I started talking to other cheesemongers. They can be a grumpy group, but I'd visit again and again and ask for offbeat offerings. The more I learned, the more I wanted to try crafting simple ingredients into amazing flavors. Making cheese turned out to feel like a big brain stretch. You focus on basic things, like watching milk change, and your mind gets quiet.
My apartment is tiny, but it has become something of a workshop. A kitchen hook drains soft cheeses into the sink. Two small fridges age my wheels of Cheddar and Manchego. I make cheese every week, and I've been teaching mozzarella classes as well, so huge pots and bowls are perched on shelves. Anyone who walks in can tell who I am: I'm a cheesemaker.
—As told to Nicole Frehsee