Tag Archive: goat cheese

Skill: Craft (Cheese) +1

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.


Blessed are the Cheesemakers

Sometime in the last year, my mentor and his wife got a couple of goats and offered us some goat milk. This got me excited to make goat cheese. I love cheese of almost any kind, but goat cheese I find almost irresistible.

So my wife bought me goat-cheesemaking stuff for my birthday and Christmas, including a cool-looking book about small-scale production of goat cheese (translated from French and originally written by Canadian nuns–awesome).

OK, I get into the book and find it’s a scientific treatise on production of cheese. I got to the first cheese “recipe” last night, on page 44. The preceding chapters discussed definition and composition of milk, maintenance and sterilization of equipment, production and use of bacterial cultures, and all sorts of other related stuff. You wonder why it took me two months to read through 44 pages?  Totally worth it, though. And the book will really come in handy when we build Rivendell (our dream home).

Anyway, I got to the first cheese recipe yesterday, and I’m pretty excited to make cheese. It still may not happen for another month, but we’ll see.