Monday, 18 May 2009

The Joy of Cheese

Long overdue, I finally took my SEN kids out to see a dairy. We have been doing a topic on farming and cheese, so this fitted in nicely. There is a small cheese-making place in Herefordshire called The Mousetrap Dairy. I drove the mini-bus and it rained solidly on the way over.
The dairy is run by a woman who used to teach children. She was fantastic and had them eating out the palm of her hand. Before I was even aware we'd started, she had the entire class dressed up in frilly hairnets and plastic aprons.

There milk is warmed in a huge vat. The curds and whey separate and the curd sinks to the bottom. The kids got to try some curds and compare it with the rubbery version after the rennet had been added.

We had a quick look round the store at the maturing cheeses. It smells really musty in there, but the mould shows that the cheese isn't drying out. Then they had a go at draining the curds and patting the rubbery 'popcorn' into a round shape so it could be turned into a round of cheese.
We drove to the Wyre Forest Visitor's Centre for lunch. I managed to clip the wall on the way out of the dairy, denting the minibus a little. The kids, naturally, thought it was hilarious, and I was ribbed the whole way back about my rally driving. At the forest I bought them all an ice-cream because it was my birthday.

Our final stop was an organic farm in Bewdley. The famer kindly allowed us to see the milking machine, stroke some calves and sit in his tractor. The kids really enjoyed it.

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