Easy peasy cheese

I really rather like cheese. A lot. Its very high up my list of foods I wonder what I would do if I was told I couldn’t eat it any more. Fingers crossed that never happens.

I’ve considered trying to make cheese at home for quite a while and even went as far as buying a really comprehensive book about home cheese making. But I never seemed to get around to it. Well, that is until recently when a couple of conversations made me think I should at the very least experiment.

I looked in the book I’d bought way back and pretty much everything required proper cheese starter culture. I wanted to go simpler than that and I tracked down a recipe in Casa Moro: The Second Cookbook.

I scaled down and used just one carton of milk and hey presto 12 hours later I had a wonderful fresh cheese like this:


The recipe is as follows (as adapted by me):

1 tbsp essence of rennet (note that essence of rennet has already been diluted if you use undiluted rennet you must dilute it first)

Warm the milk to roughly 32-37C.
Add rennet and stir.
Pour into a bowl and cover with cling film.
Leave in a warm place for 30-45 minutes.
The curds will have set so cut them into about 3cm cubes whilst still in the bowl. Be gentle.
Leave for a further hour in a  warm place.
Strain the curds into a muslin lining a colander.
Leave for about 6 hours for the whey to drain.
Et voila you have a lovely fresh soft cheese.

Use the whey to make bread instead of milk or water.

I’ve since made this with goats milk, also delicious but the curds are more fragile.

Next up cow’s or sheep’s milk. Yum.

My Scandinavain style new office

This week I’ve been trying out a new office. I really like it. Its central. Its good for meetings. Its got nice Scandinavian decor with clean lines. There’s a great catering facility and wifi. I love the quirky cups. The coffee is from Monmouth Street Coffee.

What more can a girl ask for?

Want a Scandi style office facility of your own? Then you need:

61 Great Titchfield Street

Oh and buy enough coffees and you get a hug from the staff (only if you want own of course) – sweet :)

And last but not least they stock BROWN cheese – oh yes.

More than just a good read

I like books and I’ve always been an avid reader. I particularly like books that are well designed and a delight to hold as well as being great to read. It’s probably very old fashioned but I can’t see me getting the same pleasure reading a book on the Kindle or the Sony eReader or the Apple iPad. I’d miss the nice paper, the cover and, in the case of the book below, the lovely end-papers with matching bookmark. The enjoyment would surely be more than halved.

So for all those who like books not simply for the contents but for the paper, the well designed cover, the look, the touch, I give you this Persephone Book:

I love the smooth muted gray covers Persephone use, the creamy paper and particularly the end papers and book marks which are usually prints of old fabrics.

I am also a big fan of Dorothy Whipple’s writing. Its careful and poised but not overly complex. The stories are always tinged with a sadness that feels unpleasantly real. They unfold with a certain inevitability that small choices can have large consequences, she makes the day to day seem quite fascinating.

Want one (or several): look on Persephone’s site or if you are in London visit one of their delightfully quirky shops.

42C in the shade

I was looking through some pictures today and I found this:

It’s the church in the centre of Stellenbosch, South Africa.

It was 26 January 2008.

It was 42C in the shade.

Perhaps a little hot but it reminded me that not everyday is grey and damp like the last few have been in London.

Bring on Spring and Summer but 25C will suit me fine.

Who ate all the pies?

The other day I was lucky enough to get a package in the post containing 2 pork pies from Brays Cottage.
Lucky because these pies have a great reputation and double lucky because they had sent them to me in return for a favour I did them, how kind is that?

I’m a bit of a fan of pies of many types and am especially fond of pork pies. Sadly it’s not that easy to get great pork pies these days most of them are bland and claggy.

But not these ones. Oh no. I knew they were going to be good when I lifted the lid to a lovely pork pie aroma. The pastry was crispy and tasty and not too thick, the filling was moist, porky and spot on. And a great pocket size pie. It’s not called the perfect pie for nothing.


My only complaint – I wasn’t allowed to eat both of them, husband snaffled one for himself!

Next time I think I shall order a larger size.

Fancy one yourself: http://www.perfectpie.co.uk/

Want to read about pies of many types: http://www.amazon.co.uk/Pie-Edible-Janet-Clarkson/dp/1861894252/ref=sr_1_1?ie…


So the Twitter wires are buzzing with views on the launch of the Apple iPad and as usual things are split down love it/hate it lines.

So instead I bring you a range of notepads that I found out about the other day when I won one in a Twitter competition.

Its fair to state here that I am a bit of a stationery junkie. Ordning & Reda, Moleskine, Clairfontaine, Smythson just let me at them. But I can see this range from Whitelines joining the fold, because, well, the lines are white – like it :)

I know you can’t tell that in this picture but trust me they are and very nice the whole thing is too.

Want one? Admire them here: http://www.whitelines.se/

Buy them on Amazon (and various other good stationery stockists)

Coffee time

Yesterday on Twitter I was talking coffee with various people. I quite often talk coffee as it’s an important part of my day. I don’t drink gallons of the stuff but I do like to have one or two really great cups a day.

We were talking coffee machines and several people were surprised that I didn’t have a fancy machine like you see in a cafe. Well, thats mostly because I don’t have enough work surface for all the gadgets I’d like, so a coffee machine has never made the cut so far. Instead I use a cafetiere or this little beauty, a Bialetti Moka Espress, it’s such an iconic design and it makes great strong coffee. I think I’d quite like a variety of sizes…


For the record I take my coffee black, strong and unsweetened.

Want one? Get them here: http://www.johnlewis.com/230134058/Product.aspx

Or admire all the possibilities here: http://www.bialetti.it/uk/catalogue/scheda.asp?id_cat=24