Wednesday, July 25, 2007

if you can heat milk, you can make cheese

Last Wednesday I taught a cheesemaking class for our RS cooking group. I was nervous, because I am a scatterbrain, and I get tongue-tied in front of a group when I'm discussing things on which I don't consider myself an expert. But it went pretty well, and I think a few of the women got excited when they realized that they really could make their own cheese. I made mozzarella, queso blanco, mascarpone and creme fraiche. I was going to make a nice roasted garlic chevre, but the baby goats had snuck out of their pen on the only morning I could milk, so that went out the window.

The queso blanco I cooked in a stir fry with straightneck squash, the creme fraiche and mascarpone we ate with apricots, and I drizzled olive oil on the mozzarella and put a little S & P on it. It was pretty much the best mozzarella I've ever made--it was so soft and creamy. I was really pleased. I'm fresh out of cheesecloth and butter muslin now. I had a great big hunk of it, but I kept forgetting that I had it boiling (to kill the germs) in the morning after I milked, and I burned a bunch of it. Duh.

We have a family reunion this weekend, so we're going to have to find someone to take care of the creatures while we're gone. My family (as in my mom and dad and their kids) are in charge of dinner Friday night, and we're having corn on the cob, pulled pork sandwiches, some other stuff, and jello for dessert. Hee. We are such Utahns. I don't get it though. My mom rarely made jello when I was growing up, and she makes it pretty regularly now. Maybe it goes hand-in-hand with buying fancy groceries and relaxing their discipline.

We have partaken of a leg roast and a shoulder roast from our goat meat, and it was yummy. It was similar to lamb, but tougher (since Violet was over a year old, I'm guessing) and milder. So that's that taken care of. I'm interested to see what the chops taste like. I love me some lamb chop with handles on 'em.

I've got to go and do some dishes and laundry. We have friends coming over tonight, and we have to hide our shame so we don't look quite so much like the pigs we are. I've discovered that the only chores I do consistently are those that I enjoy, or that a living being's survival depends on. I keep my kids and animals fed and watered, and I am usually in the throes of some remodeling project, but laundry just kind of gets washed, dried and piled on my bed. Sue me. Somedays it feels like we're going to drown in the clutter, but I just can't figure out a good organizing scheme for it all. Sigh.