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.
Currants, of the red variety
Get a load of those redcurrant berries.
You wouldn’t think it, but beneath those shiny exteriors lurks a tale of survival against the odds.
Ah, summer in Ireland. Where you’re just as likely to be bathed in rain as in sunshine and where the organisers of outdoor events play a game of Russian roulette with the weather and hope that they are hit, if not with sunshine, then at least not with a fatal shot of precipitation.
As I made ready to head to the Midsummer Fair in Temple Bar on Sunday last, I peered out at grey skies and a persistent drizzle. It didn’t look good for folks wanting to picnic and be entertained while lounging on the faux-grass in Meeting House Square.
Still, I donned my rain gear and arrived to find a few other hardy souls enjoying the trad music on offer, some even be-seated on the I-can-believe-it’s-not-grass patch. More importantly, I was able to satisfy my morning’s need for caffeine at the coffee angel stand, my portable coffee of choice. The day was looking up.