WNWNW: The Imperiousness of the Imperial, or How Weights and Volumes Encourage Food Waste

Gluten Free Yoghurt Baked Cheesecake

How Do You Get Your Colleagues to Eat Food Waste? Make it Look Like Cake!

(c R. Devit 2014) 

I know that last week, I promised you a recipe, as penance for my confession that I had binned. And to some extent, you will get a guideline to produce a dish but it’s not going to be a traditional recipe. This is something that I’ve been thinking about quite a lot. I often forget to measure amounts when I cook. It took real discipline to get into the habit when I started to publish recipes here. A formula for cookery is a good place to start if you are new to a particular cuisine, technique, or even to the kitchen. But, I find that sticking rigidly to recipes can be limiting when you want to try something new, and especially when using up the contents of your fridge.

Since I decided to launch WNWNW (AKA Waste Not Want Not Wednesday), I have also been trying to reconcile the fact that bunging a bit of this and that into something doesn’t really lend itself to recipe writing in its most common form, but is the best way to use up what you have. In a very timely way, Annie, at Kitchen Counter Culture, posted about how recipes are the antithesis of food waste, since they require exact amounts. She wants to empower people to approach cookery in a freer way. I think this is what cookery really is all about. Let joy (and cooking) be unconfined!

I have always been a visual cook – I start with a picture in my head, and the closer I can get to the picture, the better it works out. Then I rely on taste, and usually don’t measure anything. Cooking with the senses, rather than being bound by weights and measures. I have the confidence to do this, partly because I know what stuff goes together, but mostly through experience. The Big Guy too has learned that mushrooms, bacon, tomato, anchovies and capers should not all  appear in the same pasta sauce, but not before we had to munch our way through his salty, tangy, tomato sour creation (of course, we weren’t going to throw it away!). I hope that this series will encourage people to just try stuff. I learned that dill and mandarin are the perfect foil quite by accident, and I’m sure many of us have similarly brilliant discoveries through a make-do-and-mend way with recipes, and a suck-it-and-see attitude to trying new combinations.

So, for WNWNW, there will be no recipes with amounts and measures. Instead, I’d like to present something a lot more freehand, into which I have bunged a bit of this and a bit of that. A “freecipe”, if you will, that liberates us to chuck stuff in, and gives us permission to omit ingredients that we don’t like, or have. I’ll give a few alternative ingredients, and if you try it or similar, please also feel free to let me know what you used or substituted as well. After all, the best way to use up what you have it to use a basic technique, and ad lib a bit. Or a lot. Depending on what you find in the back of your fridge.

This week; an easy freecipe, made from a mountain of yoghurt from work that was past its sell by date, I am happy to chance it, but my more cautious colleagues would probably have thrown it out. I got around this by making it look like something else entirely. And a bonus is that this recipe is gluten-free. The only thing that I had to buy was the rice flour, but you can just as well use plain. And you can top it with any thing you like, or not at all.

Freecipe: Baked Gluten Free Yoghurt Cheesecake

For the Base:

Some nuts (I used almost half a 250 g packet of almonds. pretty much any unsalted nut will be fine)

Some cold butter (about a quarter of a pat), cubed

Some rice flour (a little less in volume than the nuts, other flours if you prefer)

Couple of tbsp demerara sugar (or granulated white)

For the cheesecake:

Some yoghurt (I used most of a 500 ml tub of plain greek yoghurt. I expect that flavoured yoghurt will also work)

Some cream cheese (also most of a tub. Most recipes say to use much more, but the eggs will set it anyway)

Some eggs (I decided upon 3, but adjust to make a thick custardy texture, depending on how much cream cheese and how thick your yoghurt is)

Some Rice Flour (a couple of tbsp, also to add to the consistency, but not so much that it tastes of flour. Again, the choice of flour is yours)

Some sugar (depending what additions you are using and if they are sweet, taste the mix)

Other additions: citrus zest (I always have some in the freezer), citrus juice, cocoa powder (cut back on the flour), dried fruit, fresh berries, chocolate chips, rum soaked raisins, cold espresso, earl grey tea, flavours you like.

Toppings to choose from: frozen berries, chocolate curls, fresh fruit, coffee beans, candied citrus, candied flowers, whatever you fancy


Preheat oven to 180°C. Line a springform cake tin with baking paper (or use a loose bottomed one, but also line the outside with tin foil to prevent leaks)

Whizz up the nuts in a food processor, until they are as fine as you like them.

Rub the rice flour and the butter in, until you have a rough breadcrumb texture. Add a little more butter or rice flour until you get it right. Stir in the nuts and the sugar.

Pour the base into the tin, and press with the back of a spoon to compact it and to cover all of the tin. Go up the sides, if you like.

Bake the base for about 15 minutes, or until it is a golden brown colour. Exact times will depend on the nuts you use. Set aside to cool.

To make the cheesecake mix together the yoghurt, cream cheese, eggs, rice flour and sugar. Beat to a smooth batter, about the consistency of thick custard. Add any of the flavourings and mix well.

Pour the cheesecake onto the base and put into the oven for 35-40 mins, or until there is still a slight wobble to the cheesecake. Allow to cool.

Top it with anything you like. Or leave it plain!




Filed under Food Waste

Waste Not Want Not Wednesdays: Bless Me Bloggers, For I Have Binned!

Kitchen Waste Compost

Gardener’s Delight

It’s confession time. I am a bit obsessed with food waste. I like to think that I am a low waste kind of girl, and can usually find some way of using up leftovers. I like to see leftovers as ingredients for another meal. I love thinking up and reading about ways to use up veg peel (in a nice stock), or butter papers (I use them to grease pans or as cartouches), or stalks from the broccoli (a lovely pesto). Kitchen scraps that are not suitable for stock feed two hungry guinea pigs, or become compost sooner or later. Gardeners, much like the Wombles, make good use of the things they find, and I like to extend this ethos to my kitchen.

However, despite having worked in reduction programmes for many years (in both carbon dioxide and food waste), and proselytising that you cannot manage what you don’t measure, I have been a little reluctant to actually measure my own waste, and have fallen into the trap of believing myself to be much more virtuous than I actually am. It’s a common problem, so I know I am not alone, but now it is come clean about my own waste.

Guinea Pigs help reduce food waste

Waste Disposal Units

Inspired by a free online course about the global food system, I am keeping a food waste diary. This has reignited my passion for sharing, So, I’m firing up the blog again, and am sharing this with you all, in a new initiative: Waste Not Want Not Wednesday. Welcome to the very first post in this series. I hope to post something most Wednesdays.

I hope that this will make me even better at reducing my food waste, and that we can share great tips for using up every last scrap. I will certainly be coming up with some novel recipes, and I would love to join up with some of the really active communities that aim to reduce food waste. One of my favourites is the No Food Waste Challenge, run by Elizabeth’s Kitchen Diary. I have reached out to Elizabeth before, and she was very helpful, so I hope to rejoin in with the round-up. I will also be doing some confessionals over on Facebook and sharing tips on Twitter, using the hashtag #FoodWasteWeds. I hope that you will join in and comment along.

A clean and ordered fridge

Cleanliness is Next to Waste-freeness

To start my food waste diary, I decided that I had to start listing all of the things in my fridge, so that I know what I have to use ASAP. Most professional kitchens and many domestic ones draw up meal plans with military precision as a way of reducing waste. I am a bit reluctant, as I am a fickle foodie, and what I decide upon one day, I may not fancy when the time comes to cook it. Instead, I have listed all of the contents in an app called Google Keep, which the Big Guy and I have been using as a virtual shopping list for ages. Now I always have access to what’s in my fridge, so I can always think up a recipe using what I have. It will probably also save me money too!

And while I am in a confessional frame of mind, I thought I should go for full disclosure. In preparation for the food waste diary, I had a really good clean out of the fridge, and really rooted out the things that are lurking in jars or the things that each person in the household had assumed the other had frozen long ago. So, I confess, here are the things that were lurking that were really a long way past their best.

  • One portion puy lentil salad
  • 3 Bloody Mary tomatoes
  • 1/2 jar black olives
  • Some crumble mix
  • 2 tbsp wild garlic pesto
  • Some japonica jam
  • 1 jar sun dried tomatoes in oil
  • Failed pectin experiment
  • Little bit of bolognese sauce
  • Small amount of yoghurt

As a penance, I will come up with a great food waste recipe for you next week.

So come on, make me feel better. What of your food was gone over but not forgotten this week?


Filed under Food Waste

Rollende in the Deep

Rabarcello: A Rollende Keukens Staple

Rollende Keukens has Rolled Back Around!

It’s the Ascension day long weekend, and the Rollende Keukens has been in full effect. Even bigger than last year, and the weather has been fantastic, meaning that the Mister Kitchens guys have actually been posting that the grounds are full, and asking people to consider going to a different park to enjoy the sunshine. Of course, I got in early, and I got in fast, so I have a lot of photos and food to share with you all.

Butch and Dutch by Mister Kitchens

Nose to Tail at the Butch and Dutch

It’s only fair to start with The Mister Kitchen Crew, without whom none of this would be possible. The Rollende Keukens, and the Rabarcello are their brain children. They always have a tasting menu, and there is always plenty of rhubarb spirit on display. This year, they also offered excellent spit roasts to take away too.  I think this is a great strategy, as it means that people can choose to graze, or have the usual sit down three course menu.

Wall of Duck Face at Rollende Keukens

Duck: A Definite Trend This Year

This year there seemed to be a lot of stalls serving duck, some were duck devotees, and sold nothing else; and some had duck as a highlight. Sadly, none of it seemed to be organic, and none was declared free range, or I would have been tucking in.

Brandt & Levie Blood Hot dog

This Black Dog is Really Fun

Luckily, there were plenty of stalls that offered foods for the welfare-fussy eater, including many vegetarian vegan, and organic meat options, including this excellent hot dog from Brandt and Levie, made with blood sausage, and pancetta, served with a relish of mustard and apple compote.

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There was also a couple of stalls doing game. This one, called Game from the Wild, is right up my street, and the merguez was succulent, well-spiced and tasty. I’d eat this again. My friend from the Morning Claret had a different experience with the Wild Boar kebab, so I’d stick with the sausage if I were you!

Steamed Dim Sum from Dim Sum Now

What Do We Want? When Do We Want It?

We arrived on the first visit really hungry, and these dim sum nicely took the edge off, so that we had the chance to go around and scout out the next tasty treat. I didn’t get too much sauce with these, which was a relief, because it was pretty strong stuff.

Asparagus Cream, Egg and Farmer's Cheese in Ciabatta

White Knight

Among many expats that I know, there is a bit of a gentle joke about how much the Dutch like white food. White asparagus, chopped boiled egg, lightly coloured ham and bechamel is a delicacy here. This original take on the dish from the Gastrovan has made me suddenly look at white food in a different light. The asparagus was pickled in something boozy, and the asparagus cream was definitely my try-at-home inspiration of this year’s festival.

Harissa shelfish, and oysters

If Music Be the Food of Love, This One Really Sang to Me!

There were a lot of oyster bars this year, one of which had a wide variety of oysters to pick and choose from. We lined up here, and while the Big Guy was queuing, I went to the sister stand, Zee en Zuil, because I’d spied razor clams, which I can never resist. They come barbecued with a medley of shellfish, cooked in a white wine, garlic parsley and rose harissa broth. It is the shellfish future.

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As always, the attention to detail on the stands was incredible. I particularly liked the herb table from bloempie, who I reviewed in 2012. I almost wish that I could justify building one of these myself.

Omelegg Stall at Rollende Keukens

This stall Was Calling My Name

Every stall holder that I talked to was really personable, and the sun was shining. All around people were having a great time. Some stalls spoke louder to me than others, however!

One of the most popular stalls, and also one of the most novel, was the Microbar, who were serving insects. Meal worm spring rolls, and cricket lollipops were on the menu. Given that all of the futurists are claiming that insects will be an important global food source in a world with 12 Bn inhabitants, we all need to get a bit more used to the thought of eating insects. With that in mind, I was determined to give it a go. I am not a big fan of slimy foods, like okra, so I decided that the meal worms were a step too far. The cricket was crunchy, and mostly tasted of the chilli and lemon zest caramel that they had been coated in, so that was much more to my taste. A nice little finish to yet another tasty weekend.

Rollende Keukens left us as full as the Westergasterrien has been all weekend, but that isn’t because of the weather!

Rollende Keukens is held at the Westergasterrein, Amsterdam every Hemelvaart Public Holiday weekend. Maybe I’ll see you there next year?


Filed under Fed

A Fine Farewell, or Chocolate Cake for Many Celebrations


Don’t worry, today’s post is not one in the gourmet camping series! Although it is probably possible, cooking a light and airy cake over a barbecue is well beyond my ken!

I made this cake for a leaving party for a friend from work. Knowing that I would be away at Easter, I have kept this post for now to share. It was a fitting farewell cake, but you can easily dress this with buttercream and mini eggs to make a lovely cake for Easter, or any springtide celebration.

This cake also made the most of some extra buttermilk I had in the fridge, after making pancakes. I don’t use buttermilk much, so it would have gone to waste, but actually, this makes for a lovely moist cake, but that isn’t too sweet. Despite the amount of desserts and custards I have posted on ediblethings, I don’t have a sweet tooth. I prefer fruity desserts over chocolate ones, but there are times when only a chocolate cake will do. And if you are like me, then this is the chocolate cake for you.

I am also not the biggest fan of buttercream, so I used whipped cream and chocolate sprinkles to decorate the cake. In the Netherlands, they have chocolate sprinkles for breakfast, or lunch on bread,  but they are just as good on a cake.

If you wanted to indulge a bit more, you could make a chocolate ganache, adorn the cake with jelly orange and lemon slices (the kind that always appear at Christmas), or even make your own chocolate truffles, and chocolate shavings to go over the ganache.

If you prefer fruit, make the ganache, or a chocolate buttercream and then cover the cake in raspberries or cherries. It’s your celebration, after all!

However you choose to decorate it, this is the perfect celebration cake. And what better way to celebrate anything at springtime than with chocolate? So, I am sending a very Happy Easter, and all other spring and rebirth festivals to you all!

Recipe: Chocolate Celebration Cake

This recipe is enough for two cakes to use as a sandwich. Of course, you can halve the recipe if you only want one tier, but that isn’t too celebratory, is it now?


For the cakes:
250 g butter
400 g plain flour
100 g cocoa
2 tsp bicarbonate of soda
400 g raw sugar or 420 g caster sugar
450 ml buttermilk
2 eggs, beaten
2 tsp vanilla extract

To make the sandwich:
2 tbsp of fruit preserve – I used pink grapefruit curd, but a jam would work as well
250 ml double cream, whipped until stiff
Chocolate sprinkles to cover


Grease two 20 cm cake tins. For some reason, my two allegedly 20 cm cake tins are 19 and 21 cm respectively, which goes to show you that you should buy your cake tins as pairs from the same place, but never mind. Line the bottom with greaseproof paper. If you only have shallow tins, line the sides, and allow the paper to extend a fair bit over the tin. These cakes rise quite a lot.

Preheat the oven to 180°C.

Gently melt the butter and set aside to cool.

The only time you will hear me extolling the virtues of sifting anything is when cocoa is involved. Obviously, this is one of those times. While you are at it, bung the flour and bicarb through the seive too. Make sure they ennd up in your largest mixing bowl.

Add the sugar to the mixing bowl and stir thoroughly. Make a small well in the floury stuff in the bowl.

Combine the melted butter, buttermilk, beaten egg, and the vanilla in a measuring jug. Pour this into the well you just made, and whisk in with an electric hand whisk, until the batter is creamy and smooth.

Divide the batter between the two cake tins and put them in the oven for 45 mins, or until an inserted skewer comes out clean. You may need to swap the two cakes on their respective shelves with about 10 minutes cooking time left, to ensure even cooking.

Remove from the oven and leave aside in the tins until it won’t completely burn you when you handle it. Remove the cakes from the tins and allow to cool completely on a wire rack.

Once cold, place one cake flat side up on a serving plate, and spread over the preserve evenly. Cover this with a third of the cream, the sandwich the two cakes together, flat side to flat side.

Cover the top of the cake with the remaining cream, and then sprinkle over the sprinkles.

Best served to celebrate – even the fact that it is Saturday.


Filed under Feast

Generosity and the Art of Gourmet Camping

Campervan in Mackay Creek DOC Campsite, Fiordland, NZ

Camping Kitchen

As you saw from my last post, the Big Guy and I are in New Zealand. I have to tell you, it is spectacular here, although I was very surprised to find that some of the foraging is pretty similar. It’s autumn, and the trees are groaning with rowan, elder, apples, and the fattest haw berries I’ve ever seen. I wasn’t expecting these plants to be so similar, given how far away it is. I also bought a Forager’s Treasury by Johanna Knox  and on looking through, most of the wild edibles are very familiar from a Northern European perspective. Luckily, it seems that most of the poisonous plants are also the same, which is handy.

We have also been bowled over by the people here. Everyone has been friendly, welcoming and have gone a little out of their way to be helpful. The lady in the supermarket told us how to get the best bargains, and went the extra mile to find out where we might buy harissa. The petrol station attendant caught us up on the international news and gave us a free cookie each.

New Zealand Trout

There Is Such A Thing As A Free Lunch (And Dinner, And Breakfast)!

But by far the nicest thing that anyone has done to date is the fisherman we got talking to. We have a campervan, but in our first days here, we got caught out by jetlag, and simply could not drive onto our intended destination, so we had to book into a motel en route. As is common here, the gentleman in question was friendly and chatty, and we got talking with him over breakfast. It turned out that his parents were both Dutch, so we chatted about the differences in life here and at home. As we were leaving, he tapped on our window and offered us one of his catch. We were stunned, but he very kindly kicked off the gourmet element of our trip with a fresh trout. He had three fresh, and two that were being smoked in a local smokehouse, and he was heading out that day to get some more. This was no small fry, either. He gave us the smallest of his catch, but it still weighed in at just under 3 kg. It really was beautiful.

I spent the entire day thinking about how I was going to cook that trout. My foraging book was helpful, because it mentioned that wood sorrel can also be found here. So, I planned to look for some, and make a cream and sorrel sauce to go with the trout. Unfortunately, where we had chosen to stop for the night, on our way to Milford Sound, offered up no wood sorrel. We had chosen it specifically because we could barbecue there.

Trout and Spring Onion Omelette, with Campers Mayonnaisse

Breakfast, Not at Tiffany’s

Luckily, I had a back up, because I had the foresight to buy some dill when I stopped at a shop for potatoes. So, a plan was born, for a gourmet meal, made with basic equipment, to be served under the Southern stars. We have eaten many gourmet campsite meals since; including succulent lemon and pepper lamb, venison and mushrooms, and even shakshuka for breakfast. But that trout, which served us three hearty meals, plus a little more to pick at was the nicest.

Outdoor Natural Winecooler

Camping Cooler

The first night, we barbecued the trout and served it with a green salad with mayonnaise. Served with a nice local Riesling, that we had cooled down naturally. The the leftovers kept nicely in a couple of ziplock bags in the cool box (which also had a big bag of ice), and made excellent omelette, and went nicely with pasta in a creamy sauce, with more dill.

You can’t get more gourmet, or more generous than that. Thank you very much, kind stranger!

Campsite Trout, Mayonnaise, potatoes  and green salad

Campsite Trout

Recipe: Campsite Trout


1 large trout or salmon

Dill fronds

Lemon slices

2 egg yolks

Juice of half a lemon, plus more to taste

About a quarter of a small bottle of plain oil

Salt and pepper to taste

15 g fennel, finely chopped (I had to do mine with scissors, due to the very blunt knives I was dealing with)


Barbecued Trout

Gourmet Stay

Wash the trout and pat it dry with kitchen towel. Season the cavity of the fish with salt and pepper, and put the dill and lemon slices inside. Barbecue for about 40 minutes on a camp barbecue that is too high off the coals. If you are doing it on the barbecue at home, then you can put the fish closer to the heat source, and so it will take less time. Turn once during cooking, so it cooks well throughout.

Campsite Sauce Equipment

Basic Sauce Equipment

I have previously only made mayonnaise with a balloon whisk, so I was worried the fork would take ages. Now I’m sure this won’t work if you are trying to whisk egg whites for meringue, but the simple fork makes surprisingly speedy mayonnaise.

Whisk together the lemon juice, egg yolks and a little salt. Gradually add the oil. My tip is to add a little, then make sure it is thoroughly whisked into the egg before adding more. This way, the mayonnaise is less likely to split.

Thick and Glossy Mayonnaise

Thick and Glossy Mayonnaise

Once the mayonnaise is thick and glossy, taste it. You may need to adjust for seasoning, and possibly add more lemon juice to get the right balance of flavours.

Finally, chop up the dill. As I said, I resorted to some scissors, because the knives I had were less than sharp, but you chop yours however you like. Add it to the mayonnaise and mix well.

Serve the fish with a nice green salad, some simply boiled potatoes and a lot of the mayonnaise. Best served under the stars, but this is still good, even if you are forced inside by the weather.




Filed under Feast

All Aboard: The Last Kitchen


Since I seem to be unable to remember that the default on the mobile app is to publish rather than to save as a draft, here is a rather hurried post from yesterday’s evening meal, which I had intended to take a bit more time over creating. But, since some of you have already seen where I am, and liked the post that only basically contained a link to the site, here we go.

The Big Guy and I are in New Zealand. We’ve been doing a bit of gourmet camping, of which more a bit later, but there is only so much one can do with a tiny gas stove, with gas that lasts about an hour, and a three course dinner isn’t one of them!

We’ve been travelling around the Fiordland of the Southern Island, where life has been great, but the internet access has been patchy. Now we have moved towards the West coast, and have been on a number of pleasant walks and trips, including to the Fox and Franz Josef glaciers. It’s a tough life, eh?

I wanted to share a very good meal that we had here, by way of recommending the Last Kitchen in Fox Glacier Township. It is a small, rather unassuming little place, that you might completely overlook, but that you probably shouldn’t. Not only is the food rather special, but it is a brilliantly warm welcome after a days hiking. There is nothing like great food served with a smile after physical exertion, is there?

Arancini with Chorizo and Brie at the last kitchen, Fox Glacier

Arancini with Chorizo and Brie

I started with the arancini. I’d already tucked into one of them before I remembered the photo, so the initial presentation was a lot neater. These were outstanding, golden and crisp on the outside, and the chorizo is a welcome peppery hit. It is served with a fresh pesto, and balsamic reduction.

Calamari at the Last Kitchen, Fox Glacier, NZ


The Big Guy loves to go for the familiar classics, and yesterday was no exception. He started with excellent calamari, in a very light batter, served with salad. It was a well-done take on this classic dish.

Pistachio Crusted Lamb at the Last Kitchen, Fox glacier, NZ

Pistachio Crusted Lamb

Main course took full advantage of the great local produce that you can see ranging all over the place here – namely lamb, beef and venison. I chose a beautiful piece of pistachio-crusted lamb, with a really buttery potato and celeriac mash, and wok-fried vegetables. This was lovely, and perfectly balanced. There was a delightful citrus element to the crust too, and the pistachios were in big lumps over the meat. The only criticism I have for the whole meal is that my lamb could have done with a slightly longer resting time, because it leaked  the juices back onto the plate, making my mash pink in places, but that really was a minor quibble.

Lamb Burger and Sweet Potato Chips at the Last Kitchen, Fox Glacier, NZ

Lamb Burger and Sweet Potato Chips

Burger was the order of the day for the Big Guy. But this was no ordinary or staid burger, this was made from well seasoned lamb, and topped with a rich and spicy beetroot relish. Beetroot is not my favourite, but I loved this way of serving it. I was very pleased to see that the burger came in the correct order, too. It really annoys me that some establishments think that the salad should be atop the burger with the relishes, but this is clearly wrong. It’s always great to find a restaurant that knows that salad and relish should have burger in between!

Affogato and Shortbread at the Last Kitchen, Fox Glacier, NZ

Affogato and Shortbread

Although we had eaten heartily, we could just about manage some dessert. I had an affogato, which is essentially vanilla ice cream with an espresso poured over the top. The simplicity of the dish requires excellent ingredients, and I am happy to say that both really were. The ice cream was rich and smooth, whilst the coffee was deep and had the right balance of fruity and bitter tones. The shortbread was very buttery, and light, perfect for dipping in te ice cream, as one might a soldier into a runny egg (and who doesn’t love that?).

Warm Chocolate Brownie at the Last Kitchen, Fox Glacier, NZ

Warm Chocolate Brownie

The Big Guy does love a chocolate brownie, and will always order it from a menu, although I have to say it was a tough choice for him this time, between this and the Chocolate and Baileys Cheesecake. As you can see, this was a big hitter in the chocolate stakes, and none the worse for that.

We washed this all down with a very good local Shiraz/Syrah called Barnstormer, and had a really excellent meal. It was also one of the cheaper places that we dined in, which is surprising, because it’s out of the way location must mean delivery costs alone are higher. This meal  was excellent value for money, and the wine prices were exceptionally good value too. So, I can thoroughly recommend this great little spot, in a very out-of-the-way location. Just remember to arrive hungry.

The Last Kitchen

Main Rd
(Cnr Sullivans Rd & State Highway 6)
Fox Glacier

T: +64 (0)3-751 0058



Filed under Fed

Blessed Are The Cheesemakers!

I have had a lot of fun with this month’s Cheese, Please! Challenge, hosted by Fromage Homage. This month, we were asked for recipes containing fresh cheese, which we had to make ourselves. I think it is great, encouraging people to develop skills of entry-level cheesemaking, as well as being creative in coming up with recipes to use the resulting curds. I have certainly found it inspiring. There are a lot of fantastic recipes on her blog, so do come over and have a look.

Shaped Mozzarella ball

Cheese Balls

First, I made mozzarella. That was a very interesting experience. My first efforts were a little rubbery, I think because I cooled the water to 80°C, as was mentioned in one of the posts I bodged my recipe together from. The second efforts were with unpasteurised milk, and hotter water, and they were a world apart from the first batch. I could already see the difference between the curds when they were forming in the pan, they were much creamier, and there were a lot more of them!

Curds from Unpasteurised Milk

Rich, Creamy and Unpasteurised

Then I had a go at ricotta, which was disappointing at first, but also vastly improved by using unpasteurised milk. From this I made gnudi, which I have always wanted to have a go at making. They were lovely, and light as a feather. I definitely recommend having a go at this, even if you can’t be doing with making fresh cheese. They were delightful, light and really very tasty. They will go with a lot of different sauces too, so also very versatile.

I smoked some of the mozzarella, which was mostly an experiment. It was successful in terms of flavour, but I think it needs longer between heating the wood chips, so that it has a better chance of staying spherical.

Breakfast Pizza - Bacon, sausage, mushrooms, spinach and egg

Breakfast Pizza

With all this cheese, there was only one thing for it – pizza! Which turned out to be both the perfect party food, and a hearty breakfast. It also had the added benefit of using up some of the whey.

Talking of which, I tried my hand at lacto-fermenting vegetables and making Gingerade; which is what you get when your ambition exceeds the time that you have available to brew the assortment of drinks that you had planned.

Cheese Please blog badge

From 4 l of unpasteurised cow’s milk, I got:

  • 500 g mozzarella (I smoked the cheese that I made from the pasteurised whole milk)
  • 200 g ricotta
  • 3.25 l whey
  • Pizza dough for 20 individual pizzas using the whey
  • Gnudi for 2 adults
  • 2 l lacto-fermented gingerade
  • The raw ingredients for a few more lacto-fermenting adventures
  • Lacto-fermented fennel
  • Lacto-fermented cucumber
  • A load of leftover vegetarian rennet, ready for more cheesey adventures.
  • Hands softer than kittens on a velvet pillow

Next, I think I’m going to try to find some buffalo milk, to make mozzarella di buffala, for that authentic fresh cheese. I’d also like to try to make a washed rind cheese, similar to a brie. I had a very good triple cream one from Neals Yard Dairy that I may try to recreate, if the brie goes well. But before I can do that, I’ll need to bodge up somewhere to age it, unless I can use the fridge?

I have also managed more blog posts in a fortnight than I managed for most of last year. This is a warning though, that I have a few other exciting projects on the go, including a new collaboration, in Dutch, with the Tweakfabriek, where I will be doing some basic recipes, then two different tweaks to make with them. I’m very excited about this collaboration indeed! It does mean that I will not be posting as many recipes as you have seen from me in the last fortnight, but if you’d like to read some more in Dutch (or using Google translate) then watch this space for more details.

For this month, I’ve made the most of new inspiration. I’ve had a lot of fun, with and without guests, eaten well, and learned new skills, as well as a few bodges to make a hot smoker colder. What could be better than that? So, thanks again, Fromage Homage, and here’s to the next challenge!



Filed under Feast