Bird Flu. Swine Flu. Goat Flu too?

On Sunday, I had a wonderful experience of meeting a fellow named Tom and making goat cheese right in his kitchen.
Although it involves quite a bit of science and chemistry, enzymes, bacteria, and heat, it wasn’t too terribly confusing.  Cheese making can get a bit complex, but this was a simple basic beginner method.

Step 1 is to milk a goat.  I didn’t actually get to milk the nanny goat.  I was looking forward to this, but nevertheless.

We began by pouring goat’s milk in a big pot. 

 And heating to boiling, but not a degree more.

After it boils, lemon juice is added, and the cheese makes it’s curd (as in Little Miss Muffett, sat on her tuffett, eating her curds and whey)

Then it was poured through a cheese cloth.

 Drained completely of its whey.
Salted, then pressed.

Wa-lah! Cheese!  Creamy, delicious goat cheese.  This simple process is called chev cheese.  I’m not sure of the spelling, but this cheese can be eaten right away with no aging involved.

A different method of making cheese involved using Rennet tablets which can be bought in the pudding aisle at the grocery store. 

There are several cheese recipes in the packet.  We attempted this method, but it was way more confusing for my little brain, and something when awry with the heating or the gas-iness of the recipe, or perhaps it might’ve been the fact that I was not gentle enough with the cheese and made the curd too tiny.  But Tom ended up making ricotta out of it.   I was about “cheesed” out by this point.  It had taken several hours and I can only handle so much new learning at one time.
So we went out to meet the goats.  There were three nannies named Ivy, Angel and someone else, but my memory fails me. 
And there was Billy, the male.  

He was the stinkiest, foulest creature I have ever had the pleasure of being molested by.  On second thought, maybe not.  But on with the story.  He rubbed his stinking, foul head against my leg and followed me around like Mary’s little lamb, minus the adorableness.  He reminded me of a bad date.  I attempted shoo-ing him, he wouldn’t shoo.  I attempted canine words of “No!  Go!  Get!”  to no avail.  His odor was a tad bit akin to the stench of the cheese we had just made and I began to get rather nauseous.   
About 14 seconds after leaving their house, I started feeling rather ill.  I couldn’t help but associate it with the cheese, and I refused to allow the cheese to be the cause of my distress because it is such a basic, old fashioned, pure farming activity.  I set my mind to determine the cause of my upset stomach. 
 I mentally retraced my lunch of the day, which was several hours earlier and I thought it rather unlikely that I would just then be sick from it. 

I dismissed the cause of my sickness to working in an elementary school classroom where children carry a plethora of stomach bugs, diseases, and overall grossness which I could easily contract by touching an eraser cap.

Therefore, after experiencing a complete and total barf-o-rama (name that movie) and with the abundance of scientific-ness I acquired in my brain with the art of making cheese, I can only conclude from my research that I contracted a serious sickness from Billy, the disgusting goat that I came into contact. 

 I have unofficially, unconfirmed that I have “Goat Flu”.

It’s the only thing that makes sense.
I am fully expecting to receive a Nobel Prize for my latest discovery.
Just you watch.

Scientifically Yours,

(friend of 7-up and Saltines)

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