I made cheese this week.
I have friends who make their own cheese all the time but to me it was a major milestone. Like when I baked bread for the first time. But this cheese holds a special place in my heart. I made it as an experiment and to use some fresh goat milk while we still had some leftover store bought milk in the fridge that no one was drinking.
To my surprise, the cheese tasted quite good and it was spreadable so I had it in sandwiches and on toast and it filled me with immense pride. Not for my basic cheese making skills, no. I was proud of the accomplishments we made in the past two years to get the cheese on the toast.
When I stare out the kitchen window, I can see chickens in their pasture, scratching away, eating bugs and weeds. A little further, I can see another patch of pasture. One would look at it and see grass, shrubs, weeds. It doesn't look pretty, and it's kinda brown at this time of year. Well two years ago, we looked at that same patch of land and thought that we could turn those weeds into dairy products.
I still can't believe that we actually DID IT. It has been a lot of work and determination and it still is but now we're there. We have fresh raw goat milk in the fridge, it tastes wonderful and it is a blessing to feed it to my children.
But let's talk again about that cheese. Part of that cheese was made from the milk of a goat that was conceived and born on this land. Samara is not a great goat in any way. She is noisy and dumb. She is mostly black and not very pretty. She isn't even cuddly or sweet. But Gary caught her when she was born, and he cleared the gunk form her mouth to help her take her first breathe. Over a year later, when she first stood on the milk stand, she didn't kick one bit. She doesn't even require grain, she just stands there like a soldier. I like to believe it's because she trusts us, because she knows she will never get hurt while under our care. And maybe she can feel how grateful we are.