Stuart left and our Stuart right
I wonder what the collective noun is for a collection of Stuarts is? Stuart is our newest recruit, who, along with Lydia and I, make a total of three. Today, we had a visit from Stuart from Leeds based Direct Fruit Supplies. Add to that, my brother (who was not here) is called Stuart. Very strange!
Stuart was lovely and a delight to induct in to the murky world of cheese making. Before he knew it, we had him kitted out, scrubbed up and helping us to stir our curd. That day we had 1,700 litres in our big vat, so quite a lot of curd as you can see from the level in the vat. He arrived just as our Stuart was cutting the vat, and at this stage, the curd is still very delicate and whilst we need to stir it to stop it from clumping together, using the shovel, our usual stirring implement is a bit rough when it is newly cut, so we usually lean over and using our hands, we very gently move the curd around at the bottom of the vat, making sure it isn’t sticking together. We want it nice and loose and separate.
From left: our Stuart, Stuart and Lydia cheese tasting
We then bundled Stuart into the waxing and wholesale area and forced him to eat lots of our cheese…no, I am joking…where Lydia treated both Stuarts to a mammoth cheese tasting session, complete with explanations as to how they are made, what prizes they have won and their different characteristics. She did an excellent job. They tasted 12 of our cheeses, from goat via cow and sheep to buffalo. Top favourites were our 8 month old unpasteurised (no name yet!) goat cheese and our 18 month old Goat Cheddar. I must admit, I am rather partial to both and I did keep nipping through from the dairy whilst tending the vat, to steal tasters away. Joint second came Superior Goat (our best seller) and Original Goat, the cheese that I make most of and is stocked by Booths.
We are very happy to report that Stuart is now a new Ribblesdale Cheese customer. It was a great day. Fantastic!