farm in Unity, 10am – 4pm

$25-$75 workshop fee, sliding scale. Please email to register or more information about work-trade/scholarships, or call 948-5268