I love Barbara Kingsolver's novels. I really enjoyed The Poisonwood Bible and Prodigal Summer. I picked up her memoir about eating local, Animal, Vegetable, Miracle, expecting to love it. Instead I learned that while Ms. Kingsolver can write beautiful and lyrical descriptions of her garden, she's a bit of a sanctimonious prig when it comes to food. Who knew?
The one upside of this book is that it got me interested in making my own cheese from scratch. I love cheese. I also love making things from scratch. Seems like a perfect fit! Ms. Kingsolver claimed that cheese-making was easy, the directions online I found claimed that it was easy--but when I sat down to try and figure out how to actually do it, I couldn't make heads or tails of it.
Never one to give up, I found that there is someone local who teaches classes on how to make cheese. I somehow conned my father, Evil Dr. Porkchop, into taking it the class with me. Lo and behold, we learned to make cheese. It simply requires a) milk b) some random stuff like bacteria cultures and rennet c) time. While not exactly rocket science, I don't think I would classify it as easy.
During the four hour class we learned how to make chevre, ricotta, feta, yogurt and a basic hard cheese. More importantly, we got to eat cheese. We were also given a nice booklet with instructions. As soon as I can get my hands on some raw goat or cow's milk, I'm ready to make the easier cheeses--feta and chevre. Fancy!
I didn't take any photos of the process because I was too busy paying attention and the booklet had great pictures. However, here are some photos of the goats. Do you think Batman would be mad if I adopted a couple? They could keep the lawn in the backyard trimmed and our dogs could herd them.
Fresh cheese or not, I don't think Batman would be okay with that plan.