How it Started

When I was 12, I found a blank ledger book. It was a treasure beyond treasure to me. I debated and debated about what to do with it - it had to be something special. Finally I decided to make a list of things I wanted to do and places I wanted to see in my life and then cross them off when I had accomplished them. At first they were simple things, but soon I was adding dramatic things, impossible things, but things still worth dreaming about. Oddly enough, putting them on the list somehow made them attainable. I have kept the book and updated the list my entire life. Here is the story behind some of the entries - successes and failures, embarrassing and proud moments, laughter and tears - the ridiculous to the sublime!

Friday, January 14, 2011

Make Cheese - DID IT

I missed out on the hippie pot-smoking/free-love era by a few years. But I did join the whole "granola, natural, organic, hippie, minimalist" kick that followed.  I embraced the idea of living on my little farm, growing my own food and living an organic life.  My city-raised hubby went along with the plan, not because he was committed to it, but rather he always picks the path of least resistant and going along with whatever wacky scheme I propose is usually that.  Sometimes I wish he would take a minute to point out the impracticality of my hair-brained ideas, but then, I guess, I would blame him for squashing my creativity instead of blaming myself for the inevitable disasters.  That might be his underlying plan.

We got a good deal on a milk goat.  "Good deal" is a relative term. I will detail the downside of owning a milk goat later, but for now suffice to say we had a lot of milk with which to make cheese. It's labor intensive to say the least; milk the goat, strain the milk, add the rennet, stir the pot while warming (cooked it - oops), incubate (spoiled - oops), strain curds, squeeze, wrap, then age (molded - oops).  Lots of variables means lots of ways for things to go wrong.  Finally a successful batch of creamy white soft cheese... that tasted AWFUL!  I threw it out and tried again... and again... and again.  Eventually I decided cheesemaking was not my path to wealth and fame in a foodie world.

Years later when goat cheese became a grocery store staple, I bought some organic, farm-made goat cheese and discovered it tasted exactly like the stuff I had made and thrown away.  Turns out it's supposed to taste that bad!  I've grown to like it on my salad and in some sauce dishes, but I didn't know that at the time.

Remind me to tell you about making goat yogurt!

No comments:

Post a Comment