Wednesday, February 23, 2011

The Brie begins to bloom

After 10 days, my Petit Brie is starting to get quite a bit of mould growth - more around the sides than the top and bottom yet. So far it is looking much more promising than my failed Camembert which never even got to this stage over a month of waiting. On the weekend, we had two visitors from France, one from the north and one from the south. They were great cheese lovers - what a pity my Brie wasn't ready for tasting. The area in the north where Sam came from produces a mould ripened cheese that smells like smelly socks, maybe a bit like my first Camembert which I didn't like all that much because it was so strong (and smelly sock-like).

Sunday, February 13, 2011

To Brie or not to Brie - that is the question.

Monterey Jack with Tas. Mt Pepper leaves
Pepper Leaf Monterey Jack
drying Brie on sushi mats
 I had a cheese making day on Saturday and thought I would try 2 different types mainly because I got 2 different starter cultures going. Brie and Camembert cheeses use a slightly different culture called Flora Danica which I have had sitting in the fridge in a sachet for a few weeks. I also got some proper Penicillium this time rather than using shavings of shop Camembert to inoculate the milk. I hope I have better luck with mould growth this time. I had to throw out the second lot of Camembert as it never grew any mould at all . The other cheese I made was Monterey Jack which I thought I would spice up with some Tasmanian Mountain Pepper leaves mixed into it. I hope it doesn't end up too hot as those pepper leaves can be pretty fiery.

I have been pretty busy out in the vege garden over the last few weeks, harvesting and also trying to start off my winter veges. It looks quite different from the last time I took photos in early spring! I am still waiting for the tomatoes to start producing en masse. The summer has been so wet and mild this year I am wondering if I will get anywhere near my normal bulk crop. I just hope I have enough for lots of preserved puree/passata.

Sunday, February 6, 2011

Beating the crows to the plum crop.

Some crafty crows have suddenly discovered my plums so it is time to act! I have been letting the Satsuma plums hang on the tree as long as possible as I love to eat them straight off the tree but since I discovered the small Santa Rosa plum crop had disappeared one day, I have been on high alert. I hung some CDs in the fruit trees to try to fool the culprits but yesterday found a few nibbled Satsumas on the ground. I didn't want to risk it any longer so grabbed my bucket and picked the crop.

Plum leather in the dryer

Some I bottled, some I stewed and then made into plum leather for our next bushwalk. I also made some into jam which will go just nicely with the sourdough Turkish bread I made this morning.
 There is one more plum tree left to harvest.
The small Damson plums will be another week or so before they are ready. The tree is absolutely laden so I won't have any trouble finding enough to make into more leather, plum sauce, worcestershire sauce, more jam, cordial perhaps and whatever else I can think of.
Sourdough Turkish Bread