Good morning, John. I've never been to Houston, but was in San Antonio for my son's graduation from Air Force basic training. I don't care how dry the heat is, 115 degrees is sickly HOT!
A gilt is a female pig that hasn't had a litter of piglets yet. We are just about a year into pig raising and after these girls are gone we plan on just raising 3 each summer for meat (one for us, two to sell and help cover the costs of raising our own meat).
The recipe for Derby cheese came from a member of the Keeping a Family Cow forum. It makes good, edible cheese within a couple of weeks. I am copying Tammy's entire post, so that it will include her explanations. I bump up my amounts so that I use 5 gallons of milk, then I take off about a pound of the curds for fresh eating, pressing the rest.
(If I should post the recipe somewhere else, please let me know and I will do so.)
I made this cheese last winter and we enjoyed it but it wasn't spectacular. In fact, most of my cheese was good, but not spectacular. This year, I started using my clabber/buttermilk in place of mesophilic starter culture. This cheese went from mediocre to great. In fact, since I am terrible at letting cheese age, I tested it at two weeks and it was really good. I can't wait to see what it tastes like with a little age on it. Well, that's assuming I can actually get some age on wheel before eating it all!
The recipe comes from the book CHEESE MAKING AT HOME. (Tammy on KFC)
Preparation time: 4 Hours
Pressing Time: 26 Hours
Aging Time: 1-2 Months
Makes 4 pounds
This cheese, pronounced "Darby" originated in the country of Derbyshire, England. It is similar to cheddar but has higher moisture content and ages more quickly.
4 gallons of whole milk
2 cubes or 1/4 c mesophilic starter culture (I use buttermilk/clabber)
1/2 tablet rennet, dissolved in 1/2 cup cool water
1/4 cup salt
1. Heat milk to 84 degrees F. Add starter culture, mixing well. Cover and let ripen 30 minutes.
2. Add dissolved rennet, stirring well. cover and let sit 45 minutes.
3. Cut the curd into 1/2" cubes.
4. Heat slowly to 94 degrees, stirring the curds by hand. This should take 30 minutes.
5. Let the curds settle for 30 minutes.
6. Drain the whey and allow curds to sit in colander for 30 minutes.
7. Cut into four slabs. Stack slabs on top of each other, reversing their order every 20 minutes for one hour.
8. Tear slabs into pea sized pieces. Sprinkle 1/4 cup salt over curds. Mix well.
9. Pack curds into a cheesecloth lined mold.
10. Apply 10 pounds pressure for one hour. Flip and repack. Apply 10 pounds pressure for one hour. Flip and repack. Apply 50 pounds pressure for 24 hours.
11. Air dry cheese on a mat for several days until dry to the touch. Turn twice a day.
12. Wax cheese and age it for 1-2 months at 50-55 degrees turning it twice a week.