The Constant Trickle Of Water!

Great Achievements

Did you know that the Hamilton Farmers' Market is the home of not one but two award winning honey stalls?

Natures Country Gold are the recipients of a 'Highly Commended from the Kitchen Bench' Award. Farmers' Markets of New Zealand had this to say: "...Natures Country Honey - Natures county gold shows us how Mother Nature  knows best when it comes to real food". Be sure to offer your congratulations this Sunday to Lania, Adrian and Anke at the Natures Country Gold stall for this fantastic achievement.

In the 2014 National Beekeeper Honey Competition. Sweetree Honey entered four products: Ohui Manuka, Hakarimata, Bee Pollen and Propolis Tincture. They won the following:
Gold in Dried Bee Pollen
Silver in Beekeepers Special Reserve Honey 
Bronze in Beekeepers Special Reserve Honey
Bronze in Products from the Hive with our Propolis Tincture
Head to Sweetree, congratulate them and taste their winning honeys this Sunday!

Stall-holder Visit:

Cilantro Cheese is tucked away on the Ruakura campus, behind an unassuming green door. Once through the door I was struck by how 'food science' as apposed to 'home kitchen' the premises are, which for some reason is what I'd expected from artisan cheese makers. 

The cheese making room is warm and there is the constant trickle of water that overflows from a water bath. The room is filled with stainless steel tables, pots and other equipment largely sourced second hand and re purposed which is something that goat and sheep cheese makers Monica Senna Salerno and Jenny Oldham are proud of. 

The day I visited was cheese making day and Monica had brought in 100l of raw milk! To make cheese the milk must first be heated, the temperature that it's heated to is determined by the type of milk being used. Heating happens in huge pots on an enormous hot plate. It's a painstakingly slow process, not for the weak armed, which involves stirring- being careful not to brush the metal spoon along the bottom or the sides of the pot and taking the temperature.
Once the milk reaches the required temp it's put into the water bath, which is constantly being feed fresh cold water to stop if from heating up. After two minutes of cooling the milk is then poured into a large rectangular bucket where it sits until the rest of the batch has been heated and cooled. 

While we waited for the milk to cool, Monica tells me how their cheese making business come about. She and Jenny have food science backgrounds, they meet while working for the same company, in different teams and as happens in the science sector so frequently, redundancies were afoot. Jenny mentioned that she'd likely take the redundancy and start using the cheese making kit she had not got around to using. Monica who dearly missed her Italian goats cheese heard this and was immediately hooked.

The pair started to make cheese in the weekends, friends and family like it and over the past seven years they have grown Cilantro- now providing local restaurants, the markets, delicatessens and even a local menu based grocery bag supplier who caters for busy folks.
Once the whole batch is ready a dash of rennet and a pinch (Monica says that they're very scientific measurements!) of culture are added and stirred into each bucket. Then nature takes it's turn, the mixture is left over night then the next step takes place, this involves pouring the mixture into cone like cylinders where the curds and whey separate. From here it's more waiting while the curds set and then as they sit some more in the chiller and humidifier- a very necessary aspect making cheese.
Finally after several months, if they have made a hard cheese which are cut and then vacuum sealed in a piece of machinery that Jenny and Monica are pretty thrilled with! 

Cilantro is a small but growing enterprise. Monica and Jenny are both smart, passionate women with a great deal of knowledge and a desire to provide a product that they are proud of and that others will enjoy.

If you haven't already, I'd suggest you meet them at the markets and try their range of locally produced cheeses. Oh and watch this space because they have a blue cheese aging which, if it passes muster, will make an appearance in the next couple of months!

Recipe Of The Week:

Cauliflower Topped Cottage Pie- care of Dana the HFM assistant.

4 cups of diced fresh vegetables (celery, carrots, peas, green beans etc.)
2 cups of water
1 large onion (chopped) 5
00g mince
1/4 cup flour
1/2 tsp Paprika and Oregano
1 tsp salt Pepper to taste

1 cauliflower, cut into florets
2 eggs
2 Tbsp cream s
alt and pepper to taste
1 cup of grated cheese

Place the cauliflower into a saucepan of salted boiling water and cook until tender. Drain and place in a food processor, add eggs and cream and puree until smooth but still with a bit of texture. Season with salt and pepper.

In another pot, heat 2 cups of water and add 4 cups of diced veggies.

Meanwhile, brown chopped onion and mince with a little oil over high heat in a large pan. Stir in the flour, paprika and oregano and cook a minute longer.

When the veggies are cooked drain the water into the meat and stir until thickens. Simmer for 2-3 minutes, then add the veggies, salt and pepper.

Spread the mixture in a fairly large oven proof dish, spoon the cauliflower on top, sprinkle with cheese and bake at 180° until golden brown.

Bon Appétit!

At The Markets This Week:

Click here for the link to this weeks Tempo article.

That's All Folks!

Thanks for reading, we look forward to seeing you at the markets.