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Good news!  I have been shortlisted for the Young British Foodies in the “Honorary Young British Foodie” category, with my entry which involved making cheese from a single animal, a goat from Ellie’s Dairy called Footsie.  The results will be announced on May 29th at the Young British Foodie awards event.

The event will feature food created by entrants to the Young British Foodies, and I’ve teamed up with Kiren Puri of the Bladebone Inn to create a canape featuring my cheese.  Obviously since cheese making is a hobby for me, this requires some careful planning to ensure I have sufficient cheese available, as the event will be attended by around 200 people.

After some careful calculations, I decided to make 45 small raw goat white cheeses, over the course of three days, and matured for around a week.  This meant tripling my usual milk order from Ellie’s Dairy from 24 pints to 72, so rather than ask Debbie to lug them all the way to Franklins for me to pick up, I thought I’d take the opportunity to visit the dairy in person, and meet Footsie, who had helped me get to the finals with her lovely milk!

Ellie's Dairy

Ellie’s Dairy

Situated in Kent, just over an hour from my home in South East London, the dairy is home to the happiest goats I’ve ever seen.

Happy goats

Happy goats

A few seconds after I took the photo above, the goats noticed I was a new person and came over to investigate.

Inquisitive

Inquisitive

Goats have a fantastic habit of staying perfectly still until you’ve pressed the button on your camera to take a photo, at which point they bob their head around.

Little kids

Little kids

It wasn’t long until the little kids got in on the action and started bleating for attention and running around to see what was going on.

Standing on a bucket

Standing on a bucket

Kidding season has just finished, so there were plenty of newborns vying for prime position, which apparently for a young goat is standing on a bucket.

The wonderful Footsie

The wonderful Footsie

After a bit of cajoling, and luring with bananas, Footsie came back in from the field to see what was going on.

Feeding Footsie

Feeding Footsie

Having never fed a goat before, I started peeling one of the bananas I’d brought for her, only to have her grab the whole thing and chew it down, skin and all.

Jake the Peg

Jake the Peg

I also got to meet famous Jake the Peg, who had jumped on fence too many and broken his leg, which is now in a little cast.

Goats wandering round outside

Goats wandering round outside



We took a little wander out into the field, where we were quickly surrounded by inquisitive grazing goats, who seemed to enjoy nibbling the pegs on my duffle coat and shoes quite a lot!

Julie, Debbie & Francesca

Julie, Debbie & Francesca

Thank you to Debbie, Julie and Francesca for letting me come and take a look around, it was so heart-warming to see how healthy and happy all the goats are.  The importance of good quality milk in cheese making is absolutely paramount, and it was fantastic to meet them in person, especially Footsie!

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