It has been pointed out by a dear friend of mine that my moniker, “Cheesychick” may have different meanings to different people. I was unaware of all the different connotations of the word, “cheesy”, but thanks to my friend, who shall remain nameless, I am now educated. I will, however, not share all the details of her cheese lesson and instead will share why I chose, “Cheesychick at Yeehaw Farm.”
First, “at Yeehaw Farm” is obviously the name of our farm. Our farm never had an official name. If someone was talking about our farm, it has always been referred by the last name of my paternal grandparents and my parents which is a really long, 12 letter German name. I used to hate my maiden name when I was growing up. Seriously, it was 12 letters and is really, really German. As I have gotten older, I have grown to like it more. I think it may have something to do with the fact that I finally found out what the German meaning of it is and it’s pretty cool.
I left it up to the youngins’ as to what they wanted the farm to be called as their 4H animal project books asks for a farm name. After narrowing it down to three names which were, “When Pigs Fly Farm”, “Rusted Heap Farm” or of course, “Yeehaw Farm”, we still could not come to a decision. Then one day a couple years ago, all of the youngins’ and myself were piled on our gator, cruising down our farm road when we all started hootin’, hollerin’ and yelling “YeeeeeHaaawww!” It was decided then and there, the name was “Yeehaw Farm.”
But what’s up with the “Cheesychick” name? It’s simple. I make cheese.
I did not learn cheesemaking as a passed down homesteading skill; I took a course on cheesemaking a couple years ago when I really became interested in self-sufficiency. I mentioned to another dear friend that I wanted to learn how to make cheese and she found a local cheesemaking course in which we attended together. I had so much fun that day, ate way too much cheese and told too many cheese jokes. (Whey too many cheese jokes!) And I also fell in love with cheesemaking that day. That was the day that I finally figured out what I wanted to do when I grow up…a cheesemaker.
Since that day, I have made alot of different cheeses. Some of them have been really good, some were really bad. Some soft cheeses have gotten hard and some hard cheeses have turned soft. But I don’t give up because I simply like making the cheese. I love the whole process, from milking my cows and goats, straining the milk, cooking the milk into the natural chemical process that separates the whey from the curd, pressing the cheese, waxing the cheese and curing the cheese by hanging it in the cellar. Oh, and I really love to eat the cheese. Although, there have been a few batches of cheese that have been hard to stomach!
I even like the look of my cheese presses. Aren’t they cool with all that stainless steel and the wood? Cranky surprised me by ordering both cheese presses for me. He does not care for my cheeses, with the exception of my mozzeralla so it surprised me that he supports my cheesemaking endeavers. Cranky’s favorite “cheese” is Velveeta, for Peke’s sake! I do not allow Velveeta in our house, unless it gets snuck in without my knowledge! We recently had out of town of guests and they purchased some of their own groceries for their stay. (We eat too healthy for some people!) After they left, I found Velveeta contraband sharing space in our refrigerator. Cranky had asked them to leave the Velveeta. It’s the only way he could get it in the house.
This is my cheesemaking “Bible”, so to speak. Our cheesemaking instructor recommended this book for first time cheesemakers and it has been a true cheese life line. It actually is a great read as well, as there are articles about other cheesemakers and some really good recipes in it. Not just cheese recipes but some of my best bread recipes have come from this book.
And this homemade pizza recipe is in the book too. This pizza is always a big hit. Get this? My youngins’ do not like store bought or greasy pizza shop pizza, but they like homemade pizza. It’s great that they are healthy eaters but sometimes, it would just be easier to stop and pick up a frozen pizza, if only they would eat it! Cranky will though. He loves to eat processed food. That’s a whole other story for another day.
This is some of my cheese hanging in the cellar. Looks pretty nasty, doesn’t it? I’m sure some of it will be, but there will probably be some that is edible. I just like the way it looks hanging in the cellar. It also makes me feel like I actually accomplished something last year. Don’t mind the cobwebs…it says in the cheese book, “the more cobwebs, the better the cheese.” It really does not say that, I just made that up!
I am in no way a master cheesemaker and I probably never will be, but I am still going to keep trying. I would love to have a small creamery on the farm someday, with not only the cow and goat milk and cheeses, but I would love to add, milking sheep and water buffalo. Seriously.
I have been dropping hints to Cranky that I really would like a water buffalo to make true mozzeralla cheese, but so far, he has not taken the bait. Maybe one day, he will surprise me with a water buffalo …maybe some day.