My friends brought us a quart of fresh goat milk last night, so what did I do? That’s right, I made cheese.

This time, I didn’t quibble about measuring at all; I just used the remainder of the first culture packet. When I had mixed it in (about 7:30 last night), I sealed up the jar and put it in an insulated, soft-sided cooler along with a rice-filled pillow that we had microwaved for a minute (works wonders as a heat pack).

I let that sit overnight and opened it about 9 this morning. The curd had firmed nicely (solid and springy to the touch, but easily punctured or cut with a finger or utensil), so I broke it up with a spoon and spooned it into the muslin-lined colander to drain. I let it drain (saving the whey, of course) until about 11:30. I checked it then to make sure the muslin hadn’t clogged, and I determined that the curd was dry enough for my taste. I also tasted some, and found the flavor to be a little stronger than the last batch. This may have resulted from the slightly longer setting time before draining the curd.

This time, instead of leaving the curds plain, I put them into a food processor and added a bit of diced onion and chives. When blended, I found I had made a beautifully creamy cheese that spreads better than butter. My first homemade shmear! (Technically, though, shmear is supposed to be whipped, not just blended.) The results are delicious, especially on my wife’s homemade French bread, and I continue my epic cheesemaking quest.