By Jules Henry
We awoke bright and early Sunday morning to visit a dairy farm. Instead of pushing our fears to the limit like the days before, today was a day to treat our tummies!
We arrived at Crislee’s farm at 6:30am to be graciously greeted by him and his five year old daughter. Our first task was to milk cows. Being a city girl with no background in agriculture, this was a new adventure for me. I must say that milking a cow is not as easy as it looks. Some of my peers were either naturals or had previous experience. It was pretty entertaing. But it was really enjoyable to see every one’s smiling faces and laughter so early in the morning.
After gathering two full buckets of milk, it was time to learn the process of cheese making. It was very interesting to learn how certain temperatures and how long the milk cooks will determine the type of product that will come out. For example, it takes four hours to make mozzarella cheese, but in less time, you can produce palmito cheese, which is popular in Costa Rica.
As we watched Crislee show us the process, we were able to make cheese ourselves. Some students stirred and kneaded the cheese in salted water. You repeat this process up to three or four times until the cheese became elastic and stretches out to about 12cm.
Let me tell you, the cheese smelled amazing as I rolled it up to a weight of .5 kilos . . . it reminded me of a buttered croissant, which would have been a lovely addition to the cheese. I love cheese and this was some of the best tasting cheese I have ever had the pleasure of tasting.
We even learned the process of making yogurt. I’m not a big fan of yogurt, but the stuff Crislee gave us was ahh-maziiiing! Everything was fresh, with no preservatives. I think today was one of my favorite days since it was very different and we had my favorite food, cheese!
To finish out the weekend, we returned to the Soltis Center for class meetings. Later in the night, we had dinner and were treated to a special music fiesta. Everyone joined in and danced their hearts out in this big circle outside the center. It was such a pleasant experience and a nice way to finish out our last weekend here. WHOOP!