Sunday, May 2, 2010

Adventures in Indiana: Farm fieldtrip with goats and bees

I am not a big fan of goat cheese. For a brief moment when living in New York, I switched from cow dairy to goat, buying milk at the Union Square Farmers Market. I never really noticed a difference between the two, not being a huge milk drinker. Goat milk was just fine as a medium in which my cereal sat before I ate it. That is, until someone I worked with mentioned that goat products reminded him of sucking on a wet, wool sweater. From that moment on, all I tasted when I ate anything goat was soggy cashmere.

The other day, I was offered some homemade goat cheese that a friend's mother made. I wanted to try it and see if fresh-from-the-farm cheese was any different from the store bought variety that tasted like not-so-fresh farm animal. The cheese was surprisingly subtle, almost like ricotta, with out any detectable goat taste. It was delicious.

Today I took a field trip to the farm and learned how to make cheese. We started the day by sampling several different flavors, so we would know which we wanted to make. Our choices included Marjoram & Cracked Pepper, Basil, and Asian Spice with Ginger. They were all delicious, but the Marjoram & Cracked Pepper was really good.

Next we learned to milk the goats. We filled a bucket and headed in to make cheese. I decided to make dill flavored, thinking it would be delicious on a gluten-free bagel or stuffed in a chicken breast. When we were done, we were gifted 4 quarts of goat milk and I headed to the store to pick up some cheesemaking supplies (enamel stock pot, thermometer, cheesecloth, lemons). Later this week I will experiment in my own kitchen with making cheese!

The goats were adorable, and very curious.

Me and the master beekeeper.


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