cheese making 101

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I was really thrilled to go and make feta cheese with my back road buddy and goat herder / milk maid extrodonare.  The process was pretty straight forward and involved lots of sterilizing and waiting around.. luckily we had wine and lots to gab about while we were waiting for the cheese to do it’s thing.

I have made paneer and lemon / vinegar cheeses in past with some success but I had never used rennet or attempted a hard cheese before last week, and I think these feta’s are just darling, and darn tasty.

We used 6 L of goat milk courtesy of miss daisy the lovely white Nubian goat you see above. We warmed the milk then added culture, then rennet and cold water, then I giggled like a little boy as my friend showed me how to “cut the cheese”, she was a pro at it ;). There was a lot of stirring in gentle figure 8’s (the same way I stir my risotto) then we portioned the beautiful curds which magically appeared into little baskets and flipped them often to allow them to drain and set. Her chooks got the whey and we were left with 4 lovely rounds (about 1.2 kg of feta cheese). After a night of draining she made a salt water brine, and the rounds have been steeping in that salty bath for a week. I just cut into my wheel as I shot this final picture and am enjoying a big ‘ol slice right now! YUM.

Having goats is soooooooooo on my future agenda, seeing as I moved to the country to have goats and make cheese. I feel one tiny step closer to realizing that dream after my first feta lesson. And I am so grateful that their are so many charming goat keepers close by, all to eager to share some goat husbandry wisdom with me! I see feta recipes in my future… stay tuned.

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