Today’s Graduates of the Cheese Making Class!

 After the get-to-know-you-cup-of-coffee, here’s how class starts:

We throw the novices straight at the hardest-to-milk-goat. 

Rachel was brave.  She was not afraid.  She attacked the challenge head-on.  She took the bull by the horns. 

Or, I guess, the goat by the teats.

And got her first ever drip of milk out of an animal that was not herself when nursing her children.

Then, she got pretty good at it!  Notice the two small skinny white lines in the pan? 

Yes.  That is your mother boys.

Yes.  That is your wife, Art.

Yes.  She is milking a goat. 

She didn’t think you…or anyone else she knows, would believe it.

Well, Believe It.

She did.  And she never missed the pot.

Next up was a seasoned pro: Malina has raised milk goats for 35 years. 

She knows goats.

I know cheese. 

Malina knows goats.

I hope I have never mis-represented myself as the Goat Lady, for that is not my specialty.  I do cheese. 

The Animal Whisperer does goats.

Malina does goats. 

Note to future cheese making class students:  Start praying now that she shows up to one of the next classes.  You won’t regret it.

She is a wealth of information.  I may actually force cheese on her to get her to be our Special Guest Speaker at a future class. 

SHE is the GOAT LADY.

Thanks, Malina, for all of your wisdom and knowledge. 

And, Mary, who stormed into life 3 months premature, was fed breast milk in the ICU until her mom gave her goat’s milk.  The day after the goat’s milk, she ripped out the tubes and made her way OUT of the hospital as fast as possible.  Her mother swears by goat’s milk.

Mary has milked cows, but never goats.  She’s darn good at goats.

And, as an aside…Mary, put your husband on the phone now…”Hello Mary’s husband, this is the Goat Cheese Lady.  Get Mary a horse.  Nice talking with you.”

 

And, by the way, Mary’s husband, get Bryce a goat.  He’s good at milking too.

 “Can’t you see my bra no longer fits?  Get me out of here!  I’m dying!!”

 

 And, Rachel, back in action, and now almost a pro, becomes Canela’s best friend. 

When you’re a goat full of milk, there’s nothin’ like relieving some pressure.

Not that I’ve ever been a goat.

 Need I remind you, Mary’s husband?  Get her a horse.  Get Bryce a goat. 

At least two, actually.  Goats do better in groups.  They’re social, herd-type beings that are exceptionally loud if they’re alone.

 Rachel strains the milk to get out any hairs or dirt that fall in accidentally when milking.

 Mary finishes and we’re ready to start making the chevre.

 

It curdles after being heated and adding the vinegar and is ready to pour through the cheese cloth.

There’s no chance you’ll be successful in home cheese making if you don’t have these two ladies helping you tie up the bag. 

Mary adds the citric acid to the water to complete the first step in making the mozzarella.

And, you MUST use purple and pink gloves when forming and finishing your mozzarella. 

Two reasons: 

1.  The cheese gets REALLY hot.  Anywhere between 145 and 175 degrees.  Treatment of burns at the Goat Cheese Making Class is an extra charge.  We try to stay away from that.

2.  The standard yellow playtex gloves just don’t look as good as purple and pink.

It was at times like this that we discussed world peace, global warming and ocean floor exploration.

OK.  Not really.

But I wouldn’t put it past this group, because we really did discuss the “Omnivore’s Dilemma”, Animal Vegetable Miracle, Grant Family Farms CSA, Haggar Supply and Lasater Grass Fed Beef.

Mary pours the 200 degree ricotta curd and whey through the cheese cloth.

 The tying team takes over from there.

And the ricotta drips out.  That is whey coming out of the bag. 

Yes, like curds and whey for all of you Mary Had A Little Lamb fans out there.

 And now, for finishing the cheese. 

Scrape every last morsel out of the cheese cloth.  Chevre on the left, Ricotta on the right.  Scrapers are under intense supervision.

 She decided to go easy on them.

And, I made sure she washed her hands.

Actually, using your hands is the best way to do it.  You can get a more even texture to the Chevre that way.

She’s mixing in the spices.

Mary, advising us that commercial apples are injected with something to make them stay red longer.  Sick.

Malina, taking it in.

Rachel, noticing that the Animal Whisperer just fell of the deck.

Not really.

 And now, she’s recovered from the psuedo-shock.

And, almost ready to sit down to brunch, we notice this.  It appears a mouse has eaten a chunk out of the bread. 

Or, perhaps a prowling 3-year-old.

Mary:  “Brryyccee??? Did you touch the bread??”

 Bryce:  “uh-uh.”

M:  Man, that gives me a headache. 

R:  Here, I’ll punch you.  It’ll take away the pain.

The Animal Whisperer describes how he cares for the goats, chickens and bunnies. 

He is why we have a farm. 

He’s the strength behind this establishment.

And, most of the brains too, although don’t tell him I said that. 

Despite his bi-weekly remodel of the chicken coop to ensure that the chickens lay their eggs in the nesting boxes, THEY KEEP LAYING IN THE GOATS ALFALFA BOX.  Chickens are stubborn creatures.  And, it appears the Animal Whisperer may finally give in to their stubborn-ness.  At least for this week.

We had a great day.

Check out the cheese they got to bring home and devour all in one sitting.

Oh, ya, that would be me.

And check out that Goat Cheese Lady.  She’s one hot tamale.

Oh, ya, that would be me.

Till the next class…

–  The Goat Cheese Lady

About The Goat Cheese Lady

I am Lindsey. At first I was a city girl. Growing up, the closest thing I had to farm animals were a cat and a cockatiel. In 2009, Herbert (my husband) and I bought our first milk goat and I instantly became an urban farmgirl, attempting to balance city and farm life..before I knew “urban homesteading” was a thing. That’s when we began The Goat Cheese Lady Farm, hence The Goat Cheese Lady blog you’re visiting now. After moving to the country in 2014, I embarked on life as a rural farmgirl. We continued teaching farm and cheesemaking classes, raising more goats and began construction on our cheese creamery. But life had other plans and in 2017, we decided that, due to financial and health issues, we had to close the farm for business. No more classes, no more creamery, a lot less milking. We went back to off farm jobs, I as an Occupational Therapist, Herbert in construction with his business, D&A Home Remodeling. At that point, I made a silent promise to myself that I would corral my entrepreneurial mind and focus on a job for a year. Well, it has been a year and I am back. Not to classes, cheese, soap or lotion, but back to writing. I love it. I’m not sure where it will lead me, but that’s where I’m starting. I’ll continue to write as The Goat Cheese Lady for now, and whatever the future holds, I’ll let you know. Our two boys are 14 and 11 and continue to be louder than my sister and I ever were. We have two dogs, Montaña and Flash, a cat, Jumpy, a flock of chickens and three goats. Yes, we still have Lucy, the goat who helped us start it all and was milked by over 1,000 people. She’s retired but still the boss. Chocolate provides enough milk for our family with some to spare for the dogs. Soccer friends, school friends, coyotes and mice are frequent visitors. There are way too many flies and every so often we see an owl. I’m glad you’re here. Sometimes you’ll laugh out loud, other times you’ll be inspired to appreciate the small things. My hope is that, over your morning cup of coffee or your afternoon work break, you’ll enjoy the antics and inspiration that are my daily life. Lindsey
This entry was posted in Cheese Making, Farm Life, Milking. Bookmark the permalink.

3 Responses to Today’s Graduates of the Cheese Making Class!

  1. Melanie says:

    You get to meet a lot of fabulous women (and some fabulous men, too, I’m sure). I’m working my way through your blog from oldest to newest (ok I already read many of the newest) post. Fun, fun, informative, more fun and laughter too!

  2. Melina says:

    Had a great time with all the girls, human and caprine!

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