For those of you who know Mike and I you probably know that we are serious cheese lovers. This has been somewhat of a problem because for most of the foods that we eat on a regular basis (except for yogurt), we've been able to find a plastic packaging free option but not cheese. So we decided to go on a field trip to visit a local dairy this weekend with our friends Ian and Emily to get some cheese straight from the source.
The cheese shop that we went to was at the Pleasant Valley Dairy located on Kickerville Road in Ferndale (they don't have a website, but you can get their address and phone number by clicking here). The woman running the cheese shop was very friendly and did a tasting for us. We tasted a delicious cheese called Farmstead, and several equally scrumptious kinds of Gouda. She ended the tasting with a Gouda that had been aged for six years which had a very intense flavor and kind of felt like it was burning a hole in my tongue (not exactly my cup of tea, but I bet stinky cheese eaters would love it). The best part is that if you buy a round of cheese it comes dipped in wax instead of wrapped in plastic, hooray!
Visiting the farm was great and we will certainly go back again soon or try out some other nearby dairies, but we had heard that making cheese at home was not too difficult so we thought we'd give it a try. Here is a shout out to our friends Susan and Magill (a.k.a. our foodie friends), who lent us their supplies and cheese making book. And guess what...it was super easy and so much fun! In less than an hour from start to finish we had a beautiful ball of fresh mozzarella. We kept it pretty simple this time, but I'm excited to start experimenting with adding herbs and spices and braiding it as well. One of my favorite hour devours in the summer is to put little fresh mozzarella balls on a toothpick with a fresh basil leaf and a cherry tomato. For those of you who want to try making cheese at home, I'm not exaggerating at all about how easy it is. Here is a link to a short YouTube video on making cheese. It's not the recipe that we used, but it's similar and it does show you just how simple the process is: How To Make Cheese. Happy cheese making!