As I mentioned last week, my little goat-cheese-making adventure didn’t go quite the way I expected. It all turned out fine – quite deliciously, in fact – but I thought I was doing it all wrong. Cassandra, from Genesis, wasn’t a whole lot of help. We followed this recipe, but it went a bit like this:

Me: “I cooked it to 180, just like it said.”

Cassandra: “I didn’t have this metal stick thing – what do you call it?”

Me: “A candy thermometer. So how did you know when the milk was heated enough?”

Cassandra: “By look and smell. And yours looks right. What did you do next?”

Me: “I added the lemon juice, just like the recipe said. But it’s not curdling! The recipe says 20 seconds, but I think she means 20 minutes. Maybe even 2 hours?”

2 hours later, the mixture still looks the same.

Cassandra peers at the iPad with the recipe pulled up and shakes her head: “I do not understand this…thing, but what kind of curdles do you seek? This is exactly how it needs to look.”

Me: “It is?” I don’t say: “You could have said that 2 hours ago!”

Cassandra starts ladling the milk mixture into the cheese cloth: “This cloth is not good cloth. You need to weave tighter cloth for this purpose.”

Me: “I, um, bought it. At the store. It’s cheesecloth. But the comments on the recipe do say to use butter muslin or hankie cloth instead.”

Cassandra, as she ties the bundle to the wooden spoon: “Yes, muslin works better. But there you go! Now just let it drip.”

2 hours later and…

We have cheese! Served with flat bread, as Cassandra prefers.

That little bit there (1/2 a cup?) is what a full quart of milk made. However, as the recipe says, I used several layers of cheesecloth and as Cassandra points out, it’s not tightly woven. Some of the cheese seeped between layers and scraping it out became futile (not to mention would have put threads in our cheese). With tighter cloth and fewer layers, we probably would have had a little more at the end. We added garlic and chives and it was delish!

Have you ever made cheese? I heard it can become addicting – and I do want to do it again. I’m also thinking of trying some other types of cheeses, the kind that require rennet and aging. If you have any tips, please share!