Before we get to the meat of this article…or should I say the cheese?…we thought we’d share a little Halloween trivia with you!
Fun Fact #1
Halloween is thought to have originated around 4000 B.C., which means it has been around for over 6,000 years.
Fun Fact #2
Halloween was influenced by the ancient Roman festival Pomona, which celebrated the harvest goddess of the same name. Many Halloween customs and games that feature apples (such as bobbing for apples) and nuts date from this time.
Fun Fact #3
According to tradition, if a person wears his or her clothes inside out and walks backwards on Halloween, he or she will see a witch at midnight.
Fun Fact #4
Scottish girls believed they could see images of their future husband if they hung wet sheets in front of the fire on Halloween. Other girls believed they would see their boyfriend’s faces if they looked into mirrors while walking down stairs at midnight on Halloween.
Continue reading →
Limited Edition Ultimate Cheese Press in Cherry Hardwood
Just in time for Cyber Monday sales! We’re blogging a little early this week to bring you our newest product. Yes! Another new product. It’s great to give as a gift or keep as a treat to yourself.
Jerri has commissioned a limited edition run of 25 Ultimate Cheese Presses made in cherry hardwood. They are beautiful! It’s first come, first served and a few have already sold. The sale price is in effect now and it continues through the end of December, 2014 or until all 25 presses are sold.
Ultimate Cheese Press made with cherry hardwood
Our cheese press is made for home cheese makers, designed and manufactured by Jerri Bedell, the owner of Homesteader’s Supply right here in the USA! Made from a beautiful grained cherry hardwood with various shades of darker marbling. Each press is as unique as the wood its made from. Cherry darkens as it ages and becomes even more beautiful. This wood is sturdy, solid and long lasting. It’s treated with organic coconut oil and is stamped with our logo.
Are you new to making cheese? We have a recipe for a very nice cheddar to help you get started. Farmhouse Cheddar. If you’d like to print the recipe you can find the pdf file there. Download it to your computer, send it to the printer, and pick it up on the way to the kitchen.
The Ultimate Cheese Press and More!
Wardee from GNOWFGLINS shows us how to use The Ultimate Cheese Press step by step. It’s very simple and seeing it in action lets us know we’re doing it just right.
You’ll find supplies you need to make cheese on our website. Calcium chloride and lipase are here. Cheesecloth and muslin. We have a great variety of cultures.
Do you need drying racks, funnels and other cheese making tools? We have two cheese making books. And kits. We have great cheese making kits.
And there’s more! You’ll find more cheese making supplies here.
Bay, basil, sage, roasted bell pepper and olive oil makes a delicious marinade.
Farmer’s Cheese with Garlic Chive seasoning
We’re proud of our American made products. Made in the USA, they keep our dollars in not just our country but in our communities.
The Ultimate Cheese Press is our pride and joy. Designed by Jerri Bedell, founder of Homesteader’s Supply and is manufactured by another American company. We’re happy to tell you that we’ve made a change in how our presses are oiled.
We’ve been testing organic non-GMO cold pressed coconut oil and we are very happy with the results. Coconut oil is thicker, soaks into the wood well, and stands up to the acidic nature of whey in cheese making. Presses being shipped now have been treated with coconut oil but If you’d like to order a raw press (not oiled) please request it when you order.
The Ultimate Cheese Press
Next time you need to treat our press you should follow these steps.
- Wash the wood with warm, soapy water. Wash all indentations and where bolts meet wood well.
- Air dry for a minimum of four hours, overnight if possible. Be sure the wood is completely dry.
- Melt 1/4 cup of organic non-GMO cold pressed coconut oil just until it melts.
- Wash your hands to avoid transferring anything to the coconut oil.
- Using a lint-free cloth, apply a heavy coat of coconut oil. Place oiled pieces on lint-free cloth or paper towel while the wood absorbs the oil and the oil solidifies. Fold your cloth into small sections that can be pressed into the grooves.
- Let the pieces sit for an hour or two before wiping clean with a lint-free cloth.
- Inspect all pieces closely. If you’ve missed a spot or the coating of oil is uneven, repeat steps three through five.
Oiling The Ultimate Cheese Press
You should hand wash your press with warm (not hot), lightly soapy water after use. Never soak the wood. Be sure to let the pieces dry thoroughly before reassembling the press to store.
The Ultimate Cheese Press
Farmhouse Cheddar Cheese Recipe
For convenience you may send this recipe to the printer and pick it up on your way to the kitchen. Download the recipe in a pdf file.
3 gallons whole milk
Mesophilic Culture (1/4 tsp Abiasa, 1/8 tsp Danisco, or 1/16 tsp Sacco)
2 teaspoons calcium chloride (only needed for store bought milk)
1.5 tablet rennet or 3/4 tsp liquid rennet
1/4 cup unchlorinated water
1 Tbsp salt
- Combine milk, (calcium chloride) in 16 qt stock pot (double boiler to prevent scorching)
- Slowly heat mixture to 86 degrees. Turn off heat and stir in lactic cheese culture. (Different types of culture create different flavors of cheese) Stir gently throughout. Cover mixture and allow to rest undisturbed at 86 degrees for 45 minutes.
- Dissolve rennet tablet or liquid rennet in 1/4 cup water.
- Keep the milk at 86 degrees. Stir the rennet mixture into milk slowly but thoroughly. Allow milk to set undisturbed for 30 – 45 minutes or until curd shows a clean break.
- Using long knife, cut the curds into 1/2 inch squares, then stir gently just to break the strips of curds into chunks. Let it sit to rest for 5 minutes.
- Slowly heat the curds and whey to 102 degrees, raising the temperature 2 degrees every 5 minutes. Stir curd gently to prevent matting and reduce their size to half peanut size. A large whisk works well by placing it to bottom of pot and putting up right so curds break as they fall through the wisk. Hold curds for additional 30 minutes at this temperature
- Place pre-warmed with hot water colander over a pot and pour the curds into it.
- Reserve 1/3 of the whey and pour back into the cheese pot. Set colander of curds onto the cheese pot. Cover top with cheese cloth and lid to keep in warmth. Allow curds to drain for 45 to 60 minutes. This is called the cheddaring process.
- Cut slab into pieces and press through french fry cutter or cut by hand.
- Add 1 tablespoon course salt. Using your hands, gently mix the salt into curds. You can eat these curds now, or press into a wheel.
- Place the curds into cheese press and follow the directions for dressing with cheese cloth for the next 12 hours.
- Remove cheese from press, unwrap the cloth, place cheese on drying mat to air dry for 12 hours, creating a nice skin over the whole cheese. Cheese is ready to slice and eat or you can wax and age for stronger cheddar flavor.
- Mix 1 tablespoon of salt with 1/2 cup of water. Use a corner of the cheese cloth to lightly apply a saltwater wash to the cheese.
Now that the birthing and milking seasons are in full swing there’s an abundance of milk. It’s time to make cheese!
Our cheese press is made for home cheese makers, designed and manufactured by Homesteaders Supply right here in the USA! Homesteader’s Supply carries cheese making supplies. We suggest starting with our kits and replenishing as you go.
The Ultimate Cheese Press
Made from a beautiful grained hard maple, with a lighter basic color with various shades of darker marbling. Each press is as unique as the wood it’s made from. It comes with an innovative design that makes pressing cheese easy, and they all come out the same. No need for pressure gauges, no lopsided cheeses… every one comes out great! And this press will probably last you a lifetime with proper care!
Raw presses will be readily available soon. They are not oiled! You can choose the oil you’d like to use. Organic coconut oil works very well. We’ll make an announcement when the raw presses are in here in the blog, on Facebook and Twitter.
Some of the features of the Ultimate Cheese Press:
- Perfect to make all types of hard and semi-hard cheeses.
- Ergonomically designed handles and followers to reduce the stress to your hands and fingers.
- Comes with 2 hoops, now larger and taller than other presses, to prepare a 1 lb to 5 lb cheese!
- Designed to accept the hoops in perfect position every time!
- Hoops are made of food grade heavy duty water pipe. Professional cheese makers prefer this type of hoop over the metal hoop type, as it won’t cause too fast of cooling the cheese during pressing time as stainless steel does.
- Made with all food grade materials, will last a very long time, sturdy hardwood with heavy-duty stainless steel fasteners.
- Easy to use; small enough to just place it into baking pan to allow for draining… therefore no mess, no fuss…
- Finished wood with Canola Oil with no odor, no petro-chemicals, natural for food contact, makes the wood water proof, and all you need to do is reapply a very small amount of your own oil of choice when it appears dry.
- We use real wood, not plastic. Latest research confirms that wood inhibits bacterial growth, which is not the case for plastics such as melamine. Now you know why everyone is going back to butcher block cutting boards!
- No need for gauge… as you just turn to tighten as whey is released. So Simple! Easy to Clean! Just can’t say enough about this press… it’s the best!
- With proper care, this cheese press should last a lifetime! (soap and water, no dishwasher!)
- Dimensions: Base approx 7″ X 7″, Unit Height 11″, Large Mold 7″ tall, 6 1/2″ Diameter; Small Mold 7″ tall, 4 1/2″ diameter.
Wardeh Harmon, owner of GNOWFGLINS (visit the website – you’ll love it!) demonstrates the use of The Ultimate Cheese Press. You’ll see how simple this cheese press is to use in the video.
We’re proud to have designed this press and to have it manufactured right here in the United States. It’s a beautiful, functional, easy to use press that’s great for hard and semi-hard cheeses.