Monday, June 29, 2015

Life List Fail: There Were Cows, But I Wasn't Allowed to Milk Them

"I didn't know learning to be a farm hand was on your list," my friend Chelsea said.

It's not. And it's really silly, but I think it would be pretty cool to get to milk a cow, and so it's on my Life List. I've heard it's not as easy as it looks.

We were at the Virginia Cheese Festival. (How's that for irony.) It was a lot of fun! There were cheese-making demonstrations, and cheese-sampling flights, and three floors worth of vendors with bites of cheese to try. There were some really good cheeses, and some unusual ones (mulberry chevre? habaƱero mango cheddar?). We tried goat cheese, and sheep's milk cheese, and cow's milk cheese (and when I got home and told this to Matt, he said, "Cow's milk cheese is just CHEESE.")

The cheese flight, which was guided and really informative, with cheeses from Caromont Farm.

And I learned a lot. I learned that goat cheese is called "chevre," which is pronounced "shev," and that cheese washed in cider is really delicious. (That's the cheese on the right, above.) I also learned that the rind of brie is actually white mold, and that kind of grossed me out and confused me because I like brie but other moldy cheese varieties are gross. I don't know my life.

Anyway, so we're sipping chardonnay and tasting cheeses and plotting which ones we're going to come back and buy later, when I heard that there were cows outside among the outdoor (non-cheese) vendors. And I said that we had to go see the cows and see if we could milk one! And Chelsea thought that was weird, but agreed that she'd take a picture if I managed to do it.

Cheese tasting selfie. 

So we went out to see the cows, and there were two little brown cows and one bigger black-and-white cow that was lazy and laying down under the tent in this little metal corral.

I love cows! I did get to pet the two brown ones. Chelsea happened to know the woman who owned the farm, and told her I wanted to learn how to milk a cow.

And the woman told me they had this thing that you could "learn" on, but it was basically just a piece of wood painted to look like a cow, with a rubber udder attached under a tank of fluid. Not exactly the same thing. (I did not attempt to milk the fake cow. I'm pretty sure that was meant for children.)

So I didn't get to milk a cow, but it was still an awesome day.

Do you like festivals? Are you a cheese connoisseur? Would you want to milk a cow?


  1. Katie @ A Beautiful Little AdvJune 29, 2015 at 10:00 AM

    Oh fun! I would love to go to a cheese festival. I've milked a cow before, it was kinda scary/gross haha. I kept worrying about getting kicked in the head.

  2. A cheese festival sounds divine! (and bovine, for that matter ;-) ) I'm not sure milking a cow is high up or even on my list of things to do, but I suppose if the opportunity presented itself I might give it a go.

  3. Haha, yeah I didn't even think about potentially getting kicked in the head until after I walked behind one of the cows. Even if it's gross, I'm sure it was an experience!

  4. Ooh, a cheese festival sounds really fun. I love brie, even the rind. Ryan is more of a cheese person than I am and loves all of the exotic types. I think I milked a cow on my grandpa's farm when I was little, but that was years ago.

  5. I learned to love brie thanks to our wedding! We did hors d'oeuvres and had a bunch of cheese wheels with yummy toppings, and I think the tasting might have been the first time I'd had brie!

  6. I can't remember now if I have milked a cow or not... it seems like something that could have happened, but I can't really picture it. I would totally do it some day! :) Looks like it was a fun day!

  7. love that you tried to milk a cow. why not? i'd do it just for the experience if the opportunity ever rolled out. being that i live in the midwest, it's probably gonna happen. also, i've been wanting to take cheese classes to learn about all the different kinds (anything with truffles is my current favorite)

  8. Right? I can't believe I lived in Texas for 23 years and the opportunity to milk a cow never arose. Someday, though … someday!

  9. Oh my, a cheese festival?! This would be right up my alley! Too bad you didn't get to milk a cow though. I milked a goat was surprisingly difficult! But I was eight, so maybe that was part of the problem?

  10. Ooh I imagine! Goats are sneaky and small and move fast!