Last weekend, I bought a milk stanchion so that milking could become easier...I kept meaning to try to build one, get someone to build me one, or just thought one day one would appear...HA! Ellen is very willing to offer her delicious milk and eagerly awaits me to open the gate each morning.
I decided to place the milking stand in the garden and Ellie seems to enjoy the brief subtle change of scenery. I get enough milk each week for two batches of cheese and a half gallon for coffee and drinking.
The cheese-making is fun and I have experimented with a few different ways of making chèvre - one batch I made with fresh organic lemon juice, another I made with natural white vinegar and I like the end result with the vinegar better.
First I poured the milk into a stainless steel pot and heated the milk very slowly (on low) to 180 degrees.
Then I added either the lemon juice or vinegar slowly and let it sit for a few minutes until the curds were completely formed.
I then separated the curds from the whey by placing a paper towel into a strainer and letting all the whey drain out. After straining, I added salt and my herbs to the mixture and mixed together.
I get my cheesecloth ready and dumped the soft cheese into the cloth, brought up the edges and tied string around it while leaving enough string to hang overnight.
The next morning VIOLA! You have homemade chèvre!!
I will be experimenting with other varieties of cheese as Ellie provides me with the means. This weekend I will be experimenting with goat milk soap-making! Who knows what will happen, but I will document and take photos and keep you posted! Happy Friday!