Samantha is my cooking buddy. She loves to come over and try out new recipes and cooking techniques. A couple of years ago, for her birthday her Mom enrolled her for a pasta making class. I was thrilled that she included me too! The three of us learned how to make pasta, ravioli, a yummy salad dressing and a couple of different pasta sauces. Since then we have taken a couple of other cooking classes as well.
This past Christmas, I asked Samantha if she wanted her gift to be something to have or something to do. She chose something to do. I found a cheese making class that I knew she would enjoy. It took a while to get a class that we could get into, but our class time finally came around on Thursday.
We drove to a nearby farm where they teach cheese making classes. Standing Stone Farms is in Gallatin, TN and has a herd of Nubian Dairy Goats.
The picture above is right after we arrived. I have a thing about being late for anything and so we got there about 30 minutes before the class started.
The class started with making butter. Samantha has made butter here with me before, but she was still pretty happy with the butter she made. This is her pouring the "buttermilk" off of her butter.
And here she is helping stretch the mozzarella that they had just made.
She really enjoyed tasting the cheese too!
After the class was over, everyone was offered the chance to milk a goat too.
Feeding the baby goats.
I didn't know what to expect from this Parent-Child cheese making class. I knew that we would be making butter and mozzarella. Since Samantha has made butter before, I didn't know if she would be bored with that part of the class or not. I also didn't know if this was going to be a very basic class and might be geared for very young children. Even though she is still pretty young, Samantha has been in the kitchen doing things since she could stand at the counter and actually has pretty much mastered a lot of different skills.
I have to say, this class exceeded all of my expectations. The teacher (and owner) Paula was fabulous. She did a great job talking to the kids and also to the adults. She also shared some of the history of cheese and the chemistry of cheese making. It was presented in an easy to understand manner for the kids, but not "dummied down". All I knew before is that I love cheese, and now I know more than I did before. If you are local and have the opportunity to take a class here, go for it! They also offer more advanced classes and I am hoping to get in on one of these.
Samantha was beyond thrilled too. She talked about the class all evening. When I took her home, she went through the entire class with her Mom. She can't wait to make cheese at home. We bought a cheese making kit so hopefully we will have the opportunity in the near future.