Tuesday, August 27, 2013
Making Goat Milk Cheese
This weekend was very busy. I am trying to do so many things to get caught up so I can get into the fall spirit. I would just love to walk into my kitchen and it not be a mess of canning jars, buckets of apples, and puzzle pieces (courtesy of my three year old). I have visions of a beautiful walnut table with a center piece of fresh cut Limelight hydrangeas in the middle, instead of piles of homeschool books and supplies. I wish my floors were shiny instead of streaked with mud and standing water from the kids running in and out of the house from the barn and pool. I do realize that would mean my kids would not get to fully enjoy living on a farm to do that, and I want them to enjoy every minute!
I wanted to do something productive yesterday and in the middle of the mess, I somehow came to the conclusion that making cheese was just that thing. We have been milking our goat, Bernice, for about 2 months now. She gives about 3/4 to a half gallon of milk a day. I had some extra and had been eying a video on youtube of a farmer making it with only apple cider vinegar. I figure I can't go wrong with that and it does not cost a thing, since I had everything on hand.
I started by putting a half gallon of milk in a heavy sauce pot and heating it to the boiling point, to which I then add a 1/4 cup of apple cider vinegar and the milk began to curd. I was half way to making my first batch of homemade cheese and had not spoiled a thing yet...YEAH!!! I turned off the heat and continued to stir until it did not curd any more. I poured my curd and whey mixture into a dish towel over a strainer and a large stock pot.
I just have to say that owing my own milking goat has been a investment totally worth it. We have already recouped what we paid for her in calf milk replacer and at least 6 to 8 gallons of milk over the last few weeks. In the afternoon and early morning when I am out milking and everything is quiet it is just a moment of silence that can make your day perfect. There is time to think. You can talk to the Lord while you milk and no one bothers you...... for just a moment. But then you go in the house to eat your crackers and cheese and then remember, the reality is 2 children under the age of 6 ate a whole box of crackers in one sitting. What can you do but just smile and go on with your day.