2008 Cheese Year in Review

LaMancha goats have weird eyes!

It was a really great year for making cheese! We started talking about cheese a little over a year ago. I think it was our friend Greg who brought some fromage blanc to our 2007 Thanksgiving dinner. That got us talking about cheesemaking and I remember talking to Nicole in particular about how fun it would be to make our own. She was interested and Sarah was interested. Nicole got the Ricki Carroll book and the mozzarella kit for Christmas and that’s where it started.

Nicole hosted the first cheesemaking day for us and our friends (a truly amazing and diverse group of women) and we made mozzarella and it was pretty darn good. We drank wine and noshed on various goodies and ate the whole thing. We also talked about starting a blog to keep a record of our cheesemaking adventures and misadventures.

I hosted the next event which was dubbed the Weekend of Whey. We did five batches of mozzarella and made ricotta from the whey and also whey bread and whey drinks which, I still contend, are fine and delicious! I recommend a tablespoon of simple syrup, crushed mint, served over ice.

We went out and visited a goat farm and got our first gallons of goat milk. With the two gallons of goat milk we made chevre (I can’t wait to make it again), goat fromage blanc, “french style” goat cheese (little pucks of chevre), goat milk gelato and Sarah took the last pint of it and used it in a chevre ice-cream recipe from “The Perfect Scoop,” David Lebovitz’ inventive ice-cream recipe book. To sum up: you can make a lot of wonderful things with two gallons of goat milk! 

We also paired a few goat cheeses with different beers for a tasting which I think went over very well and I’m eager to do that again. If you haven’t figured it out we’re very closely associated with the guys who run and write for the BS Brewing Blog which is over there on the sidebar always so I think we’ll be seeing some more collaboration with them in the future. Does anyone want to start GD Wines and be our friend?

Our last big project was doing a farmhouse cheddar, our first hard cheese. We made a cheese press and got all the necessary ingredients together and aged it for a month. It was quite a production but unfortunately it just didn’t turn out right. That was a little bit of a bummer but we learned so much from the process.

We also were inspired by the Pacific Northwest Cheese Project to try our hand at butter which was a lot of fun and very satisfying. It’s great to have something so simple and easy to make on hand and people are almost as impressed with homemade butter as they are with homemade cheese!

We lost a little steam after the cheddar incident and with the holidays quickly upon us… that was it for 2008. I’m calling 2009 my cheese year and I’ve already started making plans for what I want to learn and do in the new year. It’s going to be yummy!


  1. Nicole said,

    January 6, 2009 @ 10:32 am

    An excellent summary of the year. I too am excited about the upcoming year. I am looking forward to revisiting some of our projects from last year with more experience and information as well as embarking on some new cheese adventures.

    I’ve got quite a pile of new cheese books that I’m hoping will serve as additional inspiration for the year to come.

  2. nate said,

    January 10, 2009 @ 4:42 pm

    Your creations have been quite inspiring. I’ll attempting to duplicate some of your successes and perhaps build up on them. I think I’ll be starting my first batches tomorrow and will keep you posted as to how they turn out.

RSS feed for comments on this post