Cheese a la Medieval

The Saanen goats produce so much milk. Between the four does, we are getting about three gallons per day just now. Liters are piling up everyday in the fridge, and every other day Daphne is making large rounds of a cheese we have simply come to call farmer’s cheese, which probably follows the medieval model pretty closely. The cheese is curdled with rennet, then the curds are drained and culture added, then its packed and shaped in a simple 1 kilo mold, then salted and allowed to age at room temperature til there is a nice rind, turned daily, then finally hung in the root cellar. Come autumn, many of the cheeses will be smoked when I smoke the butchered livestock and venison. Meanwhile, the whey is curdled with vinegar to yield batches of ricotta which is salted and frozen in the deep freezer. The final extract of whey is then poured into the compost pile to enrich the soil next spring.

My one regret is it was a statistical fluke year and our does bore no female kids. I had hoped to double the number of our Saanen does this year, and we rely on the extra does to sell to other dairy goat keepers, which pays for most of the goats’ grain. Now, I’ll spend a good part of the summer cutting tree hay to supplement their feed, and even then the extra expense will make things tight.

Below, Daphne is just out spring foraging with me, and pausing for a repast of some bread and cheese, both made at the cottage.

time for some bread and cheese

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Categories: Uncategorized | 2 Comments

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2 thoughts on “Cheese a la Medieval

  1. How lovely, I bet your cheese is delicious! I have made a couple of cheeses with raw cows milk that I’ve managed to be gifted from a local farmer. I will have to smoke some also, that sounds very good.

  2. Smoking cheeses makes for a lovely taste treat and helps preserve them almost as well as salt. Be sure to leave the natural rind on but remove any wax (if you coat yours in wax). Place your cheeses at the coolest side of the smoker, far from the heat, or the warm smoke will change their texture and possibly even melt them.

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