Welcome back to Hen Corner!
We’ve just returned from a family holiday in France where we enjoyed it’s wonderful bread, wine, cheese and charcuterie. Whilst watching cows in the fields and enjoying the odd Creme Brulee, I wondered why most of their milk is UHT…
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Several years ago I was teaching at our church about Joshua leading the nation of Israel into the Promised Land, a land flowing with milk and honey. I must admit that hearing these stories as a child conjured up images of some super-spiritual Willie Wonka’s Chocolate Factory; yes milk and honey were good foods but surely a bit sickly after a while? I mean there’s only so many recipes that only uses these two ingredients, milkshake comes to mind as does yoghurt and honey, but then what?
As I looked at this story again as an adult I realised that milk & honey are indicators of fertility. If you have milk then you have cows, grass and general greenery. If you have honey then you have bees and a whole variety of flowering trees & plants throughout the seasons… Milk and honey are markers of rich, fertile land that will offer up many other harvests waiting to be enjoyed.
I found myself thinking about such things at a time when our wonderful dairy farmers are being cheated out of a fair price for their milk and the world watches the ‘Isles of Wonder’ Olympic Opening Ceremony and ‘Jerusalem’ is sung proclaiming England’s mountain green and pleasant pastures and I think, we do grass pretty well here, we do cows and milk – so how have we got in this mess?
It was a throwaway comment about milk at a Fair Trade breakfast that I went to nearly 10 years ago that sparked our journey to discover the impact of the food we choose on own our bodies, the environment, animal welfare, producers around the world and so much more.
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It wasn’t until the last day that we discovered that the fromagerie up the road, Bussion Blanc, sold fresh milk from its 80 freisian cows along with butter, cheese and yoghurt.
Fromagerie Marty about 5km away also produced wonderful cheeses from its 500 ewes and we bought both hard and soft cheeses for a picnic on our journey home.
Our favourite cheese that we tried this holiday was from a delicatessen in the medieval town of Cordes sur Ciel. Alongside his saucisson flavoured with Roquefort, he had an amazing cheese made from three milks (cow, goat and sheep).
Unfortunately, we couldn’t find it anywhere else during our holiday so will hunt it down again next time we go.
We’ve spent a lot of time looking at milk in this post, so the next one will definitely be about honey; hopefully ours that we are due to harvest in the next week or so.
We love a dairy dessert or two here at Hen Corner, Summer Pavlova is a top favourite; especially if I use the eggs yolks in a Creme Brulee! Leave a comment and tell us what your favourite dairy dessert is …
Book of the Blog Post:
This week it has to be the book from the people that have helped me get my food shopping choices in order. On the real Hen Corner Bookshelf we have the original first edition hard cover version (signed by Keith!) and, as regular customers, are delighted with our annual Christmas present of the Abel and Cole calendar featuring even more wonderful recipes!
This book is available with many of our other favourites books from the Hen Corner Shop!
- Broody Butternut is sitting on 6 fertile eggs again; see our Chick Countdown
- I made a mistake with the bees and will tell you all about it next time
- We have started using beer traps for slugs; let them get drunk and drown!
Jobs for next week:
- Track down that extractor to harvest the honey
- Order some jars to pack it in
- Keep the automatic watering on timer and hope for another week of sun
Have a good week yourself…
Join us on the Journey!