Sunday, 28 September 2014

Marmalade and Mozzarella

We've just finished our first week of WWOOFing with Alastair and Suzie at Earthstead. While it's been a little challenge for bodies used to sitting at desks all day we've both enjoyed settling into the mostly self sufficient lifestyle with plenty of time spent in the kitchen too.

Making use of the seasons produce is high on the agenda and particularly using up some of the milk that their three dairy cows are producing each day. In just the few days we've been here butter, mozzarella, quark, ricotta and halloumi have all been made with Joe getting a chance to tick a few items off his "preserving methods I'd like to try one day" list. He's found a kindred spirit in Al, and the two have been spotted a few times peering at cheese making books trying to decide what to make next, as well as lengthy discussions on whether it's possible to build some sort of cellar for curing hard cheeses in!
Curds and Whey for making mozzarella

When not playing with the fresh milk, there's been fruit and veg for preserving and we've made three batches of marmalade as well as a jar of kimchi. We found the experience of picking our citrus fruit for the marmalade a very surreal one - just not something you'd do in the UK. Here we had a choice of oranges, mandarins, grapefruit, lemons and limes all on the bushes. Madness.

Fresh fruit from the garden

Not all of our time has been spent in the kitchen and Alastair and Suzie run a luxury accommodation business on site with three self contained apartments. Naturally this means there is always plenty of cleaning to be done as one guest leaves and another arrives and we've also been helping with an overhaul of the parking area, clearing it of weeds ready for a fresh layer of gravel. While hard work it's been satisfying to see the area gradually looking so neat and tidy. 

Finally the chairs for the properties are all being freshened up with new upholstery. This isn't something we've done before but with plenty of experience playing with both wood and fabric it isn't something we've found too hard either. As a task it's progressing slowly as we've been distracted by all the other jobs to be done but we've finished our first chair and I have to say it's looking pretty good. Hopefully be able to crack on with the rest next week.

1 comment:

  1. What an fascinating place to stay and what a wonderful idea! How fab to learn new skills too....oh...I am enjoying your


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