My name is Charlotte, sometimes known as Ms Lottie, occasionally as The Slightly Mad Quilt Lady. This is my blog, where you'll find me writing a lot about my quilting and textile arts and a little about my family's life in a small seaside town in New Zealand. Haere mai!

Friday, January 28, 2011

Cheese making with Wilma

So a very good friend of mine initiated me into the secret society of cheesemakers today.  And it really wasn't all that hard.  But you have to have patience.  The recipe* reads something like:  heat your milk to 37 degrees, add the culture, wait 30 mins, add rennet, wait an hour and a half, stirring three times, pack curds into moulds, leave that's the stage I went home!  Pip is draining the curds overnight and then putting it in a brine solution tomorrow.  Then magically, we will have feta!

It was the perfect day for making cheese - raining.  The tropical low that is coming down has not been downgraded, she is still officially Cyclone Wilma.  It was ominously still this morning when I went for a walk and the clouds were the most amazing crimson.

It started to rain about ten this morning and it's gradually got heavier and heavier until it was hosing when I got home with the kids in tow.  Only to find a torrent of water pouring under our house from a blocked drain behind, making a large puddle under the freezer that we have in the last open bay of our shed.  The electrical plug was under water and the freezer had shut off. 

I set to work and my boy and I cleared as much as we could,  then hubby arrived home and got stuck in too.  We managed to redirect the flow and clear the ditch but whether the freezer will be ok or not, well, we'll have to wait until the plug dries out. 

The photo above is taken hanging out a bedroom window.  You can see the water pouring off the overflowing water tank and the stream flowing along the ground is the full drain (which usually doesn't hold any water at all) that was previously mostly flowing under the house!

*I don't have a copy of the recipe so please don't take that as a full and complete set of instructions, you may just be a tad disappointed.


  1. MMMmm feta! It's been our favourite of the cheeses we've made.
    Hope your flooding doesn't get any worse. It is just mad here. Our house is leaking big time! I'll run out of pots soon :) Loo is full to the brim as well - water table must have gone haywire or something! xx

  2. Just the odd miserable shower here - too far south for that sucker !

    Hope the freezer recovers :)

    viv in dunedin

  3. Uh oh, Laura! Here's hoping your loo doesn't overflow! Your septic tank (presuming you have one) must be filling up with rain or something.

  4. Sorry to hear of your freezer/water problem. I have used your post as an idea on my own today.

  5. I will try and make cheese one day, I just keep forgetting!

    Let us know how yours turns out, is there any reason why you chose fetta? Is that a beginners cheese?

  6. Hehe, when I first saw this I thought you had given me a pseudonym - Wilma!!! The cheese is doing good, going to put it into brine this morning. Thank goodness the rain has stopped, we got home last night to a raging torrent over the bridge and a flooded driveway.

  7. Cheesemaking has been on my list for months and months. Now I'm out of ZombieLand, I'm hoping it will get on the more immediate To Do list. Frugal Man has made cheese before and had a great time. I've made mascarpone with success.

    Soaked over here too, but no noticeable damage.


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