Friday, March 4, 2011
Blessed Are the Cheesemakers...
I milked a goat today at a friend's farm. Her (the goat) name was Peaches. She lives with 8 other goats, 13 rescue horses, 1 llama, 10 chickens, a rooster, and the memory of a recently dispatched duck. From all observances she grooves on Brrrr Lake farmlife. After all 4 goats were milked, we attempted cheese--gouda and mozzarella back in the kitchen. As with most things that you think must surely be effortless (spinning, riding a horse, getting alpacas in and out of a trailer, catching a llama, turning 8 acres into a hobby farm etc.) cheesemaking takes skill and precision--both of which alluded us today. We were supposed to heat the goat milk to 90 degrees. We hit 130 toot sweet, so whatever would have made the milk curdle I think we pretty much fried. On to mozarella. That went better...until we added salt after the second trip to the microwave with the elastic-like ball. The ball turned to hmmmm...think mashed potatoes with a rubber ball melted in. Or semi dry Playdoh. We theorize that the salt did that. Back to the drawing board. But it tasted wonderful. Elaine took it home and was going to add it to salad or something. Some sort of dish that would call for crumbled cheese. When we left, the gouda was still curdling. I'm guessing it was history. "The gouda was no gooda." At $6 a gallon, Paco is suggesting that we make fromage de chevre--goat cheese--sparingly.
One gallon yields just a little old ball once all the whey is extracted, so that may be a luxury. No where to go but up. We here at Grab a Teat Acres know all about up because we are always trying to look there.