Tag Archives: goats

Brooklyn Chevre’

I’m back on track making cheese after a little hiatus. It was raining yesterday in Brooklyn so I decided to make some goat cheese. Chevre’, meaning goat in french, is technically the term for all goat cheese but we think of chevre’ as the soft, cream cheese like goat cheese we are often used to in the USA.


Goat's Milk

I decided to make chevre’ with dill and garlic. I bought a half gallon of pasteurized goat’s milk and used my chevre’ starter from New England Cheesemaking which I keep in the freezer.

At left is the goat’s milk right out of the bottle in a pot on my stove.

I heated it to around 80 degrees (fahrenheit), added the starter and a few tablespoons of dissolved vegetable rennet. Rennet helps to coagulate milk. Rennet is traditionally made from the stomach lining of an animal but I prefer the vegetable variety. If you want to learn more about rennet, check out this article.

After mixing the milk for a few minutes, I covered it and just let it set for around 12 hours, waiting for the curd to form. After 12 hours, I had a nice curd in the pot – the milk becomes a custard-y consistency and there was a little bit of clear liquid at the top.

Dill and Garlic

Next, I minced some dill and 1 garlic clove and mixed it all up with the curds. Then, I ladled the curds into a butter muslin (cheese cloth) that I lined inside of a colander. Last, I tied the four corners of the muslin together and fastened the whole “bag” to my kitchen faucet, handing over the sink.

I let the bag hang, draining slowly, over the sink, over night.

In the morning, I united the bag and here is what I got:

Finished Garlic and Dill Chevre

From half a gallon of goat’s milk, I ended up with one small tupperware carton of chevre’. It’s delicious, fresh and not too “goat-y.” It’s a great starter cheese for anyone interested in cheesemaking. I’m going to bring mine to a dinner party and we’ll eat it on crackers and bread with olives and fresh vegetables.

Avi's Brooklyn Chevre

In America, Chevre’ only became popular in the 1980s. Laua Chenel is known as the mother of American goat cheese. She pioneered artisan chevre’ production in California and reigned as the doyenne of American goat cheese for more than 20 years. As the NY Times reported, Chenel’s business was bought out by a larger company in 2006.

Last but not least, have a look at some great chevre’ recipe suggestions from this Chowhound page.

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A Man Staring at Goats

The Men Who Stare at Goats

Well, it’s official – goats are everywhere. The latest Clooney movie is The Men Who Stare at Goats. According to Wikipedia, the film is about:

The book examines connections between paranormal military programs and psychological techniques being used for interrogation in the War on Terror. The book traces the evolution of these covert activities over the past three decades, and sees how they are alive today within U.S. Homeland Security and post-war Iraq. It examines the use of the theme tune toBarney & Friends on Iraqi prisoners-of-war, the smuggling of a hundred de-bleated goats into the Special Forces command center at Fort BraggNorth Carolina, and the connection between the U.S. military and the mass-suicide of members of the Heaven’s Gate cult in San Diego.[1]

Rabbis Goats and Other Characters

Then, I notice a neighborhood artist, Jonathan Blum with a new goat exhibit

If I could have a goat in Brooklyn, I would buy one right now. They are smart, nice and will eat just about anything. Then, I would be able to milk them twice a day and make my own cheese! Bliss. But where to put the goats? They’d be a mess on the streets of Brooklyn.

I got an idea while visting Georgia last summer. About an hour from Atlanta, in Tiger, GA,  I found a rest-stop/restaurant called Goats on the Roof. Below is a video I found of the place:

I think I could do Goats on the Roof in Brooklyn. What do you think?

“Got yer Goat” yet?

Getting my Goat On

Getting my Goat On

According to Goat World, there are more than 450 million goats in the world. That’s more goats than there are Americans…. The origin of the expression “to get ones goat” is unclear, but the Word Detective says that it’s an American expression dating back to the early 20th century and has something to do with goats being used to calm down horses at racetracks. Sounds fishy to me.

My favorite kind of cheese comes from goat’s milk. Goats produce around 1 gallon a day on average compared to 10 gallons from a cow. But if it’s quality and not quantity you are looking for, goat’s milk is richer and easier to digest than the cow’s. Sheep’s produce even less and their milk is even richer, and their milk makes great cheese.

51I6swQkjiL._SL500_AA240_I prefer the goat both for its cheese and its personality. Sheep are too sheepish and cows too big and clumsy. Goats are both manageable and smart enough to be worth having as “pets.” Although my life in Brooklyn prohibits having a goat or two, I am interested in raising a few at some point. If you think raising goats is only for the very hardy, consider that there’s even a “Raising Goats for Dummies” book. Anyone can do it!

This great article on Mother Earth News walks you through the process of raising and breeding goats and explains the different breeds.

The most problematic part of raising goats, for me, is what to do with all of the male goats (kids) that are born every year. To keep goats producing sufficient quantities of milk, you have to breed them every fall and they give birth to their kids (often twins or triplets) in the Spring — hence the spring lambs, etc. You keep some of the females for milk to replace any older does who drop out of your herd. But what about the males? They are usually castrated and sold as “lawnmowers” or pets or for meat. That’s disturbing. But what’s the alternative? You can’t keep all of the kids or you’ll be overrun by goats in no time.

Another funny goat tidbit — anyone ever hear of fainting or narcoleptic goats?

Last but not least, goats are smart. They’re smarter than we usually give them credit for as evidenced by this video clip:

Need I say more?