Yesterday, I learned how cheese and clogs are made in the Netherlands! What an experience – this cheese and clog factory was out on a farm in the quaint Holland countryside, and I believe the family who owns it makes pretty much everything by themselves (including the bathroom soap, lol). It was quite an enlightening lesson that I am excited to share with you!
How to Make Your Own Cheese at Home:
First, pour fresh cow’s milk into this vat (with some other liquids, I can’t remember what):
Once the milk has cooled to a certain temperature (because it’s too warm after being freshly milked from the cow, heh), the curds will separate from the rest of the liquid. Use the curds to make the cheese!
You can add spices and herbs to the curds for a little kick of flavor.
Pour curds into a round “bowl,” seal it, and place it under a machine that squeezes it with a lot of pressure to create the cheese’s round shape.
Finally, preserve the cheese by coating it with wax and plastic! Well, maybe an optional step before coating the cheese: hard cheeses take about 8 months to mature. So if this is the flavor that you want, you’ll have to have a bit of patience… And when I say hard, I mean hard. Our demonstrator banged the cheese onto the wall and it made no difference.
How to Make Your Own Clogs at Home
All you gotta do is take a piece of semi-wet wood and start shaving:
Once you’ve fashioned the general shape of the shoe, start boring a hole inside so you can stick your foot in it:
And then you’re pretty much done! Easy, right?
Haha well, it only took this guy who’s been doing it for 18 years around 20 minutes to make the outline of this one shoe. He learned the art from his dad, and I’m assuming that his dad learned from his dad’s dad, and so on. In the end, he claimed that he could make these clogs with his eyes closed. I could believe that!
Why are clogs such a big deal here? Because they are super handy and multi-purpose. They can be worn during farming, gardening, skateboarding…
Finally, it’s important to always wear your clogs a bit larger on your feet!
I took his word to heart:
In all, that was a pretty cool experience, especially watching how clogs were made. It also made me realize how sustainable the Europeans are; the wood shavings from the clogs are used as fuel to smoke the cheese next door. And once the clogs are all worn out, they could be hung on the wall as a decorative flower pot 😉 America could really take a few pointers from these people.
Have you ever eaten Dutch cheese or worn a pair of clogs?!
Thanks for reading!