Saturday, February 22, 2014

Did someone say Cheese? February 22, 2014

My ladies are getting rounder and starting to look as if they are really overfeed, but we are seeing changes and we know goat's milk is on its way.  I have to really start learning how to make cheese.  The farmer posted on Facebook she was planning a cheese class.  I want to take the class and so does Mr. Bootsie, he is in for anything involving good food and cheese is good food.  Today, February 22, 2014 the cheese class was held and we hosted the class in our kitchen.  What a thrill to meet like minded folks who are interested in making their cheese,  There was talk of milk shares, goats, sheep and cows.

The milk was  simmering on the stove, yogurt in the proofer, another cheese being drained and I was just amazed.  Curds and whey I have heard the nursery rhyme all my life and today it became real.  Mr. Bootsie has made a real simple cheese but this was like cheese country.  I learned quickly you can do other things while the cheese is processing.  There were 2 types of cheese made, Brie and another like provolone, temperature of the milk and type of ingredients added is what changes the flavors.  There was lots of time to sample and sample we did.  Yogurt was the best I have ever tasted.  The cheese decorated with flowers is chevre, There was chevre with flavored with ginger,  cinnamon, walnuts and herbs.  Wine and cheese go together, wine jigglers with the chevre were the best.  

The milk came to temperature, the cultures and rennent were added.  The magic started, we could see the cheese forming,  it was time to cut the cheese into squares and there I stood amazed to see this process happen.   After draining the whey it was time to put the cheese in to the cheese press.  

After the cheese was put into the press, the farmer started introducing the different cheeses she was making.  The sampling began, and we ate until the other cheese was put into the press.  I have been so impressed with the farmer and her knowledge,  she has a wonderful gift of sharing.  Many of you in Central Virginia will know the farmer, Valerie Trjan is a good friend of our little farm,  without her and her Lou, we would not be having little goat babies this spring, there would be no cheese coming after we start milking because we would not be thinking of milking.  Valerie has been a helpful neighbor taking our duck eggs and putting them in her incubator, the good news is, yes, our eggs were fertile and Yes, there will be little yellow fluff balls with orange beaks  swimming in a few weeks here on the farm.

I added to Mr. Bootsie's to do list as there is a cheese press in our future and he said he can make it.  I just wanted to share with you this lovely presentation of cheese.  There is blue, Swiss, Brie and some I don't remember the names of, but they were all yummy!!!   I have been reading about the how's and why's of making cheese but cheese came to life for me today.  I hope all of you are ready for our goat babies and cheese, because this farmer is filled with joy just thinking I can make all of these wonderful cheeses.  

This is another move toward us being able to provide for ourselves.  I know it may take a while for my cheese to look this delicious and have the flavors I enjoyed today.  But now I know it is possible and I will be working on learning the process of cheese making.  

All of this is fun, but the goat barn needs mucking, this is going to be the first order of business for me next week.  Time for me to start the tomato and pepper seeds.  I want the first seedling ready to plant in the garden April 15th.  Here we go again!  Isn't it wonderful the circle just keep going and going.

Have a great week, I'll be back real soon with more happenings on Triple Creek Farm!!!