There seems to be an ever-enlarging segment of our population that is becoming more food savvy. They want to know where their food comes from, what ingredients are included, how to get more involved, and how to become more self-reliant. The do-it-yourself food movement is looking for ways even a kitchen klutz can make their own food.
Cheese seems to be food that is being swept along with this movement. It is awesome to read about how many artisan cheesemakers are developing a following across the United States; not just cheesemakers, but GREAT cheesemakers!
So, this NY Times article seemed to be right in stride with a more personal focus on food.
A couple of months ago Voyageur Press invited me to review an advance copy of a book written by Janet Hurst. It, too, seems to be riding the crest of this self-sufficiency, DIY wave of interest.
The title of Janet's book is “Homemade Cheese: Recipes for 50 Cheeses from Artisan Cheesemakers,” but this book includes so much more than recipes. My first impression was delight. Just flipping through the pages, taking in all the gorgeous color photographs that Janet included in her book, was a visual feast!
Since becoming intrigued with artisan cheese, I’ve often used “Home Cheese Making” by Ricki Caroll as my resource. It will remain a valued book in my library. Structured more like a manual, it has excellent cheesemaking recipes and provides a lot of ways to use the cheese, and a resource section telling where to get equipment and supplies. Janet Hurst even mentions Ricki as Queen of Cheese, and honors her as an inspiration and mentor.
Janet, however, presents a different approach. She includes easy-to-follow steps for cheesemaking, but additionally provides insight into the lives and production of twenty artisan cheesemakers who work their farms, dairies, creameries and take pride in their animals, their cheese, and their accomplishment. At the back of this book is a wealth of resources and websites to reference. I’m a visual freak, so I relished the abundance of photographs of animals, farms, cheesemakers, cheese, and prepared dishes.
I responded readily to Janet’s book because it is so friendly, simple to follow, attractive to the eye, well researched and has a very personal touch. It’s like sitting down with her and, over a cup of coffee and a plate of hot out of the oven scones, having her share all of these wonderful experiences. Her passion for cheese is evident.
Janet writes from a background of 20 years of having a farm and goats and growing vegetables and making cheese. She’s still making cheese in her kitchen in Missouri, when she isn’t speaking to groups, teaching how to make cheese, freelance writing about cheese and food, and promoting her book.
Below I’ve included the link to Janet’s blog and her website. Her book is published by Voyageur Press, and is currently available for purchase for $19.95.
I wholeheartedly recommend you get your hands on a copy of “Homemade Cheese: Recipes for 50 Cheeses from Artisan Cheesemakers” and keep it within reach. It will provide you with wonderful ways you can make your own cheese in your own kitchen, and have fun doing it!