It’s All About the Cheese

Last week we took the children to Somerset for a few days. It’s an area of the country we love and we haven’t had a family holiday there since well before Plum and PK were born.

One of Bean’s main desires for the holiday was to revisit Cheddar Gorge and in particular to watch the Cheddar making. And so we went. The cheese there is made by hand and it’s a seven hour process from milk to press, so you only get to see a very small part of the process, but there’s a video that shows you the rest. It’s quite interesting to watch and I was impressed that PK managed to watch the shredding process for 15 minutes before he lost interest.

Say hello to Simon the cheese maker.

Bean decided to vlog the trip, as he does most things at the moment. Plum was fascinated. I mean really fascinated and for the first time in her almost six years of life, she declared a desire to be something other than a princess when she grows up. Plum is going to be a Cheese Maker. She is determined, and has already thought of a name for her cheese business. It’s impressive stuff.

Watching the making process shows you that the traditional way of making cheddar does not require anything too complicated in the way of equipment, and it’s perfectly possible to do on a small scale. I’ve tracked down the equipment we’ll need which comes in just short of £100, and we’ve decided that at some point in the not too distant future, we’ll be getting ourselves kitted out so that Plum can have a go at making cheese. There are plenty of sub £20 kits for making soft cheeses, but she particularly wants to make hard cheeses, which take a bit (lot) more work. I don’t know if her experiences will put her off life as a cheese maker or cement her desire, but it seems a shame to make her wait til she’s an adult to give this a go! 


Whilst we were there, we also spotted a lovely looking butter churn in their exhibition of early dairy equipment. We’ve made butter a few times before, with judicious shaking of cream in a pot, but this small churn looked like a far more relaxing way of doing it. And lo and behold, I’ve found an updated version of that too, so we’ll be adding one of those to our basket as well.

Watch out – before long, we’ll have surplus cheese, butter and eggs! (Well, except that the hens have stopped laying whilst they have their moult, but once they’re back on track ….)


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