|Castles, Crowns and Cottages.|
I'm honoured, and delighted,
to be included In
Castles, Crowns and Cottages
La Belle France.
So here was my inspiration.
A doll with the painted face
of an 18th century princess,
playing at a milkmaid.
With contemporary 18th century portraits
as a reference for the features.
The eyes suggested with paint
in monochrome, like a grisaille.
The irises in a grey blue,
wide and innocent.
A rosebud mouth,
small and slightly pouting.
Paint and powder,
a natural blush deepened
by a touch of carmine.
And finally, soft white hair,
powdered, pomaded and piled high,
to be decorated with
rows of roses.
And I know what she'd make,
this little princess milkmaid.
She'd make heart-shaped cheese.
|(PS. I didn't make this particular cheese. I wish I had.|
If I made these wonderful, dreamy cheeses,
this would be a cheese blog, not a doll blog.)
No, no, my dears!
Not the stuff in the block
by the cream cheeses
This is the real thing.
Salty and tangy and crumbly-delicious.
I miss it so.
So, I made a heart-shaped cheese of my own,
with herbs and garlic.
And this is the recipe.
1 block of neufchatel cheese
(or cream cheese; full fat,
fat free, whatever)
1 or 2 cloves fresh garlic
A handful of fresh herbs.
I used parsley,
but any mild, soft-leaved herb would do
either alone or blended.
First, puree the garlic.
(My Aunty Joanne who was
the most glamorous woman I ever knew
taught me this method.)
Peel the garlic cloves
and sprinkle on a good pinch of salt.
Start to chop the raw garlic into the salt,
scraping the knife and gathering the
chopped bits back together.
The garlic will start out as little chunks
but will slowly transform into a thick puree.
Chop the clean herbs into tiny flakes.
Yes, by hand.
Line your heart-shaped mould
with foil and sprinkle the base
with a light layer of chopped herbs.
Combine the remainder of the herbs
and the fresh garlic puree into the neufchatel cheese.
Spoon gently into the mould
and press into shape.
An hour or two is fine
Overnight is better.
Turn out of the mould.
Serve with good bread,
cold, crisp white wine.
(If you don't have a suitable mould,
form the cheese into a cylinder,
then roll in chopped herbs
and wrap tightly in foil or cling film.)