Monday, 26 March 2012

The Week Cheese!

One of my favourite things about our market is that there is a really lovely family atmosphere. Parents are accompanied by their children while they browse for their vegetables, fish , meat and cheese. Needless to mention the baking stalls and crepe stall are always a firm favourite for the kids. 

My stall is right next door to the crepe stall which does a mean minnie and mickey mouse american pancake! while they are being prepared there is often a foray over to my stall and you can tell a lot about the little darlings from their reaction to cheese!

First of all there is the UUuugggghhh that cheese smell type who you just know are not for changing and might be quite picky about their food and will do their level best to drag their mums and dads away from the offending whiffs! The mums are more likely to acquiesce but the dads -  they kinda ignore them and mumble yeah yeah hang on a minute while they browse the selection available inevitably buying a nice mature cheddar or a decent bit of blue!! Meanwhile their offspring at this stage are distracted by the nutella coated pancake that they are more than anxious to consume!

The next type is the Whats That???  This is the child who will stand and ask the questions whats that, whats that, whats that? All the while pointing to whatever it is that catches their eye while a queue of paying customers starts to form behind them. This is a difficult one because I never like to offend or to quench the curiosity and a little bit of patience can often pay off.

The next type is the Sticky Fingers type who just want to paw the cheese. Its like watching car crash TV in slow motion. The hands just land - SPLAT - on cheese and you just know they are going to the soft cheese - fresh piece of St Tola or Ryefield  and you just have to hope that their Mums or Dads aren't at the stage where they have been up  since the dawn  and their will to continue has been severly compromised by their little ones exuberance earlier on in the day.

Then there is the child who just wants to taste - I love this child - they are the ones with the quiet sense of adventure that you just know are brimming with confidence and will try anything once. These are the children who will get over it if they don't like it and will not be stopped from finding a cheese that they really like.
Don't mistake this confidence for being that nurtured by parents- sometimes this isn't the case - sometimes its a genuine curiousity about taste and experiences. These are the four and five year olds that like a bit of Stilton or that love olives.

And there is my favourite customer Matthew who comes to me with his family every week to buy the Week Cheese. Matthew is the child that does not eat cheese but is in charge of picking the weeks cheese and regardless of what he picks thats what that family are eating that week!! The ultimate decision maker.

So what do my little customers tend to like - Wicklow Baun, Wicklow Gold, Ryefield and Cooleeney are very popular. Manchego is a shinning star and Parmesan and Mozzarella are great loves for the top of their pasta and pizza respectively.

Here is a recipe for one of my childrens favourite cheesy desserts:

Raspberry & White Chocolate Cheesecake Pots

Prep: 20 mins
Chill:  1 hour
Serves: 4 generously!

150g Mascarpone
150g Soft Cheese ( Full or Low fat)
200ml Cream
50g Golden Caster Sugar
100g White Chocolate grated ( Butlers do a lovely one with berries in it!)
300g Raspberries (retain a few for decorating)
50g Butter
250g Biccies of your choice I use a chocolate chip


Melt the butter and crush the biscuits, mix together and put into the base of 4 pretty glasses.
Sprinkle a tablespoon of icing sugar over the raspberries and allow to macerate for 10/15 minutes
Put the cheese mascarpone, cream and caster sugar into a bowl together and whisk for a few minutes until quite thick. Stir in most of the grated chocolate again retain some for decoration. Then mush up the raspberries and stir into the mixture. If you are fussy sieve the raspberries to remove the seeds. Spoon the mixture into the four glasses and allow set in the fridge for a minimum of 1 hour. You could leave it overnight. Decorate, serve and enjoy!

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