Wednesday, September 1, 2010

Feta experiment...

I made a couple batches o' feta this weekend. Mugwump, from Mugwump Chronicles, is a writer for a newspaper in Colorado Springs. She is coming over to learn how to make cheese, get the full on dairy goat experience and write an article about it sometime in September.

Hey, I'll do just about anything to squash the bad rap goats get and spread the goatie love.

I don't make feta often and figured I'd better get cookin' to be sure I still knew how! I read in one of my Yahoo! groups about home cheese making that someone made feta with thermophillic culture (yogurt) vs. the mesophillic culture (buttermilk) feta normally calls for. They thought it made the feta softer and more crumbly.

I made one batch with the meso and one batch with the thermo.

I was surprised that there wasn't really much difference. I tasted them and thought the meso had more flavor... but maybe the thermo would catch up in flavor after a week of aging in the fridge? I ran a tupperware of each to a neighbor who was interested in feta the next time I made it. Told him he could be my guinea pig and let me know what he thought.

I also used way less salt than most recipes call for. The salt hardens the curd, which means less crumble, and personally I don't like the extreme salt. Besides, my hay supplier will trade me 1 bale o' hay for 1 container of feta and she wanted less salt too.

Sometimes I get stuck in the "rules" but this time decided I could *gasp* deviate from the written directions, use less salt and to increase flavor add a skosh more lipase. We'll see how it goes.

*Light bulb moment*

Heyyyyyy..... wait just a stinkin' minute here.... I wonder if I could make 400 containers o' feta to trade straight across for the hay we need for winter?


~Tonia said...

Thats to cool about the Newspaper article!!!
I have yet to make feta... I get stuck in a rut and make the same cheese.. But Chevre is just soo easy its hard to convince myself to make any other...LOL
I rarely use as much salt as Any recipe calls for.. Ithink I can always add salt later just not take it away..
Cool on the trade of cheese and hay. Even if its just some its just that much you didnt have to put cash out for!!

DebH said...

Can't wait to hear, read or see an article done on your goat experiences....(through her interpretation) that is..
Good idea on the liapse, I forgot that that adds flavor. I have been making many batches of chevre and made some ice cream the other night. I think a straight across trade on feta is a good freezes!! Don't tell anyone..but I have two people buying a gallon of goat milk for $10.00 a gallon both twice a week..I mean really $10.00??? (I let them set the price and they are saying they want to feed it to cats?) I am saving up for a haystack myself! Although I could sell 714 bars of soap, but when I only average sales of 35 bars a weekend...when I get there...they may go hungry depending on that!! Yeesch, animals sure have it made!! :)

Kelley said...

I love the idea of 400 for 400 across the board. Would you "stack" the Feta for her? That might be a deal breaker. : )

Anonymous said...

Have Furry Husband give a container or two to my wife and I will make sure she gets a couple bale o'hay for him and the animals.

The Thibodeau's

Shanster said...

Tonia - I am exactly the same way - I make the soft chevre all the time cuz it is so easy and yummy...

DebH - I think we should start a little cheese work shop and experiment! That is AWESOME for you about your milk - I just read on the cheesemaking post that people set their prices at 10 - 16 bucks a gallon because it IS your time and your healthy animals and it is a very good commodity! GREAT for you!!!

Kelley - I'd stack 400 containers o' cheese in a heartbeat compared to hay... thank the good lord for young and able bodied farm boys who stack hay!!!