Thursday, March 26, 2009

Easy Goat Cheese!

OK people, this is what it's all about! This is WHY we have dairy goats! Sure, the goat-milk soap is awesome & wonderful & fun to make... but the cheese... YUM! And fresh chevre is EASY.

The key to great-tasting cheese is to start with the freshest milk. I like to use 1.5 gallons of goat milk, it's the perfect amount for me. If you don't have goats, find somebody who does, or look for a farm (please don't buy that stuff at the store, unless you know it's really fresh.) Ask around, or ask me.

This morning, I milked my goats (sweet little things,) immediately pasteurized it, cooled it down to 88 degrees, and added a simple chevre packet ( The packet has the souring culture - this bacteria converts lactose to lactic acid, thus lowering the pH and "souring." It also has the rennet, the enzyme which coagulates the milk... very convenient little packet! Stir this in and walk away! Let it sit all day at room temp, undisturbed.

At the end of the day, after the boys are asleep, I get out my glass of wine (OK, sometimes the whole bottle, but I usually share it.) The butter muslin is boiled to sterilize, the counters and utensils are sanitized. I line my colander with the muslin (doubled up) and place it over a pot to collect the whey. At this point, the cheese has separated from the whey, and can be scooped out and put into the muslin. After it's all in, the muslin ends are tied into a knot to hang overnight. I hang mine on the faucet, over the colander pot, in the sink of my "milk room." Well, my milk room is really my laundry room... but it's really clean! I swear!
In the morning, it will be ready! I add one teaspoon of salt (NOT the iodide kind) to the whole batch. If it seems dry, stir in some extra whey. I get 2.5 POUNDS of goat cheese from 1.5 gallons of milk... it's a lot of cheese... but it goes soooo fast! Just think of all the friends you'll make!
Lately, my favorite is to add roasted garlic and dried basil... sometimes red pepper flakes too. My friend adds fancy herbs and makes a puffed pastry, but she's a chef. Someday I'll post some great goat-cheese recipes (oooh, with chicken and sun-dried tomatoes.) But I digress... don't throw out the whey, find a way to use it in cooking. We save it for our dogs, they get it poured over their dog food like cereal, they LOVE it!

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Jellybean's little guy

Well, one more buckling in the mix! He's out of Jellybean, my baby who was caught with her daddy! Shame on you JellyBelly! It happens sometimes! Just glad he doesn't have two heads! He'll be wethered asap! I'm glad she's OK, I'm keeping my eye on her. As for the little buck, he's being bottle fed (might as well add another to the bucket!)

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Honey Oatmeal Soap

My latest oatmeal soap now has colloidal oatmeal (not so scratchy) and a touch of honey. Cocoa butter was also added to make a stronger bar, and hold it all together. Half the batch I left unscented, with natural whiffs of the before-mentioned ingredients. The other half got a good dose of Bramble Berry's Oatmeal Milk & Honey fragrance, which I call "Oatmeal Cookie," a yummy, strong seller. Oh yea, I also put in some Evening Primrose Oil to help with dry skin. Should be ready in a few weeks! In this pic, the new oatmeal is on the bottom, Cucumber Melon in the middle, Blackberry Sage on top (with cuc mel insert.)

Thursday, March 12, 2009

two little bucklings

These handsome guys are out of Cupcake... born Monday night. The kids love the kids... and vice versa!
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Sunday, March 8, 2009

1st goat kid arrives!

Cookie delivered this beautiful little doeling last night... isn't she cute? So cute, that the boys want to name her "Cutie!" (kind of goes with Nicey) I was there to "catch" her, now she's being bottle fed. One down, three to go (Cupcake should kid soon, so Cutie will have company.)

waiting and quilting

Finally, he has his baby quilt! Winter is a great time for projects around here! But, all that waiting for kidding season is over now! I finished this quilt just in time! (see next post)

Monday, March 2, 2009

Bonanzle coupon

Here's a great, somewhat new, buy/sell online site. It's
So fun, interactive, easy. It's somewhere between ebay and craigslist, but on the cutting edge.
Plus, it's right here in Washington! You know Bill & Mark, don't you?

You've got to check it out, sign up for full experience.
You can also look at a few Maple Hill Soap items...
For 10% off, use coupon code: mhsblog

See you on Bonanzle!