On Tuesday, I went to a little dairy farm in Alkmaar (way way waaaay north) and learned to make cheese!
We started out with buckets of firm curd. I wish we'd learned to make the curd, but I suppose for time reasons it's easier if it's pre-started.
First we cut through the curds very slowly with a long knife horizontally, and then vertically.
Next, we took a big spoon and gently lifted the strips of curd up and broke them into smaller curds.
This went on for awhile.
And a little while longer...
Then we used a strainer to push the curds down and scoop out 1 litre of the whey.
After you pour out the whey, you replace it with 1 litre of warm water. We did this twice. The aim is to slowly heat the curds up to a temperature of 39 degrees Celcius.
The curds start to sink to the bottom and stick together as you go along.
Then you stir like mad for some purpose of which I'm not certain... but it was fun. I was a little bit messy though... oops. Actually, I'm pretty sure this is to keep breaking your curds down, I might be wrong though.
At this point we tested our curds to make sure they squeaked properly and stuck together how they should and drained the whey. If they're the right consistency, you drain the rest of the whey. I added an herb mixture to mine, and then you mix that all together and squish it into the cheese mold. The label says Baby 48+ Goudse Boerenkaas (the 48+ refers to the fat content, and boerenkaas means "farm cheese").
Then into the cheese press!
Then I brought it home and put it on a plate where it will sit for the next 2 weeks. Each day it needs to be flipped and on the 1st, 5th, and 10th day, you salt the outside.
I really really am excited and I hope it turns out and is really tasty! Time will tell.