This guest blog comes via Cammie Buehler of Epicure Catering. She’s got a lot of great work on her Epicure Catering blog, including regular writeups about her food adventures with business partner Andy Schudlich and others that include visits to farms & food producers and the many opportunities to harvest your own food that make this area such a delight!
article & photos by Cammie Buehler
I recently had the good fortune to enjoy a farm visit to Boss Mouse Cheese in Kingsley, MI. I met owner/cheesemaker Sue Kurta a while back and the more time I spend with her, the more I enjoy her company- plus anyone who offers me mid-day wine and snacks is kind of a hero. My dear friend Kristin, who also happens to be a cook and owner of K2 Edibles, joined me on the adventure.
Sue grew up in Detroit, and her pursuits led her to a career in corporate finance in New York City. After a number of years she longed for a change. As a home cheese maker for many years, Sue knew she wanted to take her cheesemaking to the next level. She moved back to Northern Michigan and bought a farm in Kingsley. Except for the help of her awesome parents, Mike and Margaret, she is a one-woman show. She produces about 100 pounds of cheese every week, and sources her milk exclusively from Moomers Creamery. Cheddar, montasio, Alpine-style swiss, havarti, parmesan, cheese curds- you name it. This woman likes to practice her craft, with delicious results.
Andy and I are very fortunate to work with amazing food artisans. I am so grateful to Sue for hosting me! You can learn more about Sue from her website. The best way to get your hands on some of Sue’s cheese is to find her at the Sara Hardy Farmers Market in downtown TC.
I’ve selected images from the day below (with narration, of course!), but there is a complete slideshow at the bottom of the post.
We began the day in the creamery. Once the milk and culture are heated to the correct temperature, vegetable rennet is added.
Sue has an 8 x 12 temperature and humidity controlled aging cave. We spent some time in the cave while the milk was heating in the kettle.
Just a little experiment, labeled “Yogurt Cheese WTF Wheel”.
Havarti and friends.
Tasting the cheese is essential. Sue uses a tool called a cheese trier to remove a core from the wheel.
Sue checks for aroma, flavor and texture, among other things.
After she tastes, she replaces the rind end plug of the sample from the trier into the hole to prevent air from entering the cheese as it ages.