Saturday, 19 September 2009

Cheesy Saturday

There was a little story in this week's Blackmore Vale magazine about this yesterday; a local reclamation company had gone in to clear an old farmhouse at Middlemarsh, just up the road from here. They found a whole room of dairying and cheesemaking equipment, untouched for about 30 years, they reckon. The equipment was manufactured by local companies, sadly no longer in existence, from Blandford, Yeovil, Shepton Mallet and Shaftesbury. The portrait of the woman is believed to be that of the great grandmother of the current owner of the farm, and thought responsible for setting up the cheese business. There are lots of prize certificates which have been framed and hung by the display, adding to the interest, all won at local agricultural shows, etc. Even the racks it is all standing on were carefully removed and reassembled.
It's a fascinating piece of local history, and although most of the pieces of equipment have seen better days, I think it's important that it is saved for the future - a vital part of local industry and hisotry, and I feel priveleged to have been able to go over and actually see the items displayed.
Before we went there this morning, we went to the tip, where on of my purchases was a book of West Country recipes; this covers Dorset as well, and near the back is a recipe for Blue Vinney cheese; I've tried it a few times before and it was OK, but not authentic, as it used a Rocquefort culture to aid the bluing of it. This one uses nothing like that, so I need to get hold of some skimmed milk and give this recipe a go. My cheese press is an antique Scottish one, not a local one to Dorset, but there you go. One day I might own something more lcoal, but my little purchase back in 1988 has stood me in very good cheesemaking stead and is in regular use - my own little piece of cheesemaking history.

1 comment:

Leanne said...

wow! its wonderful little time capsules like this still exist, and equally wonderful that they can be saved as important parts of social history, bygone ways and bygone days. i may loathe cheese with a passion but i do fully appreciate the importance of keeping little pieces of history like this!

Leanne x