Author Topic: Greetings from Virginia!  (Read 561 times)

Offline JadenSkye

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Greetings from Virginia!
« on: October 02, 2012, 04:07:10 PM »
Hi everyone,

My name is Jennifer and I hail from Fort Belvoir, in Northern VA.  This year my husband and I started on a quest to learn how to make everything ourselves (ok, not everything, but a lot hehe)...he now brews his own beer, I bake my own bread, etc and now we are learning to make cheese.  He has been more exposed to different cheeses than I have, I grew up in a third world country with very limited access to different types of cheeses.  I believe I did not taste my first slice of cheddar until I was a teenager...since then I have been experimenting with different cheeses (and have come to the conclusion that I do not like blues or stinky cheeses...blasphemy to some, i am sure).

At the present moment we are contemplating making a caramelized onion cheddar but are debating how much caramelized onion to add...have any of you made such a cheese?  In your opinion, how much caramelized onion should we add for 2 gallons?  Should I puree?

Thank you for allowing me to be a part of your online community, I am sure I will learn a lot from you all and will later be able to pass that information on to others!

Jennifer
Proud USMC wife



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Offline bbracken677

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Re: Greetings from Virginia!
« Reply #1 on: October 02, 2012, 04:18:43 PM »
Semper Fi! 

Howdy from Texas!

Have never made a cheese with other stuff in it, such as that...one day! 

Offline george (MaryJ)

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Re: Greetings from Virginia!
« Reply #2 on: October 03, 2012, 04:50:49 AM »
Welcome, Jennifer!

For your question, I've never done a cheddar with something as "wet" as caramelized onion, (I'm assuming there would be some fat remaining from the caramelizing),  just garlic and/or herbs.  For what it's worth, I use 2 or 2-1/2 tablespoons of fresh minced garlic for 3 gallons of milk - and about 1 tablespoon, no more than about 1-1/4 tablespoons, of herbs if I'm using them.  I would imagine the caramelized onion probably should follow the same proportions as the fresh garlic, although you may be able to get away with more since it's not quite as in-your-face flavor as garlic.   And I'd definitely at least mince the onion - puree's not a bad idea either.

Hey, I know!  Make TWO of them, one each day.  And use different amounts in each, and age them the same time.  Then you can get the experimenting done all at once!   >:D

It's kinda too bad I had to move - I spent 18 years in Alexandria, just off North Kings Highway near Huntington Metro.  Moved back to RI in 2009 (wow, three years!).  We could have cheesed together!!  *sigh*
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Offline Boofer

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Re: Greetings from Virginia!
« Reply #3 on: October 03, 2012, 08:53:54 AM »
Welcome to the forum, Jennifer. And a shout out of thanks to you and your Marine.

If you are fairly new to cheese making, I might recommend that you do a plain Cheddar without anything added to get the basic cheese technique down first. Then later, you can add whatever you want to bump up the flavor. If this is the first Cheddar you have tried, you wouldn't have a baseline from which to evaluate your success or failure.

-Boofer-
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Bread, beer, wine, cheese...it's all good.

Offline bbrown131211

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Re: Greetings from Virginia!
« Reply #4 on: October 03, 2012, 09:52:49 AM »
Welcome! As a newbie here, I have learned so much. I hope you enjoy the adventure!


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Offline dbudge55

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Re: Greetings from Virginia!
« Reply #5 on: October 03, 2012, 07:33:11 PM »
I'm with Boofer on this one. I made the mistake of trying to do fancy things early on with mixed results. Now I'm of the opinion that it makes more sense to work on getting technique right without non-traditional additions that make it hard to judge if I get the basic make right.

But, hey, we all do this differently so what do I know.

Anyhow. welcome aboard.
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Offline LoftyNotions

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Re: Greetings from Virginia!
« Reply #6 on: October 04, 2012, 11:31:24 AM »
Another option might be adding dry minced onion in with the milled curds before pressing.

Oh, and welcome to the forum!

Larry

Offline JadenSkye

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Re: Greetings from Virginia!
« Reply #7 on: October 05, 2012, 04:17:30 PM »
Thank you all for your input!  I am in the process of aging cheeses right now so I can't say for sure I've sucessfully made cheddar yet, but I will definitely follow your suggestions and not try anything fancy until I know for sure i have the technique down...this is just research for me  ;D  I am definitely the type that researches this type of stuff way in advance (much to my husband's annoyance, LOL).  I think when I do eventually try it I will go for maybe 3 tablespoons and will then fill you all in on how it went! 

Thanks so much, and thanks for the support...hubby has been in the military for 15 yrs now, he has enjoyed every minute of it and might actually go past the 20...who knows!  Hehe...btw, i LOVE the suggestion of making two cheeses a day, i might run out of space though hehehe...my little one (6 yrs old) is my wee mouse and goes through cheese quickly!