Friday, May 6, 2011

Making cheese

Whenever our goats produce more milk than we can drink or give away, I like to make cheese.

Over the years I’ve tried making Gouda, Mozerella, Ricotta, Queso Blanco, and Cheddar, but I don’t really like the way these turn out with goat milk. The variety I have the most success with is a soft, spreadable cheese, like what you might buy in the grocery store labeled “Chèvre.” It’s also the easiest to make since it sets up overnight, then in the morning all I have to do is strain and season it, and it’s ready to eat.

I’ve also tried to make Feta on several occasions. It’s a much more complicated cheese, involving cutting and cooking the curds, draining, cutting, salting, aging, and brining. So far I have not had a single successful batch, but I’m trying again because I love Feta and it’s meant to be made with goat milk.

Today I’m going to see if the batch I started two weeks ago is ready to be brined. The last time I got to the brining stage, it hadn’t dried long enough and the blocks of cheese all dissolved within a day of being put into the brine, so I’m going to make a small batch of brine and put one block into it, and see what happens. The rest of the cheese will have to wait in the fridge.

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