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17 August 2008 @ 12:12 am
I made Cheese!  
Yay! Continuing the foodie theme of the week, I went to Border Skirmish and cooked and taught for most of the day.

I made some of my Pictish Bread as an active part of the A&S display and for my lunch. (OK, lunch for whoever I could convince to eat it. ;P) I had just gotten proficient at the baking over a fire or on hearthstones so today I trialled a new method, cooking on a propane stove with either one of Danr's pans or a cast iron skillet, since I wanted to bake in the NS pavilion but did not want to dig a fire pit in the middle of it. Cooking over the gas fire was a little challenging to start, especially because I wanted a very low flame and the wind kept blowing out my fire, but eventually I got better at it. Still need practice, mind you, but the bread was edible if occasionally "pre-toasted."

However, woman cannot live on bread alone, so I wanted something tasty to put on the bread... I made a "green cheese" - i.e. one made and eaten promptly, not aged. I went to a class on it at War and it really is very easy. You simmer milk, add vinegar/lemonjuice/acid and/or natural enzymes to curdle it, then strain it through some fabric and let it hang to drain. (The cheese is hanging just to the left of the tree trunk, like a particularly tasty linen-wrapped fruit.)

Once drained, you add salt and herbs, spices, or other mix-ins. I had brought some dill to add, but since Her Excellency CAM was there and teaching an herbal class, I asked her is there was anything on site that would be tasty in cheese. She brought me clover, so we had clover cheese, dill cheese and plain cheese (seen below). Sweet Clover, for those of you interested, has a sharp lemony- flavor that is really quite good and livened the cheese nicely.

The texture was interesting - crumbly but light. Since I had only about a quarter cup of cheese and no bread leftover, I'll consider the cooking a win. Round out the day with perfect weather, good folks to visit, two classes taught, pleasant travel companions, children to torture, and a houseguest and you have the makings of a very fine Saturday indeed.
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Current Mood: satisfiedsatisfied
Doug Hulick / Simon Morcarswords_and_pens on August 17th, 2008 05:55 am (UTC)
Okay, the green cheese sounds extremely interesting. I need to pick your brain on that, since I now want to try making some at some point.
eithni: drugzeithni on August 17th, 2008 08:35 pm (UTC)
Whatchagonna be at in the near future? I need practice making it and we could play together.
katrionans: loomkatrionans on August 18th, 2008 02:39 am (UTC)
Danr's done cheese, too, of various types, including young. For that matter, I have made paneer. And we are closer that Madison!

This is the kind of cheese Danr and G made for our vigils (mine and Eithne's) at WW a couple of years ago. The notorious one that tipped me off to the fact that something was happening. :)
baronsnorribaronsnorri on August 17th, 2008 06:37 am (UTC)
A great day! The Pictish bread sounds particularly interesting...where/how does one get the documentation, please?

While scrolling rapidly down to the bottom of the page, your third photo, with spoon, appeared to be some new variety of rose, or camellia...Eithni's into floral shrubberies, hmm...?

; )
eithni: Pictisheithni on August 17th, 2008 08:34 pm (UTC)
I can email you the recipe and "documentation" such as it is as a Word doc, if that works. Otherwise, I hope to soon have it posted on the web.

Edited at 2008-08-17 08:35 pm (UTC)
judithsewstoojudithsewstoo on August 17th, 2008 01:30 pm (UTC)
Let's see, the green cheese is a paneer (Indian style). My other half made a smashingly successful Indian dinner onsite at Harvest Days last year - and made a Khymer-style mudder paneer (IIRC). Very tasty and oh so yummy with curry. His recipe/article was published in this past December's (2007) Pale.

So, what does a poor student of yours have to do to find out about this "Pictish bread" recipe? *looks at you innocently* ;)

(Edited to to fix the publication month.)

Edited at 2008-08-17 01:33 pm (UTC)
eithni: Pictisheithni on August 17th, 2008 08:33 pm (UTC)
Heh. Well, shortly I will be publishing a web page of all my Pictish geekery and general wisdom and it will appear there. I hope to have it up by the end of the month - I have been working on it since Pennsic but will need to take some time off for the Griffin Needle Challenge this week. If you want it in the immediate future, I can email it to you.
rezanskyrezansky on August 17th, 2008 02:08 pm (UTC)
The clover cheese sounds yummy.
CeNedra_Nasiocenedra_nasio on August 17th, 2008 05:00 pm (UTC)
I definately wish I could have made it this weekend, if not for the fighting at least for the cheese! I loved the bread you made at Quest and the jam. You rock at sharing :)
eithni: greeneithni on August 17th, 2008 08:28 pm (UTC)
Thanks! Its the oddest thing - there are things I hatehatehate to do for myself, but love to do for the masses or special occasions (ie cooking) or will do only for gifts (ie buttonholes). Maybe it's the sharing that makes me happier than the thing itself. Although the bread and cheese was sharing with a side of geek, so that has merit too.
raventhourne on August 18th, 2008 09:57 pm (UTC)
Yes...the bread and jam were nummy...recipes?

I made a few stabs at cheese making and now make all of my ricotta for lasagna at holiday times...and for my cheesecakes.

bTW, docs at My Website
eithni: sofonisbaeithni on September 1st, 2008 06:16 am (UTC)
I got up the very beginnings of a webpage, but made sure the bread recipe was one of the first things up. It is listed as Pictish Bread.

ego_id_non_feci: dork smileyego_id_non_feci on August 17th, 2008 08:47 pm (UTC)
Yay! It sounds like you had fun! That's great! :D
relativelylucidrelativelylucid on August 17th, 2008 09:21 pm (UTC)
Yay Cheese!!!
robstoutrobstout on August 17th, 2008 10:00 pm (UTC)
Cheese! Cool. Cheese making has been on my "cool to do" list for a long time. Wish I could have made it to Border Skirmish, but I'm on call this weekend, and Paige and I just started the great house repainting.
mysiemysie on August 17th, 2008 10:13 pm (UTC)
Sounds yummy. I wish I could have been there. Dahrien and I were in Appleton over the weekend for a baptism. I'm glad the weather cooperated and that your culinary adventures went well. Please to let all of us know when Pictish Pages are ready!
eithni: peekabooeithni on August 17th, 2008 11:11 pm (UTC)
I sent your... um.. horn cup and iron thing with Green Jenny. (I got it from Giles who got it from someone, presumably Danr, at Pennsic.) I certainly will be announcing the web page when it is posted - this is something I have been wanting to do for a very long time and will include lots of stuff, not just Pictish stuff.

Eliane/Jennifer: Colleen speaksgflower on August 18th, 2008 01:12 am (UTC)
I can attest, it was very tasty cheese! I think I got a spoonful from a section that was half dill and half clover. It was great all together. The fluffy texture is what I like about it.
(Deleted comment)
nearlyvalkyrienearlyvalkyrie on August 18th, 2008 03:13 pm (UTC)
Cheeeese Grommit!!
Very way-cool bonus points!

I took the same class at Pennsic, and have anxiously been awaiting a gap in my schedule so I can try doing it. Glad to hear someone did indeed make it work :-)

BTW, did you use lemon juice or vinegar or something else? Ever since F---- and I went to Italy, I've been a big fan of balsamic vinegar, and I'm curious to see if it works like the cider vinegar.

Happy Cheesing!
eithni: drugzeithni on August 18th, 2008 03:19 pm (UTC)
Re: Cheeeese Grommit!!
I used cider vinegar since so much is lost in the whey. But I love Balsamic. That may be a nice mix-in once it has mostly drained.