The Walden Effect: Farming, simple living, permaculture, and invention.

Big cheese

Draining cheese

With my recipe perfected at last, it started making sense to freeze our excess milk in preparation for a big batch of chevre. Two weeks and twenty-three cups later, I thawed the milk out in the fridge (and on the counter for the last couple of hours) and then whipped up the big cheese.

Goat cheeseIt looks like each quart of milk gives me about a cup of goat cheese...and a big batch is just as delicious as a small one! Five of those cups of chevre will go back in the freezer for the winter and the sixth cup will go into our bellies ASAP. (No, really --- I barely managed to put the lid on the container long enough to write this post.)

What's up next? Dr. Fankhauser's cheese tutorial suggests a basic pressed cheese or American mozarella, while my milking trainer instead recommends trying feta with the lipase she's giving when we pick up our annual lambs. Since we haven't yet rigged a cheese press, we'll probably try the feta or mozarella next, but I'm open to suggestions. What do you recommend as an easy beginner cheese?

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About us: Anna Hess and Mark Hamilton spent over a decade living self-sufficiently in the mountains of Virginia before moving north to start over from scratch in the foothills of Ohio. They've experimented with permaculture, no-till gardening, trailersteading, home-based microbusinesses and much more, writing about their adventures in both blogs and books.

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No suggestions, both are good, but I would nix the aluminum colander if you want to use the whey for further cheese making. Our investments in stainless cost us almost as much as our cow!
Comment by Nita Mon Jun 8 09:06:44 2015

To quote Homer Simpson: "Cheese... MMMmmmmmmm."

I vote for mozarella, but then I'm a mozarella fanatic. :)

Comment by NaYan Mon Jun 8 09:59:32 2015
Nita --- Thanks for noticing that! I had forgotten that aluminum was bad even in the straining stage. Luckily, I think I have a stainless-steel steamer that would work for next time.
Comment by anna Mon Jun 8 12:46:10 2015

Fias Co farm's Queso Fresco - pressed for a day, aged for a week. Melty. Good pizza mozz sub and much less finicky. I use two pizza pans and a couple free weights for a press. Http://

Comment by Emily Mon Jun 8 21:38:54 2015
you can make paneer! I make mine by leaving the curds in the colander, salting them and mixing in herbs, then weighing them down with a sheet pan topped with anything heavy (multiple 28oz cans of tomatoes work well). Leave for about a half hour or so. The curds compress into a nice "cake" of cheese that can be sliced, dipped in a chickpea flour batter and fried. It's one of my favorite things to eat, especially with a nice chutney. Never tried it with goat cheese but I imagine it would be delicious.
Comment by SarA Mon Jun 8 21:42:08 2015
I opt for Feta. I often make a wonderful salad of 1 part blueberries, 1 part small cucumbers, cut lengthwise in quarters, then sliced in 1/4" pieces, 1/2 part feta cheese. toss together, and add a mild salad dressing. I use a Raspberry dressing. MMM, GOOD!
Comment by Sheila Mon Jun 8 21:57:02 2015
Thanks to everyone for more great suggestions! Sheila's salad sounds especially good and will be in season here in about two or three weeks. Looking forward to trying it!
Comment by anna Tue Jun 9 12:43:11 2015

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