The Art of Cheesemaking

Ever since I read Animal, Vegetable Miracle by Barbara Kingsolver, I have wanted to make cheese. I’m happy to say that last night, I took the first step towards living the dream. I attended a cheesemaking class downtown at Venissimo and it was amazing.

First off, the class was sold out by the time my friends and I tried to get in. Who knew so many people wanted to make cheese?!? But, in typical Shelly fashion, I had waited until the day before to even try to enroll in the Academy of Cheese and thus, I figured I had gotten what I deserved.

You can imagine my surprise when Paige from Venissimo called to tell me that she couldn’t in good conscious make me wait until October for the next class. She told me that she didn’t want all of my “cheese enthusiasm” to wane. (I liked where it sounded like this conversation was going, so I didn’t jump in and tell her that my cheese enthusiasm knows no limit.) So the lovely Paige said that they would make it work and to call my two friends and let them know that we were good to go. We hit the cheese jackpot!

Luck continued to follow us the next day when we headed downtown. In spite of the fact that there was a Padres game, we found street parking after circling the block only twice. This was nothing short of a miracle considering that I am basically cursed when it comes to parking spots and waiting in lines.

We were greeted with a two glasses of wine- a red and a white which Paige and her assistant Emily refilled throughout the class (in the event you balk at the $45 price tag- just remember the wine and cheese you munch on throughout the class- VERY worth it). Jack, the pastry chef from Nine Ten in La Jolla was our cheese teacher and did an excellent job of explaining the wonder that is cheese making. I won’t spoil all the fun and tell you all the details, but let’s just say that it doesn’t appear to be super difficult and I highly recommend you sign up and check it out for yourself. It was definitely an evening well spent and you’re sent on your way with enough rennet to whip up a few batches of cheese as well as some samples of what Jack made in class. Delish 🙂

Cutting Curd for Homemade Mozzarella

When the curds begin to take shape, you, yes, you guessed it, cut the cheese.


Croatia Bound

Time seems to be flying by as August 27th- the day Kyle and I enter into wedded bliss- races towards us. Even though I have been the anti-bridezilla, things have still begun to get hectic. The next time you go to a wedding and look around, remember that EVERYTHING is a decision. That cocktail napkin stuck to the side of your glass- someone had to choosethat napkin- the color, the design, the size. That dj playing songs nobody will dance to- he represents HOURS worth of someone’s time. Online research, emailing, telephone conversations, play lists- you get the point. It’s quite a production even for a relatively hands-off, carefree (hahaha), bride such as myself.

Which brings me to the honeymoon…after a lengthy deliberation, we decided on Croatia (see pic below). It’s beautiful, inexpensive and seemingly romantic- so what’s not to love? The only problem is that we have no idea about the “must see” authentic experiences since we’ve yet to meet anyone who’s ever been there! So, dear reader, if you or someone you know has been to Croatia and you’d like to share some do’s and don’ts- Please post them here. We need all the help we can get! We’re most likely going to be there in the last week of September and first week of October. Word on the street is it’s truffle hunting season but other than that, I have no leads- so suggest away!!!