We have finally been getting enough milk from Lily-goat to drink and make cheese! It is nice because this was the whole point in getting goats, and at last it has paid off. I don't mean to say that they aren't great pets - they really are - but to have goat milk from our own goat is really nice. The milk prices are on a rise because of the drought, and it is convenient to have our own. As you know, Lily is not actually our goat, but the agreement was in such a way that we have to milk her and we get the milk.
So today I made cheese. I used a recipe that I found online because I lost the one that we had used before when we were getting milk from friends. The original link is here if you are interested. I didn't follow the recipe exactly, though; I supplemented it with what I remembered from our other cheese making experiences, and it turned out well. What I like to do is, after the cheese is done, put it in a jar with olive oil and herbs. It doesn't have to be refrigerated and is really tasty.
- Pour one quart of goat milk into a saucepan on the stove and bring it to 86 degrees. I use a candy thermometer to stir it and measure the temperature.
- Add one tablespoon of cultured buttermilk and stir in.
- Add five drops vegetable rennet to one tablespoon of water, and then stir that into the milk and buttermilk mixture.
- Let that sit for two hours in a relatively warm place. If your kitchen is not warm, put the pot in an 86 degree water-bath.
- After two hours, stir, and then let sit for another thirty minutes.
- Drain for eight hours or overnight through a cheesecloth so that the whey separates. See how I do this below.
- Cut into chunks and sprinkle salt over the pieces. Let that sit for about two hours.
- Put the cheese into a jar and sprinkle basil, oregano, salt, and pepper over each layer.
- Fill the jar with olive oil. Make sure all of the cheese is covered. Store in the pantry for up to a year.
This is the rennet I used - I'm not sure where we originally got it.
After it sat for two hours, I stirred it up and then left it for thirty minutes more.
Then, I poured the congealed mixture into a cheesecloth that was sitting in a small colander that was sitting in a pot that was sitting on the counter. :)
Here, you can see the colander because I am lifting up the cheesecloth:
After a few hours of draining, I pinned the sides up and clipped it over the sink so more whey could drain out.
Then , I cut it up into slices, about a quarter of an inch thick and maybe a half inch long. I really don't care if my cheese pieces look like they came out of a magazine, so I don't bother to make them perfect.
I salted them with pink Himalayan salt (that has great health benefits), and stuck them in a bowl in the refrigerator overnight. I'm not sure if keeping it at a low temperature is necessary, but I didn't want to take any chances.
In the morning, I layered the cheese in a pint jar with dried basil, oregano, and a bit of black pepper. (I like pepper. It is my *ahem* 'one weakness').
I then filled the jar with olive oil, and into the pantry it went. No, that's a lie. I had to eat some first.
Just so you know, you can make this ridiculously easy cheese from cow milk as well. And the nice thing is, it is only heated to 86 degrees so the milk remains raw. Big plus! I have made it with cow milk before and it was tasty, but I still like the goat milk better. :)
Do any of you make cheese? I'd love to hear about it!