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Presents: 'The Cheesemakers'

Carol Lively
and her daughter Christina
Lively Spring Farm
Rowe MA

True Home/Farmstead cheese making on a small scale

The Lively's have a small farm in western Massachusetts where Carol and her daughter Christina take care of a small herd of goats.... .... from which they make cheese for themselves and friends in their kitchen, a very traditional way much as our grandparents may have done

click on any image to enlarge it !
the work begins with the care of the goats, a labor of love as can be seen in these photographs

Now ... If you have goats, you're going to have milk and sometimes it is a lot of milk and it keeps on coming...
....
More milk than one family can drink!

So ... You learn how to make cheese !

Today Carol will be making a Feta Cheese from her goats raw milk

Carol starts by
filtering the warm milk...
...to which she adds... ...yesterdays milk, which has been kept chilled
the pot is placed in a sink with warm water to bring the milk up to the proper temperature she then adds the starter culture and allows their milk to set and ripen during the wait, she prepares the acid testing materials... ... to test the milk for the first signs of ripening, at which point she will add rennet
after a proper curd is formed ... She begins to cut into 1/2" pieces... ...to allow the whey to separate stirring is continued to keep the curds separate
when the curds have lost enough whey... ... she allows the curds to settle and begins to remove the whey when most of the whey is removed, the remaining curd... ...is transferred and allowed to continue draining
the curd will rest for several hours ... ... in it's draining cloth until ... ...it mats into a nice consolidated cheese the curd will continue to rest overnight and dry off for 2-3 days....
...it will then be cut into pieces and prepared for salting salt will be added and allowed to dissolve into the cheese... the pieces are then turned and salted again ... This will be repeated several times since this is a highly salted cheese the salt will begin to draw out more whey, which is poured off as it accumulates
all of this salting will make a very dry cheese preserving it for long periods in brine made up of 50:50 whey and water

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The Cheese Queen is in Food and Wine and Barbara Kingsolver's
book Animal, Vegetable, Miracle!

Thanks for joining our cheese making family, keep those stories & photos coming. We love to hear from you!

In Peace,
Ricki, the cheese queen

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