Today’s Cheese Graduates – Take 2!!

Let the squirting begin!!!

My mom.  Patty.  A full paying customer she is proud to say. 

No mom’s gettin’ off free around here.  But, she did get the family 25% discount. 

She didn’t accept it.  She paid full price. 

Thanks, Mom.

Peggy.  Learning every way possible to convince her husband to let her have some goats.  She successfully, (and rather shocked…look at her face), milked Lilac.  I’m not sure he’ll be convinced, but I’ll keep my fingers crossed!

Helena.  She raises a “slew” of horses and loves them.  But hadn’t ever milked a goat until today.  And, she did it!!

And now, introducing the master milker of the group:  Kelly! 

She took to it like butter on bread.  Or some saying like that. 

She even got it down 2 handed!  Look at her go!

And, back at the house, it took 2 to strain the milk. 

It came out a little dirty due to dropping hairs, impatient goats and new milking hands, but no worries…that’s why Louis Pasteur discovered pasteurization!

They teamed up…Patty and Kelly on one team.  Helena and Peggy on the other.  This way, each person got a great amount of hands on time!  (But you have to keep an eye on your partner.  Make sure their hands are REALLY clean, they’ll be touching YOUR cheese.  But just know that they’ll be keeping an eye on YOU too.)

Peggy is cutting the mozzarella curd into cubes.

The Chevre is dripping out.  (ie.  the curd is staying in the cloth, the whey is dripping out.)

We take a break to eat:  They loved it. 

It’s easy to love it when you’re starving. 

That’s all part of my plan, you see.  Starve the students.  Then let them eat.  Then, even if everything tastes horrible, they will love it. 

It works. 

The good news is, it did turn out well: Mozzarella cheese, Ricotta cheese, Garlic Herb Chevre, warm goat’s milk with sugar, farm fresh eggs with garden fresh tomatoes, strawberries, maple goat’s milk yogurt, homemade, home-ground whole wheat bread, apple juice, homemade chunky peach jam and locally roasted coffee from Toby at High Rise Coffee Roasters.

Finishing the Chevre to make Garlic Herb Chevre.

It tastes even better if you SQUEEZE it through you fingers!!  It gets all the herbs mixed in and evens out the consistency.

And now, finishing the mozzarella!  You HAVE to wear gloves!  The water to heat up the curd is 175 degrees!

Preferably pink and purple.

Forming the mozzarella cheese curd into ballish type things that got into the hot water.

Mozzarella curd being worked.  More ballish type things.

And this GLOB is supposed to turn into mozzarella???  It is quite possible they were questioning my sanity at that moment.

But, it did.  Kelly and Patty stretching the mozzarella curd.

Helena and Peggy weren’t sure their curd stretching would live up to Patty and Kelly’s, but it did.  Smooth, shiny, stretchy.  The 3 S’s of mozzarella.

Say that 3 times fast.

OK, I just did it, it’s not really that hard. 

I dare you to try 10 times fast.

3 S’s of mozzarella.  3 S’s of mozzarella.  3 S’s of mozzarella…..

Next, try typing it 3 times fast.  Harder.  A finger twister.

And finally, the easiest of all cheeses, whey Ricotta!  But really, the hardest, because you have to make mozzarella first to get the whey necessary for the whey Ricotta.  Bummer.

Only a tiny bit from one gallon of milk!  But nothing goes to waste!

Their take home pay.  Pay dirt.  Gold.  Hand made, home-made, hand milked Ricotta (top), Mozzarella (middle), and Garlic Herb Chevre (bottom.) 

To be savored.

And, the joyful graduates on a beautiful fall afternoon.

Thank you Peggy, Kelly, Helena and Mom, for the great class today!  It was a pleasure to meet you and to learn your stories!

–  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
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