Judith Schad of Capriole Farms in Greenville, Indiana (in an area known as Kentuckiana) is one of my favorite people. Not only is she great fun, she is among the most knowledgeable cheese makers anywhere, a true farmstead producer. In 1978, she, her husband Larry and three children moved to an 80 acre farm which they later found to have been in Larry's family from the early 1800's to the late 1950's. They modified the original barn and purchased goats as a 4-H project for their children. The children have grown and gone, and Judy and Larry now have new kids, over 200 Alpine, Sannen and Nubian dairy goats. That's a lot of goat's milk!!! What does one do with goat milk? If you're Judith Schad, you make cheese!!

Having begun with fresh creamy chèvres, always inquisitive Judy, who loves fresh, tasty foods, tried her hand at French-style affiné cheeses. Among these soft-ripened, fancifully named cheeses, the Wabash Cannonball is a favorite among chefs. This small boulet looks just like a cannonball, round in shape with a coating of black-gray vegetable ash covered by a layer of blooming white mold. It is slightly dense and chalky in texture when young, and becomes more creamy under the rind as it ages. Ripening is 8-10 days, allowing the slightly acidic flavor to develop to a more mellow taste. It should be eaten young, although many appreciate its more pronounced flavor when aged a week longer.

As with all cheeses, serve at room temperature. Delightful with fruit such as figs, and a good accompaniment to fruity wines such as Beaujolais and those of the Rhône. Sofia Solomon Tekla, inc.