Wednesday, May 5, 2010

Wooden Shoes and Gouda Cheese

Sorry for the delay of this post. I tried to get it up yesterday but had technical difficulties getting the video uploaded - directly and through Youtube. Still having problems with it today. It loads about 40% and then stops. To say I'm not technically savvy is an understatement, so if anyone has any tips for me, please email me at I'd love for you all to see the video. Now on to our regularly scheduled blog post.

After leaving Keukenhof, we hopped back on the bus and headed over to a local farmer's place.

This farmer made gouda cheese. For those of you that don't know me, I'm a cheese-aholic. I love just about any kind of cheese, but gouda is a particular favorite.When we arrived, we petted the cows. A calf had been born just that day. It was so sweet.

Then we were ushered into the barn. There, the farmer's wife explained the process of making cheese and how to tell (at least in the Netherlands) if cheese was farm-made or factory-made. It's evident by the shape of the label on the cheese.Next, we shuffled into the next room, because cheese making isn't as profitable as one would think. At least, on their small scale. They supplemented their income by making wooden shoes.

This is where we were treated to a demonstration by the farmer himself. He was a trip! It was fun to watch him start from a block of wood and end up with a shoe.Finally, we got to shop. They had a small souvenir store with his shoes, cheese and other items. They carried four different types of gouda cheese - traditional, mustard, pepper, and garlic/herb, as well as a smoked with ham cheese. Yummy! The cheese with the mustard seed was my favorite. I got some of all the different kinds of cheese and some wooden shoes.

Tomorrow is my visit to the Anne Frank House.


Mary Ricksen said...

Cheese making is rather involved I thought. I wonder if the wooden shoes are really wearable. Or if they hurt?

Felicia S. said...

It sounds like you are having a fantastic trip. I am a cheese lover but I don't know if I would want to be around while it is being made, is it stinky?

Rachel Lynne said...

Cool! I wish I could travel with you but reading about it almost as good!

Riley Quinn said...

We didn't get to actually watch the cheese being made. The farmer's wife showed us some props and explained the procedure. It sounds like a pretty involved process.

Mary, you can wear the shoes if you get the correct size. In fact, a lot of Dutch people wear them in the garden and whatnot.

Maeve said...

If I were with you, I'd eat myself to death but what a way to go! I LOVE cheese too.

Arianna Skye said...

Sounds fun! We have a wooden shoe factory in a nearby town. They have a big festival going on right now. I wonder if I can get some fresh Gouda or Edam there (My father is a Dutch transplant from Enschede). My grandmother always had the yummiest cheeses from the local dutch store. We have a huge Dutch community in West Michigan. Great blog! Thanks for sharing :-)

Arianna Skye

Autumn Shelley said...

You almost miss Texas and I only wish I were in Germany!!! Thanks for taking us along, I would have totally loved this trip. Hopefully I will get to visit before you leave.
Do you have your mouse ears ready????
"Blood Moon"
in Taming of the Wolf
available NOW from The Wild Rose Press

Riley Quinn said...

Isn't it the best, Maeve? What's your favorite kind?

I didn't know you were from MI, Arianna. I'm from OH.

You've got one albatross off your neck, Shel. I'm waiting.

GPS said...

I'm a cheese lover too so this was really interesting. I'm looking forward to your post on the Anne Frank House.

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