FOOD: Spring milk ri­cotta and pikelets.

The Saturday Paper - - Contents | The Week - David Moyle

Even milk has sea­son­al­ity. De­vel­op­ments in agri­cul­ture that have seen vari­a­tion di­min­ish can be seen in both a pos­i­tive and neg­a­tive light. How­ever, the dif­fer­ence in a milk from a spring pas­ture should be cel­e­brated. I have the good for­tune of know­ing hobby farm­ers with goats and I find this milk, in par­tic­u­lar, to be richer and sweeter at this time of year.

Spring also brings so much more than milk. The bees are just start­ing to build up honey stores again af­ter the lean win­ter so, once spring is well un­der way, some can be har­vested. Honey, like milk, is al­most a snap­shot of the season. This time of year is so evoca­tive, as new flow­ers awaken on plants that have lain dor­mant dur­ing the cold weather. White kun­zea is a shrub en­demic to Aus­trala­sia but rarely used in our kitchens. I find it has sim­i­lar ap­pli­ca­tions to rose­mary or thyme, so adding this to honey or mar­i­nat­ing it into oil works well.

Ri­cotta is a very, very sim­ple thing to make but there are tricks and much ob­ser­va­tion re­quired in or­der to per­fect the knack. Heat­ing the milk too quickly, for in­stance, can re­sult in the ri­cotta be­ing too grainy and

• some­what chalky, so be wary of fall­ing into this trap.

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