Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Not ready for animal husbandry, and other new knowledge!

Since I've been working pretty heavily on a term paper the last few days, the real cheese learning has gotten pretty slow, though I have to say that putting The Murray's Cheese Handbook in the bathroom was a brilliant idea. Because of that, I have learned that a "tomme" is a particular kind of flat shape used for certain cheeses in France, made from the basically non-fat milk left after the butterfat has been skimmed for other purposes. Delicious and great for those concerned with the fat content of their cheese (I'm not really, but maybe this would be a great way to start...)

Anyway, during a delightful break in the work day, I went to a site about raising dairy cows. Goats yesterday, cows today. However - based on all the information there, I am NOT ready for that. Yet. And I am absolutely not ready to castrate baby boy cows. Eek. Maybe I can just hire a cowboy (or get the DH to do it!) Other than that, it seems pretty fabulous if you have enough land with enough tasty green stuff on it. But, it seems that piece of the fantasy is now on the back burner more officially. Much to the relief of the ASPCA, I'm sure!

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Goats!! Little Pygmy Goats!!

So, today's piece of the cheese fantasy wrapped itself around the absolutely adorable YouTube videos of pygmy goat kids (that's little baby goats). It was that kind of day. How cute are these guys?

Anyway, then I cruised over to another site to figure out if you can milk pygmy goats, and if their cheese is tasty. Turns out yes on both counts. And how awesome is that milking set up? Wonder how much space you really need?

It turns out that she freezes her goat cheese spread because she has so much milk coming out of those mini-udders. In most cases, freezing cheese is a big no-no. Freezing cheese makes it loose all its flavor. You can't really wrap your cheese up and stick it in the freezer to save those memories for later. It just won't be the same when you open the freezer door next month. Just eat up that tasty cheese! And go back and buy more!

Monday, July 27, 2009

The Adventure Begins!

For a while, I've been developing an unhealthy obsession with all things cheese. The fantasy changes daily. Some days I'm moving to France to intern with 6th generation cheese makers, spending my days in caves flipping cheeses as they age. Some days, I'm moving to a farm in Santa Ynez valley to raise goats and make my own cheese. Other days, I'm interning at the local cheese shop, wrapping stinky delights and absorbing knowledge. Every day, it's a little different, but luckily all the fantasies are about cheese in one way or another.

So, I shall attempt to learn at least one cheesy fact a day. In the interests of education, and perhaps as a warning to others, I will share my experiences here. And hopefully, nobody will die of some strain of bacteria not known to any cheese monger, and the neighbors won't report us for the mysterious herd of pygmy goats that somehow are now grazing on our postage stamp lawn...

And just to assure you all that everything will turn out right, I am sure that I totally bonded with the little black faced sheep (left) at the baby animal petting zoo at the AAA baseball stadium near my parent's house last weekend. If that isn't proof of budding animal husbandry and future cheese success, I don't know what is...