On Saturday, Stephen and I headed out to Orwell, Ohio for a cheese making class at Mayfield Road Creamery. This is one of the farms that our Fresh Fork CSA buys from. All of the class was made up of Fresh Fork customers. When we arrived, we left our dirty shoes outside and put on “clean shoes” for the creamery. Susan was by the 180 gallon tank talking about the first cheese making steps. We spent the day making Havarti cheese.
Here, she’s checking the Ph level. In the next photo, she’s testing for coagulation.
The covered tank needs to rest before the curd is ready to be cut. I really liked the cheese cold room.
Soon, it was time for lunch. We enjoyed sampling all of the cheeses that the creamery offers. I was surprised that I liked the chipotle. It wasn’t as spicy as I suspected. I think my favorite was the blue cheese (although it’s being discontinued). I also really like the Havarti cheese. I was glad we got it in our Fresh Fork CSA bag last week. Kevin is checking the cheese to see if it’s ready to be cut.
It was really fun to watch both Susan and Kevin work together. The Morris Family farm was established in 1860 and is alive and well with a small number of cows (about 40), due to the creamery business.
Draining and washing whey.
Once the cheese curd was ready, we dug in and filled molds.
Then we moved them to the pressing table. After 15 minutes, it was time to flip.
It’s harder than it looks, but we didn’t drop any. The cheese gets flipped a few times before going to the final steps. Our class ended with the cheese in the pressing stage.
After the formal class ended, we were given a tub of ricotta cheese and had the opportunity to buy some cheese. I had came with a cooler and knew I wanted to go home with cheese.
Before we left, Kevin showed us around the dairy farm. We met a few cows, checked out the milking barn and milk room. About 60% of their milk goes into cheese. The rest is sold to Dairymens.
It was really fun to see the cheese making process and participate in the class. I have a much better appreciation for the skill and art involved in cheese making.
We made farmer’s cheese with the kids last summer. I think we’ll try a few more this year just for fun. I’ll leave the larger scale cheese making to Susan.