Cricket Song Farm

Cricket Song Farm

Sunday, February 21, 2016


Thirty years ago when I first began milking my beautiful Nubian Dairy Goats, and drinking the milk           -raw- (gasp), I was constantly ridiculed about my life style. Yes, people couldn't imagine eating "Goat Cheese" or even fathom how wonderful and tangy freshly made yogurt tasted.
 You see, I knew that the food typically sold in the grocery store was not what I wanted to eat or serve my children.  Growing most of our food was a top priority on my list.
Goat cheese was a main stay, a quick cheese set with vinegar was easily made within a few minutes.  Squeeky Mozzerella still warm from the colander, sliced and layered between freshly picked tomatoes, sprinkled with basil, drizzled with olive oil and dash of mineral sea salt brought sighs of contentment.  Adding cheese and chopped herbs to the centers of squash blossoms, rolling them in batter and deep frying, was one of our favorite meals. 
"You eat what?"
"You mean you pick the blossoms and eat them?"
"You put goat cheese in them?"
I really tried to be patient with people and not let the comments get to me, but I just couldn't resist feeding them (we have lived in quite a few towns so no one will know for sure where) a delicious pasta salad filled with fresh veges from my garden and freshly made goat cheese!  We had gathered together for a potluck meal and several even told me how delicious my salad was.  I just smiled and said thank you, but thought to myself, "I wonder what they would think if they knew they were eating (gasp) "Goat Cheese".
Today I am sitting in a motel, I am fortunate to be taking a portrait painting class and I am exhausted.  For several days I have been standing hour after hour painting so intensely my head swims, I am  sitting on the bed with my aching feet propped up on a pillow.  What a great experience!!!! I learned so much, having the opportunity to learn from one of the greatest painters on earth is such an honor!
As I flip through the TV channels finding something to watch, I don't have cable so I always enjoy watching the home remodeling and food channels when I am out of town.  Tonight I am watching cooking competitions.  What, -------one of the contestants is being coached by some famous female chef, I don't remember her name, but guess what they are making------- fresh squash blossoms stuffed with goat cheese, battered and fried----- and in the next show goat cheese was used again.  I know it has been the "in" thing in fancy restaurants for a while, and it sure is great to see it becoming main stream and offered in your local grocery store.  However, it just doesn't taste as good as your own home made.

How to make easy.

Use regular vinegar to set the cheese.  Lemon juice will also work.

Heat the milk in a large stainless or enamel pan. Heat it over medium heat. 
I generally use 1 or 2 gallons.

When the milk is hot enough it will form a skin over top.  I usually let mine come to a boil and promptly remove from heat.  Let sit for about 5 minutes.  Add the vinegar and stir it in. I add 3/4 cup vinegar for each gallon of milk. The acid in the vinegar will immediately set the cheese.  Leave it to rest for an hour or more.

The acid separates the fat solids immediately.

In about an hour it will look like this.
Pour the cheese and whey into a colander placed over a large pan to catch the whey.  Use the whey in your cooking or feed it to your chickens.
The whey left over from making mozzarella cheese can be made into a ricotta cheese.

When the whey has sufficiently drained off, add sea salt.  Let the cheese sit overnight in the colander to continue to drain.  You can also place in a cheese cloth and hang if you prefer a denser, firmer cheese.  Keep refrigerated.  

For more of my easy quick cheese recipes check out the book Caprine Cooking 
by Mary Jane Toth

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