Have I mentioned lately that I love my goats? Holly is my Alpine and Nelly, in the background, is my Oberhasli. Owning a pair of dairy goats has provided me with a greater appreciation for dairy farmers and the life they live to provide us with all the dairy products! Let me say that owning a dairy goat requires much dedication and work including milking twice a day every twelve hours. However, all is justified by their inquisitive nibbles…and of course, their wonderful milk!
I’ve been exploring the cheesemaking possibilities since we can’t drink as much milk as they’re producing in one day! I’ve had great success with ricotta and chevre. My most recent attempt at feta was also successful. However, mozarella from goats milk (and even purchased cows milk) ended in disaster! Haven’t quite figured out what went wrong with the whole process??? But, the chickens enjoyed the ‘spoils’! I’ve even baked bread and scones with the whey (the liquid that separates from the solids during cheesemaking). Yum!
Here is some of my nicely packaged chevre for family and friends. At first, I used small plastic containers with screw-on lids made for freezer jams…but it’s additional work with all the washing and cleaning. Then you never seem to have enough containers when you need them. So, I weighed and wrapped the cheese in plastic wrap, wrapped again in freezer paper and adhered a label to identify the cheese/herbs. Here’s a hint – do not use parchment paper cuz nothing sticks to it! DA!!! As more fresh herbs begin to thrive in the garden, I’ll be sure to explore with new cheeses!
July is shaping up to be a busy month. There are a number of 4H projects that will need to be completed, including goat’s milk soap. I’ve also be working with several artists to host a market of sorts during the Romeo Garden Walk on July 12. I’m teaching a fiber class or two at my shop…and have the needlefelting kits almost completed. I’m very excited about the fiber art show at Castle Farms in Charlevoix the last weekend in July. And of course, the currants will need pick’n for jelly.
Well, 6 A.M. milking comes aweful early, so I’d better get to bed! See ya… Jen