How beautiful is thy Parm!


Ten months of aging has brought about this little beauty!  Weighing just about two and a half pounds, my first ever parma style cheese is a great success.  Since this cheese was made last fall, I was able to age it mostly in the mud room.  The temp was a pretty consistent 55-60 degrees.  This spring I moved it into the new Grotto – constantly 55 degrees.  The rind is the brownish tint you would expect and is thin enough to ignore (eat!).  The cheese has the granular texture of a Grana/parma style cheese (you can see from the way it breaks in the middle).  It grates wonderfully and it tastes like HEAVEN!  Well, no, it tastes like a really good quality cheese should!

I’ve got three more of these beauties aging up and then…I also have the “Stoopidest Parm Ever”.  I made a parm with spring milk and it is poorly consolidated, crumbly and being really badly behaved in the Grotto.  It’s attracting undesirable mold, and needs far more attention that it should.  I’ve decided that, if it continues to misbehave, were going to EAT IT!  It won’t be aged, but it will be cheese.

What’s new in the Grotto? Cheese, of course.


My newest aging space…my new age space.20150531_151642


Russ built a “cool” controller for the Grotto.  It cycles the power, on and off, to keep the fridge at 55 degrees.  There’s the inventory hanging on the side – 29 wonderful – slow-food cheeses!

15 Traditional Cheddar, 4 parmesans, 4 Crottin de Chavignol, 4 Camembert,  1 farmhouse cheddar and 1 Ibores




Sweet dreams are made of cheese.


Cheddar cheese….the staple of all cheese life.  Sure, mozzarella is nice, but nothing beats the tangy bite, smooth paste and lusciousness of a well aged cheddar.

This baby was 8 months old when we cracked the shell.  What a pure delight Open-mouthed smile

There are 14 friends in the Grotto, refining their character.

Willamette Cascade Model Railroad Club Show & Sale


We visited the WCMRR Club Show & Sale on April 19, 2015. The event was mostly a sale, but there were some nice model train displays. In order of scale, smallest to largest:

N scale – very nice, small layout.


HO scale – the WCMRR Club modular layout.

HO-scale-1-sm HO-scale-2-sm

O27 (Lionel) scale – classic three rail Lionel layout.

O27-scale-1-sm O27-scale-2-sm

7 1/2” gauge – engine in the process of being rebuilt. This is ride-on size.


I also got a classic book, Narrow Gauge in the Rockies, with some great history of the old west. (I have a first edition.)

Link to the club web site: