Most recounts of visits to cheese-makers seem to involve the word ‘bucolic’ and descriptions of jade-green grass and tumbling verges. Often cows feature, grazing contentedly in a hazy middle distance. Not so on my visit to Wildes Cheese. Stepping out from the train station, the only green to be spotted is the odd blowsy branch of elderflower hanging off the rail embankment and some plantains piled up outside a local shop. Tottenham is many things but a rural idyll is not one of them.
Tag Archives: mozzarella
I am fascinated by natural yeasts and like to grow a sourdough starter in my kitchen. It was given to me by an Italian friend who got it from her in-laws in Italy who got it from a bakery. So it feels a bit like a pedigree pet, one of those long-haired hamsters or something that needs food and attention or it starts to smell. The problem is that if it was a hamster I’d be in big trouble with the rodent obesity protection league as I feed it far too much and end up with a giant Kilner full of starter:
A little while ago my Italian food-loving friend pressed some of her sourdough starter on me. Those of you that have followed this blog for a while will know that my success rate with foodstuffs requiring cultures or fermentation is not good. I confess that I wrapped the starter in some clingfilm and put it in the fridge. I then tried to forget about it, put some vegetables on top of it and generally abused it foully for several weeks. But one day I caught sight of it and felt a bit bad. I took it out, poked it, stuck it in a bowl and stirred in a random amount of flour and water. By some miracle, after a few hours, it started to bubble. Praise be, it was still alive!
I wondered if asking people to make their own cheese and devise a recipe around it would be a step too far. I envisaged the tumbleweeds blowing across my blog throughout the month, as I frantically made cheese myself and cooked it up to make things look busy. But I under-estimated my fellow bloggers big-time and the sound of whey dripping through tea-towels echoed across the globe. A couple of them in particular (no names mentioned… ;)) seem to have become quite hooked on the entire process and I look forward to some magnificent creations clogging up their fridges and cellars very soon. But onto the round-up…
Okay, stop sniggering at the back, please. The title of the post doesn’t say that I made my own bodyweight in mozzarella or enough mozzarella to keep Papa John’s afloat. I will admit that it’s not the largest haul of cheese ever produced but that’s the thing about artisan cheese, right – quality over quantity. So there.
I was quite excited to find some smoked mozzarella at the local farmers’ market this weekend. I’d been pondering what to make for this month’s Cheese, Please! Challenge but, although I love smoked cheddars, they were leaving me a bit devoid of inspiration. The mozzarella immediately made me think of bread but I wanted to do something a bit different and that’s when I thought of campfires and cowboys and cornbread. All very smoky indeed.
The Big Cheesy Barbeque: Shropshire Blue Burgers, Halloumi Rosemary Skewers and Aubergine Tricolore Parcels
The sun is finally out, the back doors are flung wide open and it’s time to dust off and light up the barbeque, ready to spend an afternoon trying to stop the baby bum-shuffling into the hot coals and listening to the Other Half swearing in confusion at his raw meat/cooked meat utensils. Yay, summer fun!
Now, I love a sausage as well as the next girl but you can get a bit ‘meated out’ at barbeques sometimes and, as for veggies, there’s surely only so many slabs of burnt halloumi they can face. So I pondered the cheese options for a while and below, for your delectation and delight, bring you some fromage-for-the-flames.
In Britain, you can spend all summer waiting for summer. Lifestyle magazines might be full of picnics, laid out on gingham table-cloths outside gypsy caravans, spotted bunting fluttering from the trees, but the reality is more likely eating squashed cheese sandwiches in the car whilst the rain hammers on the roof. And if you have small children, there’s no romance to picnics anyway, just constant complaints about grass in sandals, giant bees, the lack of crisps and how ‘disgusting’ your lovingly-prepared quiche is. Really, don’t bother.