Passing on the skills…
A new course that we developed last year, by popular request, was Cheese in a Day. We’ve since run it five times with guests coming from as far a field as Cheddar (I thought they might have had cheese courses more locally?) and discovering the course through various means including Xanthe Clay’s feature in the Telegraph last year.
With a group size of no more than six guests, we set our hands to work creating three different cheeses using different techniques and then a couple of treats that not only partner well with the cheese but utilise the by-product of whey, once we’ve removed the curds for cheese.
Sara was both interactive, friendly and full of useful information. I thoroughly enjoyed the day and we made 3 different cheeses, along with water biscuits & a loaf of bread and not forgetting lunch scheduled in as well. Really recommend the courses that Hen Corner advertise for a great day out and experience new cooking skills!
It’s amazing to think of the hundreds of types of cheese that are available today (did you know that we produce more varieties of cheese here in the UK than they do in France?) and whilst the full range is varied, the principal ingredient is always milk with small differences in techniques, added cultures, temperature and storage methods.
From Bottle to Block
When designing this course, we were keen that guests would be able to start with a bottle of milk and take home a block of cheese and, in keeping with all our other courses, be able to make a variety of related products in our time together that develop skills, confidence and a sense of pride in our creations.
During our Cheese in a Day course we make the following organic recipes:
- Hand Stretched Mozzarella
- Tangy Feta Cheese
- Mould Ripened Camembert
- Rosemary Whey Biscuits
- Honey & Whey Bread
Everyone goes home with a goodie bag including recipe sheets and your home made cheese, bread and biscuits.
Taking it to school…
It’s been a real privilege to work with many schools over the years and whilst our initial visits were chicken or bee related, we’ve been delighted more recently to take our broader food production skills back into the classroom. Last year we taught 180 primary school children how to make organic bread, there were big smiles in the playground when parents collected their children and their loaves after school on those days…
This year, we’ve been pleased to partner with Elthorne Park High School for their GCSE Food Preparation & Nutrition classes. This is a new GCSE syllabus which focuses more on the science behind food production rather than the design of food. We spent a whole day together discussing cheese, how it was discovered, other methods of preserving and then rolled up our sleeves to make both Feta and Mozzarella. After the morning session, some of the students went to the school canteen to buy pizza for lunch then brought them back to the classroom to top them with their own handmade cheese! The feta cheese was left to hang overnight allowing the students to take it home for their families to try at the weekend.
- We’re all set for the Country Living Spring Fair at Alexandra Palace, this time the hens are coming with us!
- The bees have safely made it through winter and are busy building up their numbers to make lovely London Honey
- Our new course Baking for Afternoon Tea is booking up quickly – we’ve had to buy extra cake tins!
Jobs for the Week:
- Get up early to cook Full English Breakfast for the guests of our local homeless shelter
- Make 250 Meringue Kisses to support a dance theatre production exploring personal stories from the refugee crisis
- Find time for an afternoon in the garden to clear, trim and brush up for spring
Do you like cooking and making food from scratch? What are your favourite raw ingredients to work with?