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Thursday, May 14, 2009

Cheese Wax Will Save Us All

cheese-variety2Well, at least those of us who are addicted to cheese anyway.

  • Can you name at least 10 different kinds of cheese that you love?
  • Do you believe that cheese should be its own food group?
  • Are you helpless to abide by your diet unless it involves huge amounts of melted cheese?

Then this article is for you!

cheese-fruit-plateSo picture this. It’s a bona fide emergency survival situation. You are holed up on your home and living off of the emergency preparedness supplies you stored. And you’ve got one heck of a hankering for some yummy melted cheese. But you’re just not in the mood for the Velveeta, that nasty powdered stuff, or the “squirt” kind of cheese. You want a good solid bite of a yummy Monterey Jack, or Swiss, or a sharp cheddar. (I’m making myself drool even as I write this.) But hey, cheese doesn’t store for a very long time, right? Well, in this case, I’m happy to tell you that you’re wrong. And if you’re a true cheese addict, then you’ll be happy to hear that you’re wrong for once, right?

cheese-wax-goudaSo here’s the good news. You CAN have your favorite cheese on hand, even in an emergency, and even though no stores are open and you have no access to electricity. All you have to do is buy the blocks of cheese that you want now in order to have them stored for up to the next 25 years. Cheese wax prevents your cheese from developing mold or bacteria and it keeps the moisture in. Simply use a natural boar’s hair brush to apply the melted cheese wax liberally to your block of cheese, let it harden, and then, VOILA – you’ve got your wish. Cheese treated with cheese wax will store for up to 25 years at a mild to cool temperature. Sure, it will continue to age. But it sure won’t get moldy! Be sure that you select block sizes of cheese that you and your family can easily consume within a 3 to 5 day period in order to avoid it going bad once you’ve cut into it.

A couple of tips you should know though.

  1. cheeseclothDon’t use paraffin wax. It tends to crack. Cheese wax warms at a cooler temperature and thus plies better to your cheese shapes and sizes. Cheese wax is also less crumbly and you can use less of it than paraffin.
  2. I have yet to find a cheese that I can’t wax. So long as it’s hard enough to be in a block, you can wax it.
  3. You don’t need cheesecloth, but if you desire to use it prior to your wax layers, it may be helpful getting the wax off. I haven’t had any problems without it though.
  4. It’s best to melt the cheese wax in a double boiler as opposed to direct heat.
  5. cheese-wax-double-broilers1The less you handle the cheese with your hands the better.
  6. Don’t bother with dipping the cheese. Your natural finger oils may cause cracking of the cheese wax. Use a natural boar’s hair brush instead. The reason why you want to use this kind of brush specifically is because other brushes will apply the cheese wax too thick, or with crevices, etc. This kind of brush is perfect for cheese waxing.
  7. You don’t need to use food-grade labels for your cheese, however, it’s smart to use a label on the outside of your cheese just prior to the last wax layer. That way you don’t have to worry about it falling off. Be sure to label not only the kind of cheese it is, but when it was waxed as well.
  8. cheese-wax-brushDon’t store your waxed cheese in additional containers. Just stack them on top of like cheeses and let them breathe. I like to hang them from the ceiling in a “fishing net” kind of contraption.
  9. Be sure to check for pockets or crevices that didn’t get sealed. Three thin layers of wax is a good practice. There’s no need to do more coats than that.
  10. The cheese surface should be clean and dry prior to waxing.
  11. If your 2nd and 3rd coats are applied while the prior coat is still a bit warm you will get a better adhesion.
  12. Cheese wax can be re-used several times. You can simply wash it in warm water, let it dry and then re-melt it. So when you remove cheese wax from your cheeses, you can simply reheat and reapply the wax. Simply heat the cheese wax to about 110 degrees Celsius. This will also ensure that you’re not transferring any bacteria or unnecessary moisture to your new cheese.
  13. You do not need to filter the cheese wax after you melt it. So don’t worry about that step.
  14. Your first coat will have some unevenness to it. Don’t worry. The 2nd and 3rd coat will even it out just fine.

cheese-wax-waxCheese wax can be found multiple places online or in your local health food stores. You should also have no problem finding a boar bristle brush either. It doesn’t really matter what color of cheese wax you use.

Once you get the hang of this cheese waxing stuff you can progress to making your own cheese from powdered milk in any flavor you decide! Yummy!

Enjoy the recipe below!

Kristen’s Cheesy Roughin’ It Enchiladas

1 can of tomato soup

1 can of cream of chicken soup

1 regular sized can of enchilada sauce

2 cups of canned chicken, drained

About 2 cups of your favorite shredded cheese

cheese-enchiladas2Make your sauce by combining the soups and the enchilada sauce.

Use enough flour or corn tortillas to line a large baking dish or Dutch oven with your enchiladas (About 12 to 15 depending on how big you stuff them). Be sure to spray your dish with some cooking spray.

Lightly coat the bottom of your tortilla with the sauce. Then add about 2 tablespoons of chicken, according to your desire. Top the chicken with about 2 tablespoons of cheese. Then roll up your tortilla and place seam side down in the dish. Continue until you’ve filled the dish a single layer deep. Once you’re finished, pour the remaining sauce over the top and top with the remaining cheese. Bake at 350 degrees for about 30 minutes until the cheese is completely melted. You can add chopped black olives, black beans, rice, or even green chilies to this recipe as well.

Copyright 2009 Kellene Bishop. All rights reserved.
You are welcome to repost this information so long as it is credited to Kellene Bishop.


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