Goats and The City

Foodie Friday

Mar 25, 2011 by


I got to milk goats!  I got to milk goats!

Really!  I did!  Eight of my friends and I spent a sunny morning last week with The Goat Cheese Lady, learning to make cheese.  The Goat Cheese Lady, also known as Lindsey, lives right here in Colorado Springs with her lovely family and a small herd of backyard goats.

Goats make charming companions, a fact we discovered when they let us milk them and even hold their newborn babies without complaining.  A goat even joined a conversation I was having with a preteen friend.  I turned to this goat and said, “Oh, hello!” and my politeness brought my friend delight as only a ten year old can express it.  Ten year old boys can be very charming too.

The family also has backyard chickens and the amazing brunch Lindsey served after our cheese-making class was the most powerful argument I had ever experienced for food producing animals in urban areas (such as promoted by Sustainable Food Denver).  We ate fresh eggs, homemade yogurt, homemade bread and the cheese we had just made from the fresh milk.

I only wish I had the words to describe how satisfying this meal was.

We learned to make chevre, mozzarella and ricotta cheese, all soft cheeses.  As I’ve mentioned before, I am something of a Mad Kitchen Scientist and seeing how cheese can magically be made from ordinary ingredients brought me as much delight as … well, as a ten year old boy conversing with a goat!

Chevre is a soft goat cheese often eaten on salads.  I was surprised at how easy it is to make!  Vinegar causes it to curdle and clump.  We collected the curds in flour sack cloth and hung it from the kitchen cabinet knobs to drain.  Simple!

The mozzarella was a bit more complicated, but also a lot of fun.  Citric acid and rennet make the heated milk gelatinous, like milk flavored Jello.  We kneaded and stretched it to mix in salt and discovered warm mozzarella can stretch a long way.  A gallon of milk makes enough cheese to stretch from floor to ceiling!

I thought the whey from the mozzarella would be wasted, but Lindsey made ricotta cheese out of it.  I’m not sure how she did this because I was eating my second helping of her homemade yogurt at the time, but I’m delighted to know the whey doesn’t go to waste.  It is also high in protein and can be used in baking.

If you don’t bake, the whey can be fed to chickens or even to goats!  You might think it’s odd to feed goats a byproduct of their own milk, but, animals see these taboos in their own way.

My young friend told his mother he would like goats in their backyard.  I would too.  Life feels simpler and more satisfying when I know who produces my food and have the pleasure of greeting them on a calm, sunny morning.


About the Author

Bonnie Simon Has Written 35 Articles For Us!

I am an urban homesteader in Colorado Springs, CO where I raise chickens, make my own yogurt and am learning to grow some food, all within sight of downtown in a 1950s era neighborhood. I am starting a small business designed to fill the gap between local farms and local dinner tables.
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1 Comment

  1. I love Chevre. How amazing to have the opportunity to eat cheese that you made seconds before from fresh goat milk.

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