A funny thing happens when you’re The Goat Cheese Lady. Nearly every weekend, people drive down the driveway, park near the Tie Your Horses Here sign (note to readers: we have no horses. That’s The Animal Whisperer’s way of saying Park Here. Thank you though, to all of you kind souls who have consciously avoided parking there, so you wouldn’t get in the way of the horses.), and come in to take a class. You meet lots of really neat people that way.
And, that’s how I met Karen. She drove down the driveway quite a few months ago, and took her first class, learned to milk the goats, make mozzarella, soft goat cheese and ricotta. Then, a little later, took her second, the same class again. Then, later, her third, where she learned how to make hard cheese, yogurt and cottage cheese. She is tied for the record for people who have taken the most classes.
But, another thing happened with Karen. She became a Cheese Mother. I think that was her term. And, she called me one too, when she bestowed upon me one of the greatest honors any Cheese Mother can have.
To Our House
Now, that’s truly an honor.
Why? You might ask?
Well, once you get the cheese making bug, you can’t stop. You realize that making soft cheese is good, but making hard cheese, artisan cheese, is An Art. An Art that is to be honored, appreciated. It ties you to the past thousands of years, and all who have come before you and transformed milk into the miraculous wonder that is cheese.
If all you’ve ever eaten was plastic wrapped cheese from the grocery store, you are missing the art, the aging, the subtle or strong flavors, the creativity, the story, the patience, the experience of Aged, Hard, Artisan Cheese.
So, when you cut into a round of artisan hard cheese with someone, especially the first one they have ever made, it is an honor. It’s like unwrapping a gift you’ve been waiting for, watching, observing, guessing about, hoping about, for weeks. 8 weeks in Karen’s case. You hope it is edible. You hope it turned out right. You hope it’s worth the wait. And, when you’re new at cheesemaking, you have no idea what to expect when you cut into it.
It’s like waiting all year for Santa to come and forcing yourself to fall asleep Christmas Eve so Christmas morning will come faster.
It’s a gift.
Thank you Karen for sharing your delicious cheese with us.
– Your Fellow Cheese Mother and Friend, The Goat Cheese Lady