When I was a little girl, I wanted to be a botanist. I would carry little eld guides around our -acre for-est and farm, gather specimens, and attempt to study them under an ancient × power microscope that wehad. Later, at dierent times in my childhood, I wantedto be a nurse, cook, mother, and—always—an artist. We had a Guernsey cow named Buttercup when I was very young, and later I had two much-adored Jersey cows of my own, Daodil and Butterscotch. We madeour own butter, buttermilk, and yogurt. My motherattempted cheesemaking using the only instructionsavailable at the time, a USDA pamphlet that she gotfrom the local Extension o ce. I still have this littlebooklet, and while its instructions aren’t bad, the real-ity of the lack of available cultures and quality rennetdestined my mom’s rst hard cheese to the chicken yard. When my husband, Vern (who used to come to watch me show my cows in -H while we were bothstill teens), was close to retiring from his career (really the
career) in the United States Marine Corps, we got our rst dairy goats, Nigerian Dwarfs. I hadno idea that I would eventually love them even morethan dairy cows! I began making cheese using a less-than-satisfactory book and quickly switched to RickiCarroll’s pioneering work,
. Whatmagic those rst batches were! I’ll never forget how itfelt to see, for the rst time, milk being transformedinto solid, tasty, amazing cheese. I loved to make it, my family loved to eat it—we were all hooked. Within a year of getting the goats, in , I enteredthe American Dairy Goat Association’s annual cheesecompetition in the Amateur division, the incubationground for many soon-to-be-professional cheesemak-ers, and I won Best in Show. I entered again the next year, this time with a hard cheese, and won Best in Show again. As our friend Ken Miller, co-owner of PastoralArtisan Cheese shops in Chicago, Illinois, said, there isnothing like “a win beneath your wings” to make youIf you are reading this book, there’s a good chance that you really love cheese—so much so that you want tomake your own. Maybe you have already created yourrst satisfying batches or perhaps you are one of thegrowing number of licensed artisan producers in theUnited States or elsewhere. Wherever you are on your journey as a cheesemaker, this book is meant to be yourguide, resource, and even inspiration.If you never want to understand the science behindthe process that converts a uid, rather bland, perish-able liquid into a solid, avor-intense, long-lasting food, then this book is probably not for you (at leastnot yet). But if you’re the type of person for whom deepunderstanding of a subject brings enhanced enjoymentof the process, then
Mastering Artisan Cheesemaking
isthe book for you.If you are new to making cheese, this book aimsto demystify what can sometimes feel like a lot of scientic language, while still retaining the depth of information every serious cheesemaker—including thehobbyists—should know. If you are already a edgling or even an accomplished cheesemaker, then let thisbook be your complete resource, troubleshooter, andguide to taking your cra to the next level. Whoever you are, my goal with this book is to help you becomean intuitive, enthusiastic, educated, and consummatemaker of truly great cheeses.Dierent things lead people to cheesemaking. For meit was a desire to return to my self-su ciency roots, alove for dairy animals, and the desire to provide healthy,aordable milk and cheese for my family. I never thoughtmaking cheese would turn into a profession, much lesslead to a book (or two). Cheesemaking has broughtme incredible satisfaction; I went from an art career,making work that I believed in, but with which it wasdi cult for people to identify, to making cheeses thata vast number can enjoy, appreciate, and even admire.