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Goat Milk becomes Cheese, onions & Goat porn

Tom Winnifrith Saturday 20 July 2013

 

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Sadly I arrived a day late for the Onion harvest at the home of Stavros and Stavroula in the Peloponnese. Shucks, the back breaking work of extracting the onions from soil watered the night before to make it less rock hard was done by others. The onions are then laid out to dry in the sun for a month or so before being stored in the cool cellar for year round consumption. Anyhow here are the onions from the garden of Stavros.



I have described earlier and shown videos of the goat milking process. They can be found here. Do not laugh too much at my efforts.

One thing that I forgot to mention was how all the goats had been sent the week before to meet a Ram for "servicing." However, judging by the sound of the bleet of one of them she judged that it was not pregnant. And so this Ewe was taken away after miling and led down to the path to a neighbouring field where there was a Ram and seven or eight Ewes.

Had the Ewe been pregnant the ram would have known this by smell. But heck she was not. Stavroula was correct.  The ram ignored all the other ewes and was over like a flash. I bring you a photo of him checking out his new "bird" but none of what followed - no goat porn here. But I can report that she seemed keen if a bit passive but there was no stopping him.

Anyhow we left them to it. And headed back with Stavroula clutching a full pail of goats milk from her three goats.

 

That milk was then heated on her gas stove until it was luke warm. For reasons I fail to understand it seemed to have increased dramatically in volume. I enjoyed a glass to drink and it was different to cows milk. I liked it but can see that it would not be everyone's cup of tea.

 

 

 

In the old days ( even thirty years ago) they would then have added rennet extracted directly from the stomach of a goat, scarped out and used over time. These days - in the one surrender to modern advances - Stavroula added a pinch of powdered rennet from a little box which caused the milk to curdle within 15 minutes. The whey was scooped out and thrown away. Had they still had a pig, the whey would have been his.

What remains was then wrapped in a muslin cloth which was tied and hung on a poll between a chair and the cooker.

Gradually the whey all drains away and a day later Stavroula will have added lots of salt and what remains would be feta. It can be eaten at once or stored in home made olive oil in an airtight box for up to a year thus providing year round protein for the family.

Of course this breaks all sorts of EU regulations in terms of process but it is for domestic consumption so two fingers to Brussels. Folks living from what they produce without any State intervention. Fantastic.

And Stavroula's feta tastes awesome.

 

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About Tom Winnifrith
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Tom Winnifrith is the editor of TomWinnifrith.com. When he is not harvesting olives in Greece, he is (planning to) raise goats in Wales.
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