Sunday, January 24, 2010


I have a thing for cheese. Could be the addictive serotonin rush that cheese can provide, could be the salt that I crave. Whatever it is, I know I could slowly, knife lick by knife lick, polish off a wheel of a really good cheese. And not be sorry. Particularly the rich, foreign ones. (Like my men, ha! Sorry).

Mr. Pants and I get through the long, hot summers (who am I kidding, I live in Seattle), I'll start again: Mr. Pants and I get through the short, tepid summers living on tomato, basil and mozzarella salads. Easy to compile on nights when we are both tired and don't feel like cooking, this dish feeds us from June to October. We like the multiple brands that are sold packed in water. These are a gorgeous, milky counterpart to the bright taste of summer tomatoes.

I've long wanted to make my own mozzarella, but never trusted myself to do so without official instructions. However, the price of good mozzarella, which supermarkets have the gall to sell at something like $5 per small container, has been an issue. But now I've found a trustworthy instructor, and her name is Julie Steil.

Steil teaches cheese making classes at River Valley Ranch in Fall City, Mr Pants and I took the excursion to Fall City (along with fellow foodie and coworker Sallie and her beau)

I wanted to tromp down onto the muddy hillside to pet some animals, but I showed restraint, and settled for manipulating cheese curds. Which is basically how one makes cheese. We made mozzarella and a Tomme type cheese, and she shows you how easy it really is to whip up several balls of ready-to-eat mozzarella or press curds into a ready to aged wheel of cheese for treat, edible in about 2 months time.

Highlights: Julie Steil. Cheese!

Disappointments: At first the class room smells like, you know, cheese. Standing up for several hours in one place can be tiring.

Mr. Pants: Talking big like he's going to be making mozzarella and Tomme every single day for the rest of his life.

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