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My featured Merit Badge Awardee of the Week is Marlene Laverty!

Marlene Laverty (#7503) has received a certificate of achievement in Farm Kitchen for earning a Beginner Level Cheesemaking Merit Badge!

“I made yogurt using my goats’ whole milk. I had a choice between using a yogurt culture or plain store-bought yogurt. I have to start with a bacterial culture to get the process going. I made my yogurt with 1 cup organic store-bought yogurt as a starter. I made sure the store-bought yogurt had live culture in it. I heated up a quart of whole milk to 180ºF to sterilize it and placed the pot of milk in a sink halfway filled with cold water to cool it down to 80ºF. Using a whisk, I mixed the milk slowly into the cup of yogurt. I have a Euro Cuisine yogurt maker with jars. It’s really just a covered hot plate with jars, but it keeps the milk and starter at the correct temp to get the cultures moving and growing. I poured the mixture into the jars. Twelve hours later (the longer the time, the more sour) … yogurt!

It turned out a little thin. Nice and sour and just a bit sweet. Great for granola! I will drain some of my yogurt to make Greek-style yogurt. Using a fine mesh sieve and butter muslin, the yogurt can be drained of most of the liquid to make a much thicker yogurt. All in all, very happy with the result. It’s great with honey and peaches too!”

Leave a comment 2 Comments

  1. Winnie Nielsen says:

    Congratulations Marlene on getting your goat cheeses made. My daughter raises dairy goats and I remember when we first tried making cheese decades ago. It does take time to get it right , but oh it is so good when you do. Now my daughter makes a soft goat cheese , kinda like a cream cheese consistency, and sells it . It is delicious and she has customers keeping her busy with orders. Enjoy your new and healthy addition to your diet!!

    • Marlene says:

      Thank you so much. I think I have made the goat cheese style you are talking about and oh, there is nothing like it! I am learning to make bagels just to go with the soft goat cheese. I have had a few batches of the cheese that didn’t come out right, but the chickens love the failures. They eat it right up. I love my goats, they give milk, manure for the garden, fiber, meat in some cases. They are such an all purpose critter! And the babies are so fun to play with.

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