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A few months ago I entered a competition to become a Young British Foodie (YBF):

Who are the YBFs? They’re the people putting food and drink back at the heart of our communities. They’re the men and women using lost arts and new skills to bring craft back to the kitchen.

I certainly feel like cheese making is a bit of a lost art, and love encouraging people to have a go themselves.  As part of the entry, we were required to come up with a unique idea in our area, and mine was single animal cheese – that is, cheese made entirely from the milk of a single animal, be it goat, cow or sheep.  The second round of the competition requires successful finalists to turn their idea into reality, and present it to the judges.

Previous experiments into what type of milk to use in cheese making, as well as my great experiences in the past made Ellie’s Dairy raw goat milk the natural choice for this project.  I contacted Debbie from Ellie’s Dairy who was very interested in helping out, and suggested one of her best milkers Footsie, as a candidate.

Footsie is on the right in the video above, enjoying one of her favourite foods – bananas!  According to Debbie, Footsie’s life revolves around food (even enjoying the occasional Weetabix!), making it even more interesting to see how that food flavour made its way into the resulting cheese.

So a couple of weeks ago, Footsie was brought in to milk first, to ensure the milk was only from her.

Footsie enjoying a meal on her own

Footsie enjoying a meal on her own

According to Debbie, Footsie loved the attention, and given her love of food was quite happy not to have to compete with the other goats for food!

Footsie's milk

Footsie’s milk

She produced around 14 pints in total, which will be made into Footsie cheese.

Footsie enjoying the attention

Footsie enjoying the attention

It seems the attention may have gone to Footsie’s head now though, as Debbie writes:

She was most put out this morning when she didn’t get to come into the parlour before everyone else.  She came running over and stood up on the gate waiting to be let out and looked most upset when David walked out of the barn pushing the feed trolley, without her following.  She looked slightly confused, and then bleated at me a couple of times just to remind me that she was there.  I explained to her that we were very grateful for her milk but that she could now come in for milking with the other girls.  This prompted a very hard stare and a snort as she then wandered off.  Poor Footsie!

Footsie’s milk will be coagulated using kid rennet, and matured into a soft white cheese using my usual recipe – I’m really intrigued to see how it will turn out!

Debbie also wrote a great piece on the Ellie’s Dairy blog here.