Blog

Chandlers Roque (Stilton style cheese)

Just cracked open this little beauty, 3 months old and a bite on it like a Doberman, lovely and creamy too.

  Chandlers Roque

Sad news of the demise of a Cheese

As part of my course, when talking about ripening the cheese in a box, I usually ask if anyone has a cat; if so, I advise they put the cheese somewhere where the cat can’t get at the ripening cheese.

See below for a salutary lesson on the subject of pet proofing your cheese. This is from Patti, a participant on the March 9th course.

CATASTROPHE!!!!

Or perhaps I should say DOGASTROPHE!!!

While we were out this afternoon the dogs colluded to knock my cheese ripening box off the counter between the kitchen and the dining room (only reachable by the whippet) into the dining room where the latched double doors were bulldozed open (only the spaniel has the heft to do that) and between them they polished off the lot.........

Both looked suitably chastened and I will obviously have to find a higher place to ripen the cheese (the larder proved a wee bit too cold). For info a lovely little bloom was just starting on both of them.

Gutted and sick as a parrot doesn't begin to cover it!!! Will attempt another batch tomorrow afternoon and will let you know how I get on.

Dogs - who'd have them!

Patti x

As a dog lover there’s a bit of me that smiles and says, bless the little devils, especially as we were caught out many years ago by our Doberman dog; we went out and left a frozen leg of lamb on the back of the work surface; he had a great time gnawing his way through to the bone, needless to say, he was ill afterward.

As a Cheese maker and the person who taught Patti how to make the two cheeses, I am really disappointed for her, we had such a great time making the cheeses and it sounds like they were progressing very well – obviously the dogs thought so too.

Pet lovers beware; cheese is an attractive temptation to lots of our furry friends!!!

A reminder of why I do these things

After my last blog in which I said it was good to rest up, the latest weekend has been the opposite; it's amazing how a couple of days of sunshine, albeit sporadic, makes a difference. The Catkins are out on the trees, the apple trees in the garden are starting to form buds, the birds are building nests and the dawn chorus is getting louder. Well at least all of this is happening in Hampshire, England on the 22nd and 23rd of February.

After spending Saturday making Cheeses (Surprise, Surprise), I went down the allotments on Sunday just to collect some vegetables for Sunday lunch and check out how the allotments had weathered the recent storms.

Everything seems to have come through well, the over wintering Onions, Shallots, Garlic and Broad Beans are all doing well, the fruit in the cage is starting to bud, but at some time during the storms, a pane of glass from someone else's garden has been picked up by the wind, carried onto one of my plots, it has dug into the ground and broken; amazingly enough, no damage has been done to the onions growing where the glass landed. It could have been worse, given the severity of the storms I could have found myself replacing glass in my Greenhouse, thankfully because I have spent time raising the soil in my allotments, they have drained well.

Now the impressive stuff, whilst at the allotments, I harvested: the first of some Purple Sprouting Broccoli (a good hand full), a Cauliflower, a small Savoy Cabbage, half a carrier bag of Brussels Sprouts, a good bunch of Italian Black Kale, 6 Leeks, about 15 Parsnips, a couple of pound of Oka, three Swede Turnips, and a dozen Onions out of the store. There is more to come, I have not even started on the Jerusalem Artichokes yet. Sunday Lunch was fantastic, and this served to remind me, this is why we do what we do.

It's not always easy to find the time or energy to do everything we do, but when you get days like Sunday it makes it all worth while; other than the Roast Chicken everything on our plate we had grown ourselves, we knew no chemicals had been sprayed on it and it was fresh picked that day. The Rhubarb for the crumble came out of the freezer, but was from the allotment earlier in the year.

I look forward to a week of Leek and Potato Soup, Parsnip and Truffle Oil Soup, Chicken Broth, not forgetting Bubble and Squeek, we will have some Steak or Beef Shank mid week to help use up some of the veg, so all in all, it's been worth it.

Great British Food magazine

Great British Food magazine  

Shed Ripened Cheese

 

As anyone who knows me is aware, I can talk for hours about Cheese, growing Vegetables, Bees, Livestock, Baking, cooking, sausage making and self sufficiency; about our lifestyle in fact. So when someone telephones and says they want to interview me about the financial viability of home cheese making, it would be rude not to have a chat; hence the article to my left which appears in the Great British Food Magazine (April 2014 edition).

 

It’s a nicely written little piece by Anne Blewett; she was taking a look at the financial viability of making your own produce at home, I didn’t ask where she got my name from, perhaps I should have done, but we had a great chat about all manner of things. The magazine is worth buying, not just because I am in it, but there are some very interesting articles and recipes.

 

The publication of this article has spurred me on to do more of what we do, well to be fair, it has spurred me on to take more pictures and write more articles about what we already do, so watch the website for more of everything coming up – and don’t forget, I would love you to send me recipes and articles to include on the website or in the blog.

Great British Food magazine  
Great British Food magazine  

 

April 2014 page 44 "Shed-ripened cheese"

Busy Doing Nothing

After saying on Twitter, Yippee it's Friday I can be the Weekend Artisan again – I have done nothing this weekend.
Well, that's not absolutely true, on Saturday we attended my Mother in Laws 90th Birthday celebration. We held it at the Falcon Inn in Rotherwick

Lee the proprietor provided a wonderful buffet, the food was delicious, if ever you are past that way, the ham he serves is fantastic and his sausages are very special. The staff were welcoming and friendly which all helped to make it a fantastic day for all of the family and there were lots of us to look after.

On Sunday apart from dressing 6 cheeses and preparing some vegetables I did nothing. Both Jan and I had a restful day and that made me think; sometimes we find it difficult to relax, we always have something to do, but it's ok to just do the bare minimum sometimes. Even the Weekend Artisan has to relax and chill out, that's ok.

The 6 cheeses are coming along nicely doing their own thing and will be ready for the next Cheese-making course in March, I need to make some soft white (Camembert Style) Cheese, but that will be next week's work.

We can't get into our gardens yet because of the weather, the bees will be doing very little other than having the occasional look outside (they may need feeding) so, if you have been fortunate enough to not be flooded out, just enjoy a rest and gather strength ready for the onset of Spring.

If you really can't relax, I suppose you could always make some sausages (see recipe) or set some seeds away in the greenhouse – if you must.

Comments

We welcome your comments and discussion - please click on the comments link at the end of each blog post. Comments will be forwarded for moderation before publishing.