Thursday, May 6, 2010

Brigitta's Cooking Club Makes Cheese!

In an e-mail to us recently, Brigitta mentioned her cooking club.  We thought that sounded interesting and decided to ask her about it:

How did this cooking group get started?

We started 15 years ago, and have had some ladies come and go because of jobs and life changes, but it has always been a tight group of 6. I would be the lifetimer!  I think it is so important for women to come together to talk and share.  It’s free therapy, which we could all use in this chaotic age. 

After each cooking club night I put my head on my pillow and think how lucky I am to have spent the evening with such amazing women.  There’s a saying that every women needs a wife, so imagine what these 6 women can create in one evening. 

We make absolutely delicious foods, learn tips and techniques,  drink lots of wine and laugh excessively.  From time to time we’ll invite the men and actually it worked well in our favor one year, when the men did a night for us on Valentines.  They went completely over the top, with rose petals, candles, champagne in hot tubs, oysters, masseuse, incredible dinner and we even got goody bags complete with a compilation of love songs!  Aahh food, it brings out the best in people!

Above, Tania and Jessica

When did you decide to make cheese and what brought that about?
I was reading Barbara Kingsolver’s book, “Animal Vegetable Miracle” and that’s where I heard about Ricki.   I have to say the thought of making fresh mozzarella and having it warm was too much to live without.  It’s near to impossible to get a mozzarella that tastes as good as the ones in Italy.

 Well we just made it, oh so yum!!  Now I can’t wait for the tomatoes to come from my garden, so I can make a tomato, mozzarella and homemade pesto salad.  Tip – on the pesto, try it with hazlenuts instead of pine nuts, it’s so much more yummy.

At left, Jo-Anne rolling out the mozzarella.
Below, the hanging of their lemon cheese,
to which they added fresh thyme.

Will you be making cheese again?

Most certainly.  We made goat cheese ricotta and lemon cheese with herbs and the 30 minute mozzarella.  I used the whey to make pizza dough.  I want to try the yoghurt and sour cream and have to muster up some courage to try one of the more complex cheeses.  The recipes in the back of the book are also amazing, so we’ll try a few of these at a future meeting of the cooking club.

At left, they used the ricotta in a dessert with apricots preserved in an amaretto syrup and crumbled home made granola bars on top and then a drizzle of chocolate.

At right, a half-eaten finished creation.

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