So I’m wondering…. how much of each type of cheese would an average family have to put back for a year? I have some great numbers from a Weston Price posting for other staples (rapadura, maple syrup, grain, coconut oil, etc.) but I don’t think they include cheese. So I’m in the process of trying to figure this out.
Let’s see, there are some fresh and soft cheeses that one would not be able to store, they’d have to be made fresh and often. Cream cheese and cheddar curds come to mind here. But there are hard cheese which need to age that one must think ahead. Another factor to throw in is that if you just have one cow (like we do), you have to think ahead for the two months that she’s dry. For those who aren’t familiar with all things bovine…. you “dry” your cow off, or stop milking her, for about 2 months before she has her calf. This gives her a chance to focus on her health and on growing the calf. So during the dry months, you don’t get milk everyday… it’s time to go to Disney or the beach or whatever else you can think of to fill the loads of free time you suddenly have. During that time though, you need to have cheese and milk frozen and cheese in your cheese cave if you plan on using milk products.
So help me here…. what cheeses do your family most often use? Each batch of cheese typically makes about 2 pounds of cheese. A quick survey of the internet says that the average American eats 31 pounds a year! That means…. times 4….. I’d have to produce 124 pounds… that’s 62 batches…. hmm…. subtract the 1, divide by 200, find for the quadrilateral of pi….. In the 44 weeks I have left to me of milking, I’d need to average about 3 cheeses a week. I’m definitely on track there!
So, 3 cheeses a week, typically means 2 gallons each. 6 gallons of milk tied up in cheese per week. In this house I’d say we use Havarti, Cream Cheese, Colby, Cheddar, Gouda and Gorgonzola the most. This would be followed by smaller amounts of Parmesan, Brie, Hot Pepper Cheese and Specialties.
A plan that included making at least one or two varieties of the most used cheeses every week might look like this: Havarti- 7 (14#), Colby 10 (20#), Cheddar 10 (20#), Cheddar Curds 11 (22#), Gouda 7 (14#) and Gorgonzola 7 (7#). I would then follow that Parmesan 8 (16#), Brie 4 (1#), Hot Pepper Cheese 5 (10#) and Specialty Experiments as I wanted. Wow- that equals exactly 124 pounds of cheese! That doesn’t include cream cheese which is actually a by-product of making yogurt in this house. I’ll probably be making a batch of that every week. That means I’ll need 7 gallons a week for yogurt and cheese, 1 gallon a week for kefir, 1 gallon for ice cream/sour cream/cream/etc., and 1 gallon to drink. That makes my family’s milk needs right at 10 gallons. No, I didn’t forget butter…. that comes out of the 6 gallons that goes to making cheese. That’s also where I’ll get our buttermilk.
My parents will need 4 gallons, so in the off peak milking months that leaves me with 7 gallons for which I don’t have plans. In the peak milking months that’s more like 21 gallons…. I’ll definitely have to figure out where all this extra milk goes. Perhaps we’ll have to put cheese in our CSA!
Oh crap, then I’d have to allow in my plan for making cheese to give away as gifts…. oh well, back to square one!
What are your favorite cheeses?