Tuesday, October 30, 2012

FARMSTEAD CHEESE CLASS

Recently my darling daughter and I signed up for a cheese making class at our island Mystery Bay Farm. I was thrilled to see another couple we knew as well as 2 others joining in the class.

It was a chilly fall day, but the rain held off so we only froze, but didn't get wet. Most of the lesson was in the barn with the goats, but we toured the farm and headed out to see the male goats in their separate pens. 

Milking season is winding down, so the males (and females are eager to mate). The females were still producing milk, but it was subsiding.

We had some instruction on the history of Rachael's goats, and were treated to a milking with Mochi, the head lady of the farm. She's the boss and there's no denying that. When we see them head up the hill toward our place for their dinner she's right out front, leading the way.

We all got a bit of 'hands on' milking experience and took turns milking Mochi- who was a very patient girl, so long as she had munchies to occupy her time.

Before we started on the next phase of our class, we took a break for a warm lunch I packed.


The barn cat, Feeny took it upon herself to take a position on Aleah's back pack to watch the goings on.

 
Making chevre isn't difficult, but it does take time, and since the class was only a few hours long we got to make ricotta from raw cows milk instead.

  
Raw cows milk, vinegar, and salt- that's it.

There was a lot of stirring involved while the milk came up to temp, then we scooped the curds into these cute little plastic baskets and let them set up.

And that was all. Super easy- I don't know how much Ricotta I'll actually make/eat, but it was a fun experience.

The best part was when we all headed to the garden to harvest some herbs and edibles from the garden. Rachael brought out the medallions of chevre. We each got to take 3 to decorate.

 
I loved seeing everyone's creativity as they decorated their little medallions.


But best of all I loved getting to take home (and eat) my little creations.