Tuesday, 21 May 2013

C is for Cheese

One way of celebrating Whit Weekend could be copying the cheese rolling competition at Cooper's Hill (Brockworth, Gloucestershire).

Recent events have been quite quiet after the 1998 event was cancelled due to the number of injuries in 1997 and a revolt by locals about plans for the event to be commercialized.

But before you head to the hills, you could decide to hold your own cheese event.

If you have a steep hill nearby you could of course stage your own cheese rolling event involving a large cheese or a small wooden barrel as the Cooper's Hill organizers did during World War II due to rationing.

Or watch it at home using the previous year's video as a prequel. A video of the current year's event bound to be available quickly on the internet for later on in the day.  

Afterwards celebrate all things cheese by serving a good range of six or seven British cheeses. Most supermarkets stock:
Serve the cheese buffet style with big chunks of cheeses on wooden platters (such as these from Jamie Oliver).  Pre-cut slices quickly curl up and the edges harden--not attractive.

Or  use Rock UR Party's suggestion of chalkboard paper (available from Amazon).

You can label your cheese using thin card and glueing a cork onto the back of each piece of card at the bottom so they stand upright.

Serve your cheese with sticks of celery (trimmed and stuck upright in a glass), bowls of dried apricots (sliced), olives and nuts, and apple slices (tossed in lemon juice to stop them browning).  Grapes should be served only with French cheeses and who needs the, when we have so many of our own!

Serve crackers and crostini (thin slices of toasted baguette) in baskets.

Condiments include fig or quince jam, rhubarb compote, and English mustard.

If you want something meatier, serve cold/cured continental cuts, honey-glazed sausages hot from the oven or have a roast ham ready to carve.

To decorate your table, keep the theme fresh to complement the cheese.

I also make up a radish mouse or two for platters à la Martha Stewart.

And Real Simple's take-home cards allow guests to make a note of any cheese/wine that they particularly liked.

Freeze any cheese left over in more manageable lumps for mini cheese parties for two.

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