Spectator I: I think it was “Blessed are the cheesemakers”.
Mrs. Gregory: Aha, what’s so special about the cheesemakers?
Gregory: Well, obviously it’s not meant to be taken literally; it refers to any manufacturers of dairy products.
(Monty Python’s ‘Life of Brian’)
You may recall a post i did back in June about the very tempting Cornersmith. Along with West Juliett, it remains a favoured brunch/lunch spot for LM and me. Mainly because of the unpretentious, locally sourced food and friendly service. LM still reckons the Cornersmith Crab Apple Jelly is the best he’s had.
Well, about three months ago, Cornersmith launched their Picklery. Located a few blocks down Illawarra Road from the café (in Marrickville), the Picklery is the new HQ for much of Cornersmith’s food preparation and preserving, AND offers punters (like you and me) the opportunity to learn traditional food crafts in their work shop classes.
LM bought me a work shop with Cheesemaker, Kristin Allen for my birthday. A six-hour session learning how to make my own halloumi, feta and marscapone. LM is pretty good on presents (especially when you remember he is allergic to all things dairy!).
Well, my class was on Saturday. And, I had a ball. If you have any interest in food, you should do yourself a special favour and book into a workshop. I may have to do another. Perhaps, something to consider for Christmas presents… (Cornersmith also offers beautifully presented gift vouchers).
Cheese is milk’s leap towards immortality. (Clifton Fadiman)
Kristen Allan is both Cornersmith’s resident Cheesemaker and the teacher for the cheese making workshops. Obviously, she’s passionate about her cheese. But equally, she’s passionate about sharing her knowledge of this ancient fermenting technique. She’s quite delightful and clearly knows her curds and whey…
The day began with a wee sit down chat complete with herbal teas, artisan bread, Pepe Saya butter, Kristen’s ricotta, Marrickville honey and a selection of Cornersmith preserves. I wish every day began that way.
Very quickly our class of twelve was split into groups of 3 Cheesemaking teams. I was partnered with the very lovely sisters Amelia (visiting from Geelong) and Maddy (who works at Cornersmith).
We learned early on that cheese-making is both an art and a science. And, it can’t be rushed…
And, at the end of the day, armed with my additional purchases from the Picklery (well, it would have been rude not to!) I tootled home to complete the drying of my feta before popping it into brine AND the refrigeration of my marscapone…
I would show you my halloumi, but I ate it in my breakfast scramble (along with Cornersmith green tomatoes) this morning. Sorry!