Friday, August 23, 2013

Curds & Curly Tails

The pigs had a breakfast of windfall apples from last nights thunderstorm, cracked corn, and whey left over from cheese making. Right now the curd from a farmer chevre is setting on my countertop in a mold and by this afternoon it will be perfect. Simple soft cheeses like this that only take a day to drip, set, and spread over a bagel or crumble over a salad are a staple in places with regular access to an udder. I had some guests here yesterday and when they saw how fast the process was, and how quickly I left the steel pot on the stove alone to turn to curds, they seemed surprised. I literally came inside the house with a pail of milk, strained it, heated it up in a pot, added some lemon juice and some chevre culture and we went back outside to plant kale seeds and tack up Merlin. I call any super fast cheese like this a Farmer Cheese, mostly because farmers doing 200 things at once don't usually have the time make a daily cheese much more complicated. For me this cheve will be offered at Game Night at a Friend's house I was invited to. Served with some crackers or bagels. I'm still not over the humble brag that comes when someone who "can't stand goat cheese" tastes a real, raw milk, soft cheese for the first time and falls in love with it. There is nothing "goaty" about it, at least not in the way people knee-jerk react to that word. It's a bright taste, like new guitar strings sound. There's some tang, sure, but no more challenging than cream cheese.

Anyway, back to those pigs. I love watching them scarf and smile. I love watching them scratch their butts on the metal feeder or their pigoda wall. I love seeing them crunch into the protein-soaked corn as they fish for apples and I love seeing them decide it was all too-much and pile into a heap for a nap. In a few weeks (right after Fiddle Camp) they will move from their pen to their woodland adventure! Right now they have a piglet space that will soon offer an open gate into the forest. I need to build them an extended electric fence or use some netting but however I rig it I am excited for them to see what its like to scratch their butt on a locust trunk!