I met the Queen.
I mean the Cheese Queen, of course!
Several weeks ago I was working on my plans for the upcoming FSC Academy Home Dairy 101 classes I will be teaching around the capital region starting in just a few weeks. As I worked on schedules, recipes, and equipment lists I realized that I had never attended an “official” dairy class myself, despite spending four years studying Food Science at UMass Amherst and an additional three working as a professional food product developer. I did a quick browse and realized that my favorite home dairy supply outlet, New England Cheesemaking Supply, actually holds workshops several times through the year. There happened to be one that very weekend and although their website indicated it was sold out, I called to double check. The cheese goddesses must have been smiling at me that day because NECS had a cancellation and there WAS a spot for me! So that Saturday I drove east into the sunrise and rural Massachusetts to the home of the Queen herself, Ricki Carroll for a day of dairy.
The day was long, packed full of information. I have to admit I was almost as mentally burned out as I was after the NOFA Winter Conference, though in a good way. Also, since my primary job is to keep safe, educate and entertain two energetic toddlers, sitting still all day was hard! That being said, I had a fantastic time and despite having already attempted all but one of the 8 or 9 cheeses we made I learned a lot.
New tricks and tips, better methods and clearer instruction. Books are wonderful but learning in person (especially from a 30+ year veteran!) is an extremely valuable experience. I also picked up several interesting historical points, jokes and anecdotes that I’m looking forward to sharing with my own classes.
I was so inspired, in fact, that I went through no less than four gallons of milk the week following the workshop, all successfully cultured, curdled and pressed into delightfully yummy treats. Luckily as a pregnant woman I’m not terribly concerned about my waistline – a great time to enjoy LOTS of cheese!
If you are interested in Home Dairy – cheese, yogurt, etc. I encourage you to check out FSC Academy’s upcoming class offerings on our new ‘store’ where you can register too!
Dehydrator Yogurt by Heather
Yogurt Inspirations by Alexis
Yogurt Cheese by Dianna
Paneer by Dianna
Butter in a Jar by Christine
and finally, Britin’s Cultured Butter …and Accidental Crème Fraiche & Buttermilk