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

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About The Goat Cheese Lady

I am Lindsey. At first I was a city girl. Then I was an urban farmgirl, attempting to balance city and farm life. Now, after moving to the country, I have embarked on life as a rural farmgirl, complete with my husband, the Animal Whisperer, man of exceptional knowledge and patience, two boys who are louder than my sister and I ever were, a herd of milking goats, and a flock of egg-laying chickens. Coyotes, mice, country dogs and prairie dogs are frequent visitors. Just 45 minutes north is Colorado Springs, the setting for our first six years in the goat world. Our family. Our city friends. Our introduction to cheesemaking. But we...and our growing farm and soon-to-be creamery...have set up shop down off of Highway 115 in Penrose, Colorado.
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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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