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To make feta cheese, you'll need:

1 qt. goat milk

3 Tbsp. fresh buttermilk

1/8 tsp. liquid rennet

coarse, non-iodized salt


Begin by warming the milk in a saucepan to 86° F. Add the buttermilk and stir well. A slotted spoon or skimmer works best for stirring when making cheese.

Cover the pan, and let the mixture rest for about an hour.

Add the liquid rennet to a small amount (about 2 Tbsp.) of water, then add to the buttermilk mixture. Stir gently, but thoroughly, for a minute or two.

 

Cover again, and let the mixture sit, undisturbed for an hour. At the end of this time, the rennet will have caused the milk to congeal into a gelatin-like texture, such that when you tilt the pan slightly, the milk remains in place.

Using a knife that will reach to the bottom of the pan, slice the curds into 1/2" cubes, cutting lines first one way, then again at a 90° angle to the first set.

Let the curds rest for 5-10 minutes. You should notice the almost-clear, liquid whey seeping out from the cuts.

Check the temperature of the curds. If necessary, heat slowly to bring to 86° F. Stir gently for about 15 minutes, keeping the temperature steady.

Pour the curds into a cheesecloth-lined colander. When most of the liquid has passed through, gather the corners of the cheesecloth, and hang (a heavy rubber band works well for this) over a bowl to drain at room temperature for about 6 hours.

 

Remove the curds from the cheesecloth, and place in a bowl or other container. Slice into 1" slices, and sprinkle both sides of the slices with coarse salt. Cover, and leave at room temperature for about 24 hours. Drain any additional whey that has separated, cover, and refrigerate. The feta will be best if allowed to age for 5-7 days. At that time, you can cut it into cubes or crumble it, and add herbs or spices if you like. If the feta is too salty for your taste, try soaking it for a short time in fresh milk before using. A great way to preserve feta cheese, or to give it as a gift, is to use it to make marinated cheese, which is also the main ingredient in this Greek salad recipe. As a bonus for your gift recipient, print and attach these instructions for how to make feta cheese, so that they can enjoy fresh feta whenever they like!



Marinated feta cheese

will keep at room temperature for a time, if it's prepared properly. It can also be stored in a container in the refrigerator. To keep the cheese at room temperature (or to give as a gift), you will need to use glass canning jars.

To use canning jars, first sterilize the jar, lid and ring by boiling in water for ten minutes. Remove all parts from the water with tongs and allow to cool.

Place alternating layers of herbs and cubes of feta cheese into the jar (or container). Leave about 1" space at the top. Cover the cheese and herbs completely with vegetable oil.

Olive oil will have the strongest flavor, and will add a beautiful golden-green color, but you can also use soybean, canola, or other vegetable oil if you prefer a lighter taste and look.

Stronger herbs will produce a more noticeable flavor in the cheese, but choose according to your taste. You can use either dried or fresh herbs. Some herbs that are typically used include:

garlic

bay leaves

peppercorns

basil

rosemary

thyme

dill
An easy combination that also looks nice in the jar is tri-colored peppercorns, minced or whole-clove garlic and a pre-mixed Italian herb seasoning blend.

Experiment with your own combinations to find your favorite look and taste.
Place the lid and ring on the jar and tighten. The cheese will keep without refrigeration for a while, as long as it is completely covered by the oil.

Use your marinated feta as a snack or in a Greek salad recipe.

For a wonderful homemade gift, decorate the jar with a ribbon and tag, and give to someone special!