I've spent the better part of the last year trying to convince my wife that I can safely make cheese in our basement. I'm envisioning a small cheese fridge somewhere between the laundry machine and shelves of holiday decorations.
She's not sold on the concept. And frankly, I haven't pushed very hard because the idea of making cheese on a large scale is slightly terrifying to me. Because as Serious Eats recently asked, this is my culinary white whale -- the kitchen task that I haven't yet managed to tackle.
Freezing pesto is second nature. Pickling is relatively straightforward. Even canning is more about time and sterilization than having culinary skill. But cheese that I age and unveil in several weeks feels daunting to me. I'm worried that I'll end up with a salty mess that pales in comparison to the block of average cheddar that is in my fridge right now.
I'm a bit gun shy because of a debacle with homemade Cadbury Creme Eggs
that left me unable to eat my favorite Easter candy for close to a
decade. If my cheese is as bad as the sugar-laden spheres that defiled
my kitchen in Boston, I'll never forgive myself.
Great cheese is widely available. And I readily avail myself of the huge selection of stilton, cheddar and sheep's milk cheeses in town. I've been thinking about instituting a pre-tax option on my paycheck at the Better Cheddar. But it also comes from great cheese minds, who have spent literally years perfecting their recipe.
So it seems safer to allow Chef Jasper J. Mirabile to make tableside mozzarella and knock back Shatto cheese curds at Blanc Burgers + Bottles. Perhaps when I retire, I can spend my golden years puttering around my cheese cave.
[Image via Flickr: sashafatcat]