Belper knolle

How to make This small cheese is a pep­per-en­crusted ball of di­vine flavour.

NZ Lifestyle Block - - Farmhouse Kitchen -

As we come to the end of the milk­ing sea­son I look for recipes to use up larger quan­ti­ties of milk. Be­cause the last milk­ing is usu­ally below the min­i­mum quan­tity re­quired for tanker pick-up, it is ei­ther a ques­tion of mak­ing a lot of smaller cheeses or sev­eral large cheeses so we


can use as much as pos­si­ble. This is also a great time to get cheese­mak­ers to­gether and have a great day mak­ing cheese.

Usu­ally you would make your long­keep­ing cheeses with your best qual­ity spring milk – the bet­ter the milk the bet­ter the age­ing of your cheeses. You ex­pend a lot of time and cur­ing space on keep­ing aged cheeses and it makes sense to use the best you have, just as you would use your best grapes for wine that you are in­tend­ing to age.

Com­plex flavours de­velop over time and this can­not be fal­si­fied or hur­ried. Pa­tience is a cheese­maker’s friend, but if you lack pa­tience, you could make two or three cheeses and eat one or two early but leave the best to ma­ture to its full po­ten­tial.

Swiss cheeses are good op­tions as they are bet­ter when big­ger, keep longer, and the sweet­ness in the milk de­vel­ops into fruity notes in the cheese. De­li­cious.

Since I joined the Learn to Make Cheese Face­book group (based in Canada) I have seen some won­der­ful cheeses that are not of­ten made in New Zealand and I am in awe of my Cana­dian cheese­mak­ing friends who are mak­ing cheese with very dif­fi­cult milk. Cana­dian laws are very strict on sell­ing raw or ther­ma­tised milk – un­less they have a milk­ing an­i­mal, their choice of milk is very re­stricted – but what they lack in milk sup­ply, they make up for with en­thu­si­asm and joy­ful shar­ing of in­for­ma­tion. It’s a great group to be­long to.

Sev­eral of the post­ings showed this un­usual cheese that I had to try. It won’t win any prizes for beauty but the won­der of its in­sides more than makes up for it.

1 2Heat the milk in a bain-marie to 30°C over 15 min­utes, then add the starter cul­ture and stir slowly for 30 sec­onds. an open weave dish­cloth, boiled in wa­ter) and spoon the thick, jelly-like curd into the lined sieve. Leave to drain for 2 hours or more un­til the whey is not flow­ing freely from the sieve.


Ihave a won­der­ful friend from im­me­di­ately in­voke an im­age in my Scot­land. He­len in­tro­duced me to mind of a big hairy Scots­man in a kilt a dish which, at first glance, might with a wee lassie on his knee, sit­ting have you shak­ing your head and be­fore a roar­ing fire. in­stantly la­belling it baby food, which is These aren’t the only fas­ci­nat­ing ex­actly what my cousin Chris used to call lin­guis­tic terms as­so­ci­ated with Scot­tish it when we were kids. mashed veges ei­ther. An old ver­sion of

It is af­fec­tion­ately called ‘Granny Mash’ the recipe rec­om­mends mash­ing the by He­len’s grand­sons and it has be­come a veg­eta­bles in a boyne (a big, flat shal­low firm win­ter favourite in our house as soon tub or bowl) with a bee­tle (a very heavy as parsnips be­gin to ap­pear in in­ex­pen­sive mal­let). I’m lack­ing a bee­tle and fore­go­ing quan­ti­ties in the stores. the boyne so used a good old

the scots Granny Mash may sound fash­ioned potato masher and

have a bit sim­ple: boil an equal amount of just like my dad, I mashed mine

of a thing car­rots and parsnips to­gether, up in the pot. It was al­ways Dad’s

for mashed drain, sea­son with salt and pep­per job when we were kids, one of

veges and mash with but­ter and milk or those cher­ished mem­o­ries that cream, but for those who know and love it, has me look­ing around for the near­est it is a truly di­vine dish. man when there are pota­toes to mash in

You can imag­ine my de­light when I my own kitchen. came across a small cook­book called My ma­ter­nal grand­mother had a Scot­tish Coun­try Recipes by Jo­hanna ver­sion of Rum­blede­thumps too, ex­cept Mathie (2001) and dis­cov­ered that she called it bub­ble and squeak (which Scot­tish peo­ple have a bit of a thing for is what it is known as in Eng­land) and we mashed veg­etable dishes. I’d been hold­ing al­ways ate it with sheep brain frit­ters for onto these recipes for a cou­ple of years, break­fast. I haven’t eaten sheep think­ing that one win­ter I would get them brain frit­ters since I was out and see if they were as good as Granny six years old and am a Mash, and what do you know? They added bit loathe to try them a whole new mean­ing to 'baby food' last now be­cause in my win­ter and in­stantly be­came part of my mem­ory they were so culi­nary reper­toire. tasty and all wrapped

I have to ad­mit that I partly up with my ab­so­lute love Rum­blede­thumps de­vo­tion to my ‘Ga' and and Skir­lie Mir­lie just I worry I might not have for their great the same opin­ion now, names. They know­ing what I know about sheep’s brains, if you know what I mean. The Irish have a ver­sion of this dish too, called col­can­non.

Skir­lie Mir­lie is another great res­ur­rec­tion dish; you could pos­si­bly be al­ready mak­ing it with­out real­is­ing it. It’s just mashed root veg­eta­bles.

He­len says that swedes were called neeps in her part of Scot­land, but I can tell you now that there is a bit of a de­bate over ex­actly what a neep is. Ac­cord­ing to Scot­tish Wikipedia (yes, it does ex­ist), a neep or tumshie (or if you hap­pen to be in North-east Eng­land, a snadger) is:

“…the ruit crap, Bras­sica rapa, that’s aft growen in mau­mie cli­mates athort the warld for its bul­bous tapruit. Smaw, neshy kynds is growen for hu­man con­sump­tion, while lairger kynds is growen as feed for stock.”

That they’re only good for stock is a fairly com­mon view, held by many peo­ple in New Zealand too. Hor­ror of hor­rors to this parsnip lover, they are con­sid­ered stock food too. Gen­er­ally though, folks seem to agree that neeps are turnips and that swedes are a cross be­tween turnips and cab­bage (or some­times kale), and although some say swedes are named after Swedish peo­ple, this is more likely a short­en­ing of a com­monly known la­bel, Swedish turnips. Swedes are known in Swe­den it­self as rutabaga, a term that de­rives from a Swedish word mean­ing root ram.

All lin­guis­tic con­cerns aside, I thor­oughly en­joy these dishes and hope that per­haps one day, I will get to con­sume them in Scot­land where I will get pleas­antly blootered (drunk) on a wee dram and lis­ten to the folks hav­ing a good old blether (chat) and hap­pily haver­ing in the High­lands (talk­ing rub­bish).

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