Been a while

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huxter09
Posts: 19
Joined: Wed Apr 13, 2011 7:23 am

Been a while

Postby huxter09 » Fri Apr 15, 2011 10:01 pm

Gee I haven't been here for a while --some ups and downs in our lives .Still working as a cheesemaker and gardening like mad .The drought breaking has improved our property immensely , while avoiding the worst of the flooding .Our house stood alone in the floodwaters around here due to my levees put up in 1993 .Every gumtree for miles has reacted to the flooding by growing uncontrolably and flowering heavily .We have indigenous plants growing I haven't seen for years .

My orchard is fantastic with wonderful water uptake but no flooding as the levee surrounds the house paddock and garden .The veges were fantastic although the humidity affected some things ,toms especially .Our wetland is full and all sorts of birds are breeding so its particularly beautiful.

We have lost some close relatives and friends in the past 2 years and have re-assessed our priorities a bit .My wife is going to take early retirement later this year and I will work 3 days ,about 6 hours a day .Then we can sit back a bit and smell the roses .Maybe lose some weight and drop my blood pressure .Life is too short to worry about the bank balance when the life balance isn't right either .

I'll be calling in regularly now as I've missed the banter and chat .Hi Vicki and Kathleen ,long time no speak .

Cheers

Paul

minnie
Posts: 2700
Joined: Sat Mar 15, 2008 9:23 am
Location: Alice, West of Casino, NSW
Contact:

Re: Been a while

Postby minnie » Sat Apr 16, 2011 8:00 am

Hi Paul,

I'm so pleased to hear from you, missed your lively chat! :D

Have been thinking of you and thought that some things weren't going so well.

Lovely to have you back.
:D
Vicki

Heidi
Posts: 582
Joined: Sun Aug 16, 2009 10:12 pm

Re: Been a while

Postby Heidi » Sat Apr 16, 2011 12:58 pm

Hi Paul,
I was probably just coming in to this forum when your entries started to get fewer and further between. Glad to have you back... did you once write about the day in the life of a cheesemaker?
I'm sorry to hear about your losses, however, encouraged to hear that you are making positive life style changes.

Bye for now
H

Shadowgirlau
Posts: 2281
Joined: Sun Mar 30, 2008 4:57 pm

Re: Been a while

Postby Shadowgirlau » Sat Apr 16, 2011 9:13 pm

Hello Paul,
What a lovely surprise to stop in for a look see at what has been happening this past week and see a post from you after all this time. The drop off the end of the world wasn't so long after all :D
Sorry to hear about the losses in your family and amongst friends, and yet am also glad to hear that the floods over your way have been a boon to the surrounding district and not just a disaster.

Looking forward to see many more posts and more regularly from you in the future as you finally sit back to smell those roses.

Kathleen :D
Life is what happens to you while you're busy making other plans.
- John Lennon

huxter09
Posts: 19
Joined: Wed Apr 13, 2011 7:23 am

Re: Been a while

Postby huxter09 » Sat Apr 16, 2011 9:31 pm

No Heidi ,I don't think I did .But I can .

We start at a reasonable hour ,about 7am just after the milking is finished Not too early ..The farm I work on is a working dairy farm with a mixed Jersey/Friesian herd numbering about 130 .That number is slowly building after the drought . Our milk is pumped into a transfer vat which I bring across to the factory by tractor .We then start our constant-flow pasteuriser ,a wonderful machine designed for small farm-based European cheesemakers .It takes about 45 minutes to reach operating temp which is 85C .Milk is then started to be fed in ,temp reduced to 77C ,and with the use of hot and cold water ,we regulate the temp for whatever cheese we are making that day .Anywhere between 31 and 39.1 for cheshires ,fetta ,blue or white mould .We only make 1000 lts a day ,every day , so its a small operation .
The pasteuriser does about 15 lts a minute so we have time to make our starters and get on with setting out hoops or whatever .If we made white mould the day before ,we wash and sterilise about 300 hoops of varying sizes ready for the days make .Then its on with the addition of starters ,then rennet then a good clean-up after the milk is finished .The pasteuriser needs cleaning when finished ,with a cycle of dairy-afternoon detergent We normaly have a break till we cut the curd .Then we pour or ladle ,all by hand ,and finish up .Then we might wax cheshires ,turn and pierce blues fill fetta tubs ,turn white moulds ,scrub coolroom floors and walls or wrap finished white mould cheeses .We have a factory outlet so there are often customers or small bus groups to deal with .
We are often finished by lunch or a bit after .If we do certain cheeses ,there might be turning of the racked hoops during the afternoon .Sometimes I might go back later at night and turn cheese or just check levels on draining curd .This is only when the owners are away at markets in Melbourne or otherwise occupied .Their farm is only 5 mins from me so its easy to do that at night .
Cheesemaking at this small scale level really is a 24/7 operation with constant little jobs to be done at all hours .For a farmers market in Melbourne ,my boss' wife might leave at 4am ,after we have packed her small van the day before .Then the husband might do a rural market or send me ,so thats a 6am start ,usually Sat or Sunday ,and back by about 3pm .Sometimes in the schedule we make on a Sunday so we can get a head start on the week .
Its all hard work but very satisfying ,specially when I have friends around and I can offer gold medal winning cheeses from the Sydney ,Brisbane or Melbourne Royal Shows ,and claim some part in their making !

Cheers

Paul

Heidi
Posts: 582
Joined: Sun Aug 16, 2009 10:12 pm

Re: Been a while

Postby Heidi » Sun Apr 17, 2011 12:05 am

LOL... I thought it was you... (let me have my little moment of happiness, not too often these days I can remember things... do you know how many times I lose my cup of tea in the house or office!)

viewtopic.php?f=4&t=644&p=4061&hilit=cheesemaker#p4061

H

huxter09
Posts: 19
Joined: Wed Apr 13, 2011 7:23 am

Re: Been a while

Postby huxter09 » Sun Apr 17, 2011 7:18 am

My brain is gone-,gone ,gone ---I don't remember writing all that !! bit more detail too .At the moment ,the milk is up over 5% buttterfat so magnificent cheeses are being made ,and about 12% more cheese per make .My boss wishes the cheese shows could be now as our cheeses this month are to die for .We make a triple cream type too where we add an extra amount of 45% cream to the make before starters .It ends up as a super creamy white mould that as it ages can be quite nutty ,with almost blue -like flavour towards the end of shelf-life but still firm ,not runny like a brie .Worth thinking about for the home cheesemaker .

Paul

Mojojo
Posts: 501
Joined: Sun Nov 09, 2008 8:01 pm
Location: Perth and Donnybrook, WA

Re: Been a while

Postby Mojojo » Sun Apr 17, 2011 10:53 am

Welcome back Paul.
I love hearing about your work! And great to hear about smaller scale artisan cheesemaking employing local people. Awesome.
As I read it I can close my eyes and smell the warm milky whey and almost taste the triple cream brie...
~ Jo
_________________
Two roads diverged in a wood and I -
I took the one less travelled by,
And that has made all the difference.
~ Robert Frost

huxter09
Posts: 19
Joined: Wed Apr 13, 2011 7:23 am

Re: Been a while

Postby huxter09 » Sun Apr 17, 2011 9:15 pm

Warm milky whey !---we don't use it but it goes to another neighbour who feeds it to Black Berkshire pigs , for which we do a contra deal .So I get a freezer of beautiful pork every now and then .Thick creamy fat layer over red, not pink flesh ,with a deep rich flavour .Our local butcher turns some into bacon and ham for me ,and the rest into chops,roasts and sausages .He also sells the cheeses --a good local econmy going on .Some of the whey I have sprayed on my zucchs to prevent those mildewy moulds --seems to work .Might try it on the roses one day .

Paul


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