Making Goat Cheese

Once you start cooking, one thing leads to another. A new recipe is as exciting as a blind date. A new ingredient, heaven help me, is an intoxicating affair.
-Barbara Kingsolver, Animal, Vegetable, Miracle (page 130)

I’m sure you were just as inspired as I was after reading the cheesemaking chapter in Animal, Vegetable, Miracle. She made it sound so easy! I finally garnered the confidence to give it a try and, indeed!, it is super easy.

Soft cheese are ridiculously easy to make, it turns out. The hardest part is ordering the cultures (by catalog or online). With these packets of cheesemaking bugs in your freezer and a gallon of good milk…soft cheeses are at your command.
-Kingsolver (page 139)

Ooops. I got so excited about acquiring some raw milk, that I didn’t think to order rennet or cultures until I had the gallon of milk at home—its fresh-from-the-farm factor dwindling in my mind as each hour passed. Kingsolver uses the New England Cheese Making Supply Company; if you can recommend a source closer to home, please do! Thankfully I found a basic recipe for goat’s milk cheese. The cheese was definitely edible; not mmmm-inducing, but edible. I was just happy it resembled cheese!

Lessons learned:

Salt, salt, salt. I don’t know if I messed up the recipe or what, but the cheese was bland. This was easily remedied by a generous dash of salt before serving.
Next time I’ll be sure to plan ahead and get some “cheesemaking bugs.”
It would be fun to experiment by adding different herbs.
Have a plan for the leftover whey.

1 gallon raw goat milk
1 gallon of raw, unhomogenized goat’s milk.
making cheese
Farm-fresh goodness.
making cheese
For larger curds, let the temperature rise above 190°.
making cheese
Add the lemon juice and watch it curdle.
making cheese
I’m using cheesecloth to make cheese! Brilliant!
Whey left from draining curds. From what I’ve read, whey is ideal for making bread or ricotta (Italian for “to cook again”). I didn’t have time for that, so I used it to water some acid-loving plants.
After 4 hours of draining…
cheesegoat cheese pizza

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