‘Tis the season of abundance. With week after week of warm summer weather comes the prolific growth of every vegetable we have in the ground. As if the gardens aren’t enough to keep up with, add livestock to the mix – livestock with udders – and you find yourself spending every spare moment just keeping all this goodness from spoiling! Time to get creative. What better way to preserve fresh goat’s milk than to turn it into delicious cheeses?

Soft curd

Deryk and Rodney have had practice making cheese from goat’s milk for years now. They start by making a simple Soft Curd – an acid-coagulated cheese that’s very mild in flavour. It’s great on bread, added to salads, or crumbled on top of a dish of hot pasta. It also makes for a good substitute for a fresh mozzarella.

Scarborough Fair

Deryk takes a lump of this fresh curd and crumbles it into chopped parsley, sage, rosemary, and thyme – a classic herb combination described in the lyrics of a famous folk song. He calls his delicious herbed curd, appropriately, Scarborough Fair. This, too, is fantastic on a slice of fresh baguette.

Feta

Now how about an aged cheese for long-term storage? These two are fresh cheeses and probably won’t keep for more than a couple weeks in the fridge. Well, get this: All you have to do is take a lump of the soft curd, drop it into some brine, and allow it to sit for a few weeks—and presto! You’ve got a wonderful Feta that will keep for months on end, becoming harder and sharper the longer it ages. These boys are more than just pretty to look at!

Now, what about that cheese that most of us think of when we hear the words “goat’s cheese?” Chèvre, of course: that soft, spreadable cheese that’s got a wonderful goaty flavour.

Herbed chèvre

Well, yours truly has taken a crack at a Herbed Chèvre this summer, and I’ve received some pretty good feedback already. The seasonal herbs this week were garlic scapes, parsley, basil, thyme, and marjoram. I’m pretty excited about this chèvre and expect to be making it on a regular basis!

Meanwhile, I’m still currently trying to master goat’s milk brie, and a genuine fresh goat’s milk mozzarella. If I ever get those right, you’ll be the first to know!


About Farmer Paul

Paul grew up in a yuppie-laden Toronto suburb, though he lucked out having been raised by eccentrics who rejected the neighbourhood status quo and converted the lawn into organic gardens. In his starry-eyed 20s, his obsession with living sustainably subdued his interest in high-tech anything (somehow scraping by with a computer science degree all the same). His interest in farming was piqued while apprenticing at Everdale, an organic farm in Ontario, and studying permaculture design in BC. He's since operated three market gardens, and now takes a lead in garden management and cheesemaking at Snow Lake Keep.

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