Well, we opened it tonight, and about a third of the two pound wheel is already gone. I think that means it passed muster with the crew, so I'll be making some more in the next couple of days. Hooray for us, we actually made some pretty decent hard cheese!
The color was an almost startlingly bright white, the flavor was a nice semi-sharp with perhaps a little too much acid but not seriously out of character, and the texture was somewhat dry and flaky. (The book mentioned it would be dry-ish and flakey - that was fine by me.) We chose this cheese for our first hard cheese because it's ready in only 4 weeks, as opposed to at least three months for most of the other hard cheese recipes. I used the recipe for Farmhouse Cheddar in the cheese book listed at the bottom of the blog - so far it's been a winner! We're going to make another one or two cheddars in the next couple of weeks, plus a couple of camemberts and a couple of small bleus. I will probably need to make something pretty much every week in order to build up our "cheese cellar" to the point that we can have enough to use more often than once a month. I think it will be fun, though!
Here is a picture of the freshly opened cheese: