Sunday, February 7, 2010

Blessed Are The Cheesemakers

In the post-snowpocalypse lull, we finally got to try out Kate's wonderful Christmas present - a DIY goat cheese kit. Thanks are also due to Bradley, who procured goat's milk from a Whole Foods near his workplace.


First, we sterilized the various implements by boiling them in water for 5 minutes.

While waiting, we dissolved a teaspoon of citric acid in 1/4 cup of water.

Once the sterilizing was done, we improvised a double boiler and started heating the milk till it was foamy and steamy (180-190 degrees F), stirring often - well, in my case, pretty much constantly - to prevent scorching. This coincided with the Who's halftime show, which the stirring person was able to see most of via reflection in a painting frame.

Once it reached the desired temperature and began foaming, we drizzled in the citric acid solution and, following the dirctions, stirred for 10-15 seconds till we saw some subtle curding.


Yeah, I wasn't sure if I those counted as curds, but John convinced me to trust the recipe.Then we removed the pot from the heat and continued to stir, adding a bit more citric acid, till the whey turned a very pale shade of yellow-green instead of staying whitish.

Then we poured the curds and whey (along came no spider, thankfully) into a cloth-lined colander. My trepidations regarding what I wasn't quite sure counted as valid curds were relieved, at this point, when they formed into something very much cheese-like.


Since this was the first batch, we decided not to get fancy with herbs and/or additional seasonings, and just see how it turned out. After another 5-10 minutes of draining, it was time to shape!

We pressed about half the cheese into the provided molds,


and shaped the other half into a rough wheel.  (Note the jar of expired homemade pickles weighting the cheese down.)


After an hour in the fridge - congratulations, Saints! -

it was ready to sample.

It turned out well, too - creamy and mild, though perhaps a bit less tangy than one might be used to. Now that the basics of a system are in place, though, we can't wait to experiment some more - especially since that kit promises to make nine more batches. Thanks again, Kate!

UPDATE: Below: the baby cheeses!


  1. Yay! Blizzard-born chevre. That looks yummy--I hope I'm there to witness the birth of cheese someday. Thanks to all the photos, though, I almost feel like I was. :D

  2. @Kate - I was hoping to send you a taster package via Bradley, but we've been snow-dayed till at least Wednesday now. We'll see what happens over the next couple of days - stay warm and dry and happy. And, again, thanks!