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March 13, 2011


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I just can't believe that the wave arrived all the way here, this show how strong the quake was. We are not religious but while visiting the Mission Dolores we prayed for the people of Japan who were hit by the tsunami. What a tragedy.

On a different note, I would love to taste this cheese, it looks so tasty.



I love making cheese at home, but it dos take time. I never made a cheese like this, I should try, you did a great job!

The earthquake in Japan is tragic, I lived there a few here, I am Italian, and now I live in New Zealand, so I am pretty used to earthquakes happening around me (fortunately I never been in a really major one) but what really worries me is what we are building on fault lines, and Tsunami prone areas, like nuclear power stations...


As Disaster Coordinator for our Department (amongst many other things), thank you for your post about being prepared for any disaster. Japan is probably the most prepared country in the world. My heart goes out to them.

For those of us in CA, carry an earthquake kit in your vehicle and in your home. There are plenty of sites which can help you with prepared kits or make your own. Make sure you have at least three days of water available for each person in your household. Carry a warm blanket in your vehicle or one of those silvery blankets to keep warm. One of the last telephone communications to go down in a disaster is the text (usually) so see if you can text if you can't call. Try not to panic and hopefully, everything will turn out OK.

I so wish I was over there to pass out blankets, water, food and warm hugs.


I'll have a look for the slipcote recipe Simona, but need to find it first, can't remember where I put my notes! Please be patient, in the meantime go and have a look at my hme made halloumi, you don't need raw milk for it (can't believe that it is illegal in California!!!)

Chris's GourmetFashion

I guess we have something in common. Both were living in Italy when Chernobyl hit! Your cheese looks wonderful. I keep seeing all these homemade cheeses, ricotta etc .... I really have to get down to trying to make this myself one of these days.


brava, potresti pubblicare anche tu un libricino di formaggi home made ^______^ baciuzzzz

Simona Carini

Ciao Laura. And it was not a small wave, either. It's an enormous tragedy and I hope the Japanese people start getting better news.
The cheese was a pleasant surprise. I'll definitely make it again.

Ciao Alessandra. We visited New Zealand a few years ago and have great memories from that trip. You had your share of earthquake this year, though not near where you are.
Making cheese takes a bit of time, but that varies. I think one can find a cheese that fits his/her schedule. For example, the French Neufchatel I made a short while ago needs little attention, just time to do its thing.

Hi Debbie. Thanks for sharing words of advice. I have a kit in the car and we have a bin full of supplies outside the house. Nowadays it is also easy to find special products that take up little space and have a long shelf life. I am awed by the way the Japanese people have reacted to this incredible disaster.

Ciao Alessandra. Take your time, please. I'll take a closer look at the halloumi post. I made it once and though I was not thrilled, it was appreciated at the table. However, I did not use all goat milk. The legality of the sale of raw milk is at the county level, not the state. In most counties it is actually legal. I wish I had access to a distributor of raw milk like there are in Italy, especially in northern Italy.

Hi Chris. The events in Japan have brought back memories and I certainly hope we don't have a repeat. Thanks for the kind words. I recommend you give making cheese a try: you can keep it easy and still get great results. For example, homemade mascarpone is wonderful.

Ciao Astro. Le ricette che seguo non sono mie, pero' potrei annotarle con suggerimenti basati sull'esperienza. Magari un giorno organizzero' un mini-workshop a casa mia. Che ne dici?


Simo, dico che il mio sorriso arriva da un orecchio all'altro....potrebbe però essere anche il contrario, ovviamente il mio ruolo sarebbe quello dell'allieva ^_____^


Must be wonderful. I love the idea of making cheese at home and even tried making cheese (mozzarella) once at home. The result was indeed cheese, but not mozzarella... more of a 'string cheese'. Guess I aimed too high for my first try! Farmer's cheeses sound like the ticket. Cheers!


I love making cheese at home, too :) I usually make mascarpone and can't wait to make ricotta. Tha additon of fresh goat milk sounds pretty great to me!

My whole family feels very sorry for the people in Japan. I can't believe it and I'm really glad that we live in the middle of Europe without any sea nearby. I hope there won't be any other earthquake in Japan and any other people dying. It's really horrible and sad and we have to hope it's gonna be better.

Simona Carini

Certo, qui o da te, mi farebbe piacere comunque. E che da me e' piu' facile perche' ho i miei "ferri del mestiere." ;)

Ciao Frank. Making good mozzarella is tricky: I did it a few times and got "string cheese" as you say, but not the mozzarella I grew up eating (there are some reasons and maybe one day I will write more extensively about them). So, I make other kinds of cheese. There are many options for beginner's cheese and a number of resources to tap into (including my page on making cheese at home, so i encourage you to try again.

That's great, Catalina: making mascarpone at home is very satisfying. I grew up in a part of Italy that is quake-prone, so moving to California made no difference in that respect. But seeing the tsunami wipe out everything in its path is terrifying.


Yes, I remember Chernobyl too. My admiration for the Japanese people grew stronger with this event. They were prepared, they surely made all they could, and they are reacting with great strength. I would be totally unprepared for such a natural disaster. I'll have a look at the link you provide.

Cheese eludes me: even mascarpone was a failure! I have to say I am not trying that hard now, that I live in a place where I can buy great cheese, but when living in the UK I would have been desperate to produce such a nice cheese.


Ohhhh my.....

I am so envious of your cheese making abilities. It looks wonderful. I love making cheese, though I've never made any good enough to share with someone who is not already a very dear friend.

I will use this post and pictures as inspiration to get back at it.



Simona Carini

Ciao Caffettiera. There are some simple things you can do to make sure that you are better prepared to handle an emergency. Here in California it's a lot of about earthquake preparedness and also fire (including prevention). I was just reading about the group of 50 workers who are at the nuclear plant: they are true heroes, putting their life on the line to help everybody else. I hope their efforts succeed and I hope the protective gear they are wearing is the one thing that works in this disaster.
What happened with the mascarpone? I was buying imported one from Italy until I learned to make it at home. There are a lot of great cheeses here, but famous Italian cheeses are often produced industrially and have nothing in common with the original save the name.

Hi Andy. I also share my cheese only with friends or in a controlled environment, so to speak. The great thing about homemade cheese is that if it comes out not great as a standalone cheese, you can always use it in cooking - well, almost. It's sort of embarrassing to say it, but I managed to get bad cottage cheese twice, using two different recipes, so that cheese is off my list for good.


What an amazing cheese. I didn't know that you lived on the western coasts Simona. Glad you are okay and what happened to Japan is very tragic. Greece is also one of the most seismogenic places on earth and I have lived a couple of strong ones, the last one in 1999. We have learned living with smallers earthquakes but it is horrifying what may happen one day.


La tua esperienza nel mondo dei formaggi diventa sempre più ricca :D

Simona Carini

Ciao Ivy. Yes, part of the time we live on the coast. Events like that in Japan really shake us and make us feel insecure in what can happen on a large scale. I hope the Japanese people get some good news soon: they deserve to be able to start the reconstruction process.

Ciao Lenny. Ho paura di essere irrimediabilmente innamorata di questa cosa qui. E non desidero che mi passi ;)

One Day At A Time

Found you by chance when googling 'English Coulommiers'. I plan on making it as my next cheese. I'm delighted - it looks like I stumbled upon an absolutely wonderful blog!

Simona Carini

Welcome to briciole, Robin and thanks for your kind words. I hope you'll have fun with this cheese, because it is fun to make and you get to taste it quickly.

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