For Christmas, my sweetie bought me a gift certificate to Cook's World, a place here in Seattle that has cooking classes. I was really excited to receive this (although a couple people at my sweetie's office were offended on my behalf, even after he explained that I like to cook), especially once I saw that they offer a cheesemaking class.
Last Saturday was the first of two classes, where we learned how to make soft cheeses. I promptly came home and tried out the recipe for cream cheese.
Here is the cheese after I've cultured the cream and let it sit for a day. I've just put it in the cheesecloth, where it's supposed to drain for 12-14 hours.
Next, you hang it in the refrigerator for 36-48 hours:
Here is the finished cheese, spread on an English muffin:
It is pretty darned tasty cheese, though I suspect the second batch that I have hanging in the fridge will be even better, as I let the cream culture longer.
Tomorrow is the second class, where we will learn how to make hard cheeses. I'm most excited for this part, although I fear it will have less practical application, since hard cheeses require rather larger investments in ingredients, equipment, and time.
Yes, I am mildly obsessed with cheese.