Monday, May 21, 2007

The Kids are Alright

Violet (white saanen) and Carly (floppy eared nubian)

The kids are gone! I'm sad. Sammy came today, delivered milk and took most of the kids back to his farm. Four little kids remain, looking lost and making lots of noise. They're upset because their friends are all gone. I'm sad because my happy little friends are no longer just outside of my door. I loved going out onto the porch and having 20 young goats run over and want to nibble on my toes, fingers, pants, shirt, and hair. They're always happy and want to be with you. Too bad you can't housebreak them. Now they're gone. Sniff! The four remaining ones will join the herd on Wednesday. I hope Sammy can keep up with all of them. They're a handful for Lee and Jessie.

More my cheesemaking progress:

Today I got to fly solo making goat's milk camembert. Carrie Carrie had an appointment this morning so she entrusted me with the making of the camembert. I had Steve assist me, but he doesn't make camembert, that's Carrie's cheese. Steve makes the aged cheeses, Providence and Jersey Girl. So I had to tell him what to do! I like that. We set out 72 camembert moulds, and 56 crottin moulds and got the milk ready for making cheese. I took a sample of the milk to get an initial pH reading. When the milk was at the right temperature, I added the camembert culture, let it melt into the milk and then moved the milk from the pasteurizer into the vat. After an hour I checked the pH to make sure it was going down. Then I added the calcium chloride and the rennet and let the milk transform from a liquid into a gel. After 50 minutes I checked the curd and determined that it was at the right texture and ready to cut with the cheese harps (fancy knives.) I cut the curds into nice, neat cubes and let the cubes heal for five minutes. The whey starts to be released and the curds settle on the bottom of the vat. I then stirred the curds by hand, breaking up bits that the knives missed. I let the curds settle for a few more minutes. I pulled off the whey to just above the level of the curd and then it was time to scoop the curds out of the vat and into the empty moulds. You've gotta work fast because the curds really want to shrink and knit together. Carrie Carrie returned in time to assist me with the dip/scoop. We dipped the camembert first, adding a few curds to each mould and then returning to top them all off. Then we moved the draining table aside and filled up the crottin moulds. It was finished in about 15 minutes. Then came the flipping. In order to get a smooth texture, it is important to flip the knitting curds in the moulds as quickly as possible. Flip and flip again in thirty minutes. The crottin are flipped more often.

Little Maeve says hello to Four year old Shalom.

Tomorrow the camembert and crottin will be demoulded, salted and left in the cheese room on racks to dry. In ten days the crottin will be ready to eat, the camembert will be ready in 28 days. I won't get to see them when they're done. Oh well. Eight more days.

1 comment:

Dina said...

Look at those cute babies!!! I just visited Harley Farms on Saturday, and thought of you. I bought 3 kinds of goat cheese, but I've never had Goat Camembert!!! YUM! I must try it! Enjoy the rest of your stay!

Dina :)