Saturday, March 24, 2007

Mold, lots of mold

I went to flip le cheese and the entire straw mat was covered in mold. Unbeknownst to me, condensation was forming on the back wall of the fridge, then dripping down and puddling onto the straw mat.

I brushed the cheese and scrubbed the mat with boiling water and vigor. I feel like a very bad cheese parent, neglecting bedding and whatnot.

Saturday, March 17, 2007

New Fan

I bought a new battery-operated, oscillating fan for $2.99.

With two new AA batteries, it lasted for less than 8 hours.

I am going back to the drawing board.

Thursday, March 15, 2007

Spores Galore

The mold is spreading. A small patch is now growing on a corner of the straw mat.

Everything is smelling a lot more vegetal, almost like dirt/compost.

Tuesday, March 13, 2007

Buzz in Need of Rescue

Buzz Lightyear died two hours after I put him in the fridge.

After a new set of batteries, he was up and running again. I checked in on the situation, a few hours later, and the fridge smelled like burning plastic. Apparently Mr. Lightyear is really a child's play-thing and not up to the task of long-term air circulation.

Sunday, March 11, 2007

Buzz Lightyear to the Rescue

The cheese has been lacking air circulation. At first I didn't think this would be a problem, but the rind is still not as firm as it should be. Trying to purchase a fan in the middle of a New England winter is as about as successful as herding cats. So I was quite grateful to find the Buzz Lightyear fan, at the deceptively named Dollar Store, for $2.

After several failed attempts at trying to keep the "on" button held down while keeping the fan upright to do its fanning, I rigged up this.

Using the neon green cord, I tied the fan upside down to one of the door bars, and using a plastic zip tie, held down the "on" switch.
The first few attempts ended with straw getting caught around the foam blades, but after some height adjustments, it seems to be working.

At the suggestion of a cheese friend, I also swapped out the dish towels for a bowl of salt water.

Tuesday, March 6, 2007

Cotton Candy Mold

Here is the white mold. Close up, it looks a bit like wisps of cotton.

The good new:
The rind is drying out and the cheese is firming up!
The even better news:
It appears that the orange mold has stopped spreading. (You can see it above, on the top edge in the foreground, getting covered over with the fluffy, white mold.)

I did end up removing most of it tonight. The mold became less cute and fluffy, and slightly grey and dingy looking. Most of it came off with a gentle brushing.
(There is a dark grey/black mold that grows off the sides of cheese, called 'poile de chat' - cat's hair. It is usually found on goats' milk cheese, so I am pretty confident the mold on cheesie is a type of penicillium... but I am not 100%)

Saturday, March 3, 2007

The Fuzz

There is a white fuzz enrobing most of the cheese. I am not sure what it is, perhaps penicilium?

Against my better judgement, I am going to let it grow for a few days.