Sunday, 13 July 2014
We've a new Sunday morning routine. Now we've worked out that Waitrose doesn't open until 11am but there is browsing from 10.30, we head there in time for them to open the door, himself queues for the 2 free cups of coffee on our My Waitrose cards, I dash around for a few things then head for the cafe to grab a table. By 10.40 we are sipping coffee. By 10.55 we are in the queue for the checkout - watching the clock for the tills to come on line at 11.00 - and back in the car by 11.05. We are one of the few that seem to actually do any shopping - I think most are there for the free coffee and a chat.
Why? Because Waitrose sells Dutchy organic milk which is not homogenised. That's the process that suspends the cream in with the milk and non-homogenised is better for cheese making. Apparently. According to our book.
Yep, we are seriously hooked! We took a home made French Neufchatel with us for a family dinner on Friday evening and it was well received with cries of 'you really made this?' and 'is there any more?'. It was the last of the first batch so no there wasn't more.
From the top, we have our first batch of Castle Blue - or Clevedon Blue as it will be known here. Should be ready just as himself heads off for 2 weeks in the US.
Then we have our second batch of Bleu de Queyras - or Halswell Blue to give it its new moniker. Should be ready when he gets back from the US. The last batch didn't last long, it was seriously blue, very tasty and went down a treat with some lovely cheese biscuits and a drop of wine;
and today's brew is another batch of French Neufchatel - or Clevedon soft white - the last lot was a bit like a creamy runny brie only far nicer. It has to now sit for 24 hours for the rennet (vegetarian - no calves were harmed in the making of this cheese) to do its biz, then we drain it for ages, squish it up and it will, in a day or so, be in heart shaped moulds (traditional) and, again, ready for when he gets back from the US, if I don't eat it first.
We fancy having a go at a hard cheese next, but think that can wait until he gets back from the US. Last time I stood on the kitchen steps to get the big stock pot down I fell off, so am banned from trying again (I nearly pulled the shelves and pots with me) and there isn't really room to stash the huge pot anywhere else.