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