Monday, November 29, 2010
Monday, November 22, 2010
Sunday, November 14, 2010
Yesterday I tried out a new cheese recipe. This time it is a cheese I have only heard of recently – Manchego, a cheese from Spain, from the region of La Mancha. It is traditionally made from sheep’s milk but cow’s milk will just have to do this time. A few weeks ago I went to a cheesemaking workshop which demonstrated making this cheese and also had a tasting platter of the finished product. Even though it was only a month or two old, it had a lovely strong flavour. This means that the cheese I made yesterday might just be ready in time for Christmas. After the curd is cut, it is heated gently in the whey for about 45 minutes to 40⁰C, then drained, hooped and pressed for several hours. It then sits in a brine bath overnight to dry out a little. It now has to air dry for a week before I wax it.
Since I had to stay in the kitchen for a while, stirring the curds, I decided to put some jam on to cook. We still have several of last season’s pumpkins so I had the idea of making pumpkin jam. When we were in Portugal last year visiting the little town in the mountains where my son’s father in law Fernando was born, we tasted a very nice pumpkin jam (Doce de abóbora) which was traditional to have with a soft fresh cheese (requeijão) and bread. So I also had to put the whey from the cheese to good use to make some fresh ricotta just in time to have for lunch.
Sunday, November 7, 2010
Another wet day so it is a good day to stay inside and do some cooking in the Preserving Patch Kitchen. I have never been a great fan of marmalade and have strong childhood memories of our house being permeated with the smell of cooking marmalade which I found a bit sickly sweet. Usually I love citrus things but that smell always put me off trying to make it myself. However with several citrus trees fruiting in the garden, I felt compelled to do something useful with them and have a go. I took this photo of my citrus grove on a nice sunny day a few weeks ago!
Today was the day. I pondered over which I should try of the vast number of recipes I have, to be assured of the best chance of success. I ended up doing a combination of recipes and also a combination of citrus. Orange, grapefruit, lemon and tangello were all mixed in together. Surprisingly the smell was not overpowering at all and I ended up with several jars of a beautiful orange red marmalade that I am sure my mum would have loved!
Monday, November 1, 2010
Old pots make good protectors however if I suspect there might be