A lesson from udder to plate

LAKE STEVENS — Twelve-year-old Sydney McDermott held the makings of her very first batch of cheese in her hands, amazed that it actually tasted, well, like cheese.

“Mozzarella is my favorite,” Sydney said.

She was one of eight Girl Scouts on Monday morning who took turns stirring, mix

ing, stretching and twisting the fresh cheese, part of a summer activity for their troop.

The class was intended to teach the girls how to make their own food and show where some of their food comes from, teacher Cyndi Ball said.

“That way they will have more control over the ingredients,” Ball, 49, said.

Ball, who manages a 7-acre farm in Statham, Ga., teaches gardening, beekeeping and more to help people learn how to grow their own food. She calls herself a homesteader, which she defines as someone wanting to become more independent from grocery stores and living a sustainable life.

It’s like “The Little House on the Prairie,” she said. “It’s getting back to basics.”

Sydney’s mom, Michelle McDermott, asked Ball to teach the girls how to make cheese, hoping they would learn something different and learn a little about organic food.

She met Ball through a common friend and started reading her blog. They talked in January and decided to have the class Monday because Ball was in Seattle for a convention.

The girls met at McDermott’s house. In the afternoon, they got to try their hand at milking goats at My-Enchanted-Acres goat dairy farm in Snohomish.

McDermott kept the cheese and plans to use it in a salad of mozzarella, tomatoes and basil. She said she wanted the girls to try something adventurous.

And while they were making the cheese, the girls did start humming the theme song to “Indiana Jones.”

While that has little to do with cheesemaking, it has everything to do with 12-year-old girls on an adventure.

Alejandro Dominguez: 425-339-3422, adominguez@heraldnet.com.

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