Sunday, July 31, 2011
Saturday, July 23, 2011
It was back to the Preserving Patch kitchen to make some cheese yesterday for the first time in a while. As well as a batch of Fetta and the inevitable ricotta (using the leftover whey), I thought I would have a go at making Caerphilly for the first time. The initial steps were the same as most cheeses - add starter, add rennet, cut the curd, warm the curd slightly. The main difference in the process was cutting the curd into 2.5cm thick slices and stacking these one on top of the other and flipping every few minutes over a 10-15 minute period.
Now the wheel is sitting on the kitchen table ready to dry out over the next few days. It then goes into the cheese cave but should be ready for eating in only a few weeks.
It is also almost a year since I made the 2 wheels of parmesan which are sitting in the cheese fridge......can't wait to try them.
Meanwhile out in the garden, I can hear the chainsaw going. Yesterday we cut out a huge Grevillea that had curled up its toes and died suddenly. This left quite a big area of bare ground. I have been looking for somewhere to plant some potatoes soon so guess what.......Max has started digging it over with a fork, ready for the seed potatoes. Last weekend I bought some Dutch Cream and Bismark seed potatoes and they have been hardening off, suspended in baskets in the cold woodshed, out of reach of hungry vermin. Now that I have a spot to plant them, I am thinking that I might go for a third variety to fill up the space.....King Edwards perhaps. That way I will have potatoes suitable for all sorts of cooking - mash, salad, roast, bake and fry.
I am going to start sowing in punnets the first of the spring plantings this weekend too. Kale is top on the list of things to sow. Kale is such a great vegetable to grow all year round and even though it is cold I can rely on it to germinate if I put the punnet on a north facing window sill. On these cold winter days, a Portuguese chourico and kale soup makes a hearty lunch. It was -10 degrees in the Tasmanian highlands this morning and it is still only 3.6 degrees on my back porch at the moment.... pretty chilly.
Saturday, July 16, 2011
Also surprisingly, a lot of food is imported from France. The only cheese we could find anywhere (except for the tiny farm we passed which was closed) was all from France. All the milk we had tasted like UHT milk, so I guess this cow we saw tethered near a beach in the deep south east, must have just been for local use.
The other interesting crop we saw was some vanilla growing in a private garden. It was nice to try some proper vanilla ice cream in a nearby restaurant that night. There were lots of roadside stalls all over the main island but choice was pretty limited- yams, passionfruit, oranges and occasional bananas.