“Making Cheese and Taking Names”

The nature of my project was that I had to do something that I had never done before. I was given a list of project of which I could attempt to complete. Having examined the list, one possible project caught my attention. This eye-catching project was “Make your own goat cheese”. This whole idea of making goat cheese on my own was completely uncharted territory for me. Back at home, the extent of my kitchen duties was to take the dishes out of the dish washer and put them away. My immediate concerns with this projects were, 1) Where would I keep a goat 2) Is this going to involve heating up liquids and possibly burning myself and 3) What if the cheese doesn’t taste very good. I personally believe that this are all valid concerns when it comes to cooking on one’s own for the first time. That is actual cooking, not making macaroni and cheese from a box or “cooking” chicken tenders in the oven.

I encountered numerous problems along the way. My first problem was that I had no clue how I was going to begin the process of making goat cheese. A quick google search gave me some solid starting information. Another problem that I engaged along the way was that I didn’t have a pot. To remedy this situation, I borrowed a pot from a friend. After this problem was solved, I ran into an issue with not having a strainer or any instruments of measurement. To solve this issue, I built my own strainers by cutting holes in the bottom of a red solo cup so that it could be used as a strainer. Another problem that I ran into was that I didn’t have anyway to accurately measure the amount of goat milk or vinegar that I was pouring into my pot. I solved this problem by doing some research on the cultural icon that is a red solo cup. It turns out that red solo cups have built in markers of measurement on the sides of the cup. The first line on the bottom is one ounce. The second line is five ounces. The third line is twelve ounces. Learning this enabled me to solve my problem of not having any units of measurement. *inserts something about not condoning drinking*

I used numerous guides or tutorials throughout my project. I started with a quick google search of “How to make goat cheese”. I then clicked on the first link which led me to the website ethnicspoon.com The recipe given by this website was a bit pricer than what I was looking to create so I continued my search for goat cheese that a college student could both make in their dorm room and afford to make. My next search led me to the video website known as “YouTube”. On this website I found a video that explained to me clearly and concisely how to go about making goat cheese in a way that I figured that I both could and afford to do. A link to the video can be found here This video was very helpful to me as I was able to see what I needed to do and a list of ingredients is provided in the video. Another website that I found more interesting than helpful was prairiefruits.com I found this website to be more interesting than helpful because it explained how goat cheese is produced on a commercial scale. Obviously, this is something that as a college student I would have a lot of difficulties accomplishing, but it was quite interesting to see how goat cheese is produced on a commercial scale. Another website that I investigated to learn more about making goat cheese was cheeseforum.com … Yes, it is literally exactly what it sounds like. It’s a bunch of dairyphiles and cheese addicts discussing the best ways to make homemade goat cheese. From this website I learned that the smallest legal vat of commercial cheese in the United States is fifty gallons. Quite interesting if I say so myself. Also last but not least, one of the most important resources that I tracked down was a red solo cup measurement chart.  This was found by using the very important google search of “red solo cup measurement chart”. This chart can be found here. This chart was a lifesaver as it enabled me to not have to go to the store and purchase a standard measuring cup.  These resources were created in what I can only assume is a love for the art of cheesemaking. However, the red solo cup chart was found on a life hack website. These websites were clearly not turning a profit based off of the attributes of the website. However,  it is beautiful to see people care so much about cheese that they are willing to sit down and discuss different styles and techniques on a  website. However, once again the website holding valuable measurement information about red solo cups was set up to make a profit as the website was much more professional and appealing. I can only assume that the authors created these websites purely out of love for food, goat cheese and cheese in general. Most of these websites were clearly made out of love for cheese and not out of an attempt to create a profit. I found these sources credible because they either looked professional or made it clear that the authors knew what they were discussing. One consistent weakness that I found across most of these resources was that they were essentially telling me the same information. Apparently there aren’t so many different ways to make goat cheese. Overall, I used one forum posting, one video, and three instructional guides.

The source that I found most helpful was the YouTube video that I watched. A link to that video can be found here This YouTube video was helpful because it clearly showed what I needed to do to make my very own goat cheese. I appreciated the effort put into the video and how straightforward the video was. I also appreciated how the video literally showed everything that I was suppose to do in a clear, concise and easily understood manner.I think one of the reasons that I found this video so helpful was that it clearly showed me what I needed to do while also explaining to me in text important information such as how to prepare the milk, how much vinegar to put into the milk, how to strain the milk, and other important information. It think this video was effective because it combined two methods of learning which I really benefit from. These two methods are reading and watching someone else show me how to perform an action before I perform it myself.

Learning Style Quiz Results

VARK results

Visual 2

Aural 5

Read/Write 6

Kinesthetic 4

 

My test score indicated that I would learn from reading, hearing and doing. By watching the video I was able to read and hear what I would need to accomplish in order to create my own goat cheese. The ability to watch a video to learn about making goat cheese definitely played to my learning strength. One of the things that didn’t help was looking at pictures of goat cheese didn’t help me in my quest to make goat cheese, mostly because a general picture doesn’t tell you too much about how to build something, but also in the sense that I don’t learn so much by looking at things as I do by being taught about them.

 

Citations

A. (2016). How to Make Goat Cheese Recipe – Chèvre – Analida’s Ethnic Spoon. Retrieved September 12, 2016, from http://ethnicspoon.com/how-to-make-goat-cheese-recipe-chevre/
Barber, C. (2016). The Secret Feature of the Iconic Red Solo Cup. Retrieved September 12, 2016, from http://www.thekitchn.com/the-secret-feature-of-the-iconic-red-solo-cup-221334
CheeseForum.org » Forum. (n.d.). Retrieved September 12, 2016, from http://cheeseforum.org/forum/index.php?topic=2953.0
Prairie Fruits Farm & Creamery, LLC | Farmstead Goat Cheeses, Goat Milk Gelato, Organic Fruits and Farm to Table Meals. (n.d.). Retrieved September 12, 2016, from http://www.prairiefruits.com/
Michael Fisher. (2008). Making Homemade Goat Cheese. Retrieved September 12, 2016, from https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=J01mYJfds2U
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