What a brilliant weekend!
Yes dear reader, it was my birthday, so I celebrated in true sustainable living style. I taught others some new skills and made our own food.
Firstly, it was making cheese with Ben. I had been meaning to teach him how to make cheese for a while, so I took the opportunity to direct him in the making of Queso Fresco. It is a very simple cheese to make and can be eaten the same day.
So firstly we watched the video tutorial that I created for Queso Fresco, and that helped him better understand the process. I explained what each of the ingredients did and what stage of the process everything is added.
Then we got stuck into it. I was totally hands off during the process, except to correct or show him a technique to make things easier. I must admit, he was a great student and asked lots of relevant questions.
Ben really enjoyed himself. Just look at the concentration on his face as he handles the curd into the mould!
I reckon that I have created a baby curd nerd.
And a happy little curd nerd at that! Once the cheese was pressed, it looked something like this.
Absolutely delicious and as the name implies, very fresh. Everyone in the family loved it and as I type this, there is not much left. Ben has been snacking on it!
Now if you want to make this cheese yourself, you can grab the recipe for Queso Fresco over on Little Green Cheese for free.
That cheese making session took us to about 2pm.
As we were having pizza alfresco that evening as a birthday treat, I lit the cob oven to prepare for cooking. Here’s the fire I made whilst enjoying a home-brew or two.
It takes about 3 hours to get up to full heat, so while I was nursing the fire, it was time for the chooks to have a bit of a run around the garden.
Not the best shot, but they move so quickly. They all had a dig around the garden and did most of the weeding for me, for which they were rewarded with lots of juicy earthworms.
Once the cob oven was up to temperature, I showed my daughter Amy and her partner Lawrence how to cook them just right. There is certainly a knack to getting the pizza perfectly cooked on top and bottom. Lawrence mentioned that he is now a wood-fired pizza convert and it will be hard to eat pizza cooked any other way.
Now for something new. Kim made up some dessert pizzas. Some with salted caramel and topped with banana and strawberries, and my personal favourite, the apple pizza.
It was a normal pizza base with salted caramel sauce, topped with thinly sliced apples, sprinkled with rapadura sugar and cinnamon. Into the slightly cooler oven (250°C) for 5 minutes for the apple to bake, and then a minute on the oven floor to brown it off. Kim added some leftover banana and strawberries, but it probably didn’t need it.
It tasted just like warm apple pie! These dessert pizza are definitely on the menu from now on when we next flash up the cob oven.
Well that was about the day done. We all had fun and I especially enjoyed teaching Ben how to make cheese. He has asked to help out with my next cheesy creation. Who knows, you might just see him featured in my next cheese making video tutorial!