Monday, September 26, 2011

Perry- pear cider

No time to do anything this weekend as we have been away but last week I made a small bottle of Perry using frozen pear juice I made earlier this year. Add some yeast, an OzTop to the bottle and then let it brew in a warm place for a few days. Delicious.

Sunday, September 18, 2011

Alpine Style Tomme

Tried a new cheese over the weekend - this recipe is from my new cheese book Artisan Cheese Making at Home. Alpine style is a pressed cow's milk cheese made in the French, Swiss, Italian or Austrian alps under various names. Tomme is meant to refer to a cheese aged with a textured rind however I decided to wax it anyway so that I don't have to spend the next few months keeping the rind clean of mould.

The process is much the same as many of the pressed cheeses I have made before. Warm the milk, add starter culture ( this cheese had both mesophilic and thermophilic starter as the curd gets cooked a bit), add rennet and the cut the curd. After resting the cut curd for a short while, it is then heated first to 95. degrees F then to 100 degrees F (my American book is all in Fahrenheit so lucky my thermometer does both C and F!) . The curd is then drained for a while before going into the mould for pressing. The cheese then gets pressed over about 3 hours with gradually increasing weights.
After air drying overnight, the cheese can either be dry salted for a few days or floated in an almost saturated brine solution for 8 hours. After drying off, it is then ready for putting in the cave, except this is where I cheated and waxed it as well.

And just to keep me on my toes, I made a batch of fetta at the same time.

Sunday, September 11, 2011

Spring in the Vege Garden and Sourdough Ciabatta Bread

This time of year there are always lots of things to do in the garden. Digging when the weather has allowed the soil to dry out a bit, sowing seeds in readiness for the warmer weather, planting or sowing direct to the garden for those crops which will tolerate the cold soils, cleaning up the winter veges going to seed, and the list goes on.

Now that my snow peas are starting to grow, I find it is easiest to train them to grow up the mesh by attaching some light cotton to the top of the plant and the mesh. This just holds them upright and they don’t get knocked over by the strong winds that are blowing today. I also need to protect them from the greedy birds that are looking for an easy feed at this time of the year.

My potato crop is starting to pop out of the ground so I have spread mulch around them to try to minimize the weed growth.  Hopefully this summer won’t be quite so wet so that we get a decent crop.