Sunday, 25 November 2012

Blessed are the Cheesemakers!

I discovered a while ago, if you type “Chorizo and Roasted Vegetables” into Google, my recipe from this blog is in the top results! I’m amazed, people obviously like it.

I do cook it regularly, its perfect with a bit of sourdough bread to mop up the juices, and if there should be any left over, (another one of my things is cooking an extra couple of portions while you have the oven on) it freezes well.

Ideas for Christmas food, this year I will be making a lot of my gifts for family and friends, ideas include spiced mixed nuts, sweet garlic pickle, shortbread, and maybe even some mozzarella cheese (if I feel really adventurous). With the exception of the cheese, I have done all those things before so don’t feel daunted by the prospect. And I would rather show my appreciation of people by giving a home-made gift, than by handing them a load of packaging that they then have to dispose of.

I went to the tip with two loads of garden waste on Thursday, the bags were all full of water as well as the waste because I didn’t take them straight away, that’s another lesson learnt, as my mum used to say. About the only good thing I can recall from our last house was the fortnightly green waste collection, it’s one thing I do miss here.

When I got back from the tip the wind was rising and rain was on the way, I’m amazed that there is any more water up there, it all seems to be down here at the moment. I managed to pick what will probably be the last of the raspberries from the madly dancing canes; there weren’t a great number so I added some of the blackberries that I have stored in the freezer.
These made compote which we can have on muesli, or yogurt, and will remind us of summer, but not this one.
Although it’s fair to say that we did alright for berries and veg, the rest of the normal summer‘s activities were severely restricted by the weather.

 They say that imitation is the sincerest form of flattery, well I’ve just watched Nigel Slater advocating the use of vegetable peelings in cooking, he made crisps with his squash peelings, but I’ve been using potato peelings, blanched and frozen, like that for years. They go well in hash or as oven chips as well. Having said that, I’m a big fan of his approach to food, and his al fresco methods strike a chord.

Yvonne’s made some felt bunting, with bead trims and cross-stitch motifs.


As it was tipping down on Saturday afternoon, and I was going to buy food, I had the crazy idea of making cheese. Nothing to taxing; maybe a bit of Mozzarella, just to see how hard it could be. I had a recipe from Hugh F-W that seemed straightforward, so I assembled my gear. Two Litres of Jersey Whole Milk, Citric Acid and Rennet (That’s it, apart from a little salt)

Well I can tell you now, it’s a doddle, maybe it was beginners luck but it all worked out as the easiest thing I have done cooking wise for a long time. You have to use a thermometer to check the milk temperature for the correct times to add or do things, but within an hour I had three balls of cheese, which seemed like a result.
Starting to separate

Draining the Curds

We had savoury mince for supper on Friday, done in the slow cooker with onion and carrot in gravy. I always remember it on ships (we had it a lot because it was cheap) with see-through gravy and hard pieces of carrot and raw peas. It was universally known as Unsavoury Mince.

Ours is nicer, and what was left, I covered with slices of part boiled potato and reheated.

Yum !
Pork Chops for Sunday, but done in my own inimitable way, “buttered” with stewed apple and covered with dry stuffing, then in the oven for 45 mins, wrapped in foil.


  1. Hi hope you are keeping well its blowing a bit of a hooley here in Peterborough - I have slept through during the night only to wake up to it. Not good for anyone.

    Very impressed with the Mozzarella I love that with slices of tomato,and basil as a side salad very refreshing. Just in case you want to add to your repoirtoire there is a very nice little book on sale in Lakeland at the moment (about £2,99). Entitles How to Make Soft Cheese by Gerard Baker all about making home made cheese recipes include Mozzarella, Halloumi, Ricotta, (ideal for home made pasta), Cottage cheese, cream cheese, fresh white, Feta, and they are also selling the electronic thermometer about £19.99 (not just restricted to cheese making) and also two small cheese moulds, one has holes in the other is a netted basket at about £3.99 each. Just thought I would mention. I am on holiday the week after next and I am going to play then,supposedly to get all tickety booh ready for Christmas but I intend to play too.

    Take care



  2. Hi, it's actually not raining here in deepest Devon today - so far. I'll be taking the dogs out later so hope it holds off.
    I'm going to Lakeland for some Xmas shopping so can investigate the book tomorrow, thanks for the info.