Milk curds, the stuff of cheese
“You need to be a bit mad to make cheese.”
So says Hans Wieland of The Organic Centre in Rossinver, Co. Leitrim.
I do believe that he counts himself in this. When he and his wife Gaby started making cheese from the milk of their own goats over 20 years ago, they built a kitchen for their cheese making before they built a house for themselves.
I learned this and a lot more besides when I headed to Leitrim last weekend to attend a hugely instructive cheese making course run by Hans and Gaby, during which we were taken through the processes of making both hard and soft cheeses and given an insight into the practicalities of small-scale commercial cheese production.
What does Kentucky taste like?
Is it a mess of fried chicken, washed down with bourbon-laced mint juleps, while toes tap to the tune of a bluegrass soundtrack?
Those, at least, are the things that I think of when I hear the name Kentucky. That and the fact that it is home to the famous Kentucky Derby.
I mention it because Chef E is organising a twitter-based Taste of Kentucky Derby Party and I thought that I should bring something along.
There I was, waiting patiently throughout the
spring extended winter for my rhubarb plants to make their entrance proper and bring forth stalks enough for me to cook with.
I had very particular plans for the first rhubarb of the season, in the shape of a recipe that may possibly explain why Martijn Kajuiter of the fabulous Cliff House Hotel in Ardmore, Co. Waterford, has a Michelin star and I do not.
My somewhat over-enthusiastic rhubarb
I was a little perturbed however, when, with a dry spell and a little bit of heat, my rhubarb plants got ahead of themselves and started producing seed heads – a thing I have not seen rhubarb do before. Pretty though the seed heads may have been, they weren’t going to do rhubarb production any favours. They consequently met a swift end and the plants were left to get on with their normal stalk-producing business. Thankfully, there was enough of that happening to meet my stewy dessert purposes.