Homemade Chevre

Is there such a thing as the Goat Police?

I started making cheese about two years ago when a former coworker introduced me to his newest hobby: homemade feta cheese.  I made the feta and realized I no longer needed a grocery store to buy feta cheese.  I so love my homemade feta.  Sublime.

In turn, I introduced a dear friend to the making of feta and she took it a step further: chevre.  Oh my.  I can’t stop making it.  I’ve been buying my goat milk at the grocery store, but have tried to buy it from local goat farmers.  The problem is that they can not sell the milk for human consumption, only baby goat consumption.  Baaaa (my whine-aware it’s a sheep sound—how does one bleat?).  Apparently there are different methods/rules of sanitation for processing to allow for the milk to be sold for humans.  Blah, blah.  However, I’m really tempted to buy some for “my baby goat” (some kids have imaginary friends, mine just happens to be a goat) and try it.  I mean, seriously, in the “olden days” didn’t people drink fresh goat milk?  What, are the Goat Police going to arrest me?  I’d love to hear from some goat “professionals” on this.

Regardless, I adore my goat cheese.  Better Half and I eat it plain, with roasted garlic,  sprinkled with various herbs and spices, etc.  Visit Fias Co Farm for the recipe I use.

Baaa Baaa.

Onions and Good Karma

Yes, a weird title:  Onions and Good Karma, but they do go together.  Hang with me!

When I planted my little garden this year certain people (Better Half and mom-in-law [amazing gardener]) scoffed at me because I was planting onions from seeds.  Yes, seeds.  Itty, bitty, teeny, tiny seeds.  Ha, the Karma Gods smiled on me because all summer long I’ve had onions and just pulled my last little bit (above).  All I have left to pick are butternut squash.  However, we did plant turnips, lettuce, peas, and beans for a fall harvest.  Cross your fingers. . . .

My husband has a good number of close friends he’s had since elementary school; that’s like 37 years ago.  Amazing.  The other amazing thing?  Cool wives (yep, me included!).  Seriously, isn’t it horrible when you have a really close friend and your respective spouses don’t jive?  Urg.  We jive; we really jive!  In fact, the wives and I are great friends and don’t require the men to have a rockin’ good time.  Although (and don’t tell), I love the husbands, seriously–love them.  They crack me up.  These boys were wild animals and the stories they tell… every story involves either: a) a gun; b) a bus; c) a hot rod; d) beer; e) a creek, etc.   The fact that these men are all alive and are amazing husbands, providers, etc. is (frankly) a little astounding (particular the case with Better Half!).

So, you ask:  onions and good karma?  Well, one of the couples go together like PB&J, wine & cheese, Laurel & Hardy, you get it.  We always have a fun time when we’re together.  The problem is that we can’t get them down here often enough, but since they live where Better Half grew up, we’re up there a lot— meaning we are frequent house guests.  They are so generous, kind, and accommodating; it makes me feel bad, but we love being around them!  If their darn house just wasn’t so stinkin’ cool…  Any hoo, because they have been more than good hosts to us on a regular basis I know they have stored up major karma points.  A couple of weeks ago Mrs.  C sent me a recipe that was to die for and it was based on:  you guessed it—onions!

I wish I had a picture to share, but we were vultures when it came out of the oven all hot and bubbly.  It’s like a sophisticated, grown-up version of onion dip!

Baked Vidalia Dip

2 cups grated Swiss cheese
2 cups chopped Vidalia onions (or sweet onions)
2 cups Hellmann’s mayonnaise
2 tablespoons grated parmesan cheese

Combine the first three ingredients, stirring well. Spoon mixture into lightly greased 1-qt. baking dish. Sprinkle parmesan cheese on top. Bake at 325 for 40 – 45 minutes or until bubbly and lightly browned on top.  It makes a pretty dish. Serve with Ritz crackers, pita chips, French bread, or whatever you like best.

Homemade Feta Cheese

A former co-worker tracked me down one day and knowing my love of making wine and champagne (that’s a whole other topic), told me I had to try making cheese.  Cheese…  A friend and I always had talked about how fun it would be to make cheese, but never went any further than talk.  I love cheese.  I mean, I really love cheese.   I can eat the darkest blue-veined cheese imaginable just by popping it straight into my pie-hole.  I know they say your body is mostly water; mine is mostly whey.  No kidding.  After securing a sample of the necessary (four)  ingredients, such as lipase and culture, I made my first batch of feta cheese.  Heaven in a big ‘ole salty brine!  I can’t bring myself to buy feta cheese from the store now.  This stuff rocks.  Seriously rocks.  I’ve also made goat cheese and find it scrumptious, but finding fresh goat milk hasn’t been easy.  For the directions I use in making feta cheese, check out Fias Co Farm’s website.  It may seem overwhelming when reading it, but it’s embarrassingly easy, and the goat cheese I can do with my eyes blind-folded.  Okay, I haven’t really tried that yet because I’m a klutz, but if my better half would let me, I’d be willing to give it a whirl!  I promise if you try cheese, you will love making it!

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