Saturday, September 10, 2011

The Fate of Cheese

Congratulations to Alex who next month will be working as a java developer in the IT department of a bank in Reading. New job, walking to work; what's not to like?

I was talking on the phone to my sister, mentioning that every afternoon when Adrian came home from his work in the cheese factory in deepest Somerset (very Archers!) we have the same conversation.

"How was work today?"


"Any interesting events?"

(Thinks) ... "Not really."

and so on.

But yesterday was different. It turns out that he'd been given the job of scraping mould off the cheese. For a while I didn't understand exactly what he meant but eventually I got it. The cheese (cheddar, hard) comes in large slabs - several kilograms, and they often have some mould around the edges: apparently this is a normal part of the cheese-making process. But today there were a couple of palettes which were pretty far gone. Worst, apparently, is the rather disgusting liquid which runs off.

"You threw the rotten cheese away, I presume?"

"No, we cut off the mould and the cheese continues with the process."

"And then you throw the mould away?"

"No, that's valuable too. We package it up and it's used for further processing. It's what they use to make processed cheese - you know, like for cheeseburgers."

A gasp goes round the room as we all make a private vow never to touch processed cheese again.


Clare is making steady progress towards restoring her strength. Today she told me she can shower without using a stool to sit down on. She plans to make a further attempt to attend Mass this evening, before the predicted hurricane hits us tomorrow.