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Bubbles, Burrata and Bocconcini

 

Last Friday evening I did something very out of the ordinary: I made cheese! It was a “Bubbles Burrata and Bocconcini Cheese Making Class“, held at Tramsheds in Sydney and led by a cheesemaker from Omnon Cheese Making. I don’t know if the lure is the bottomless bubbly or the cheese making, but either way they are on to a good thing here; it’s a popular event and often sells out.

The setting. Tramsheds was originally a (wait for it) tram shed and depot, then empty, now revitalised as a collection of eateries.

First steps: add the citric acid to the milk, and warm it. Remove from heat, stir in the rennet, and let it sit.

 

Okay, so at this point it’s not especially appealing.

Time for a drink!

Bottomless indeed.

Cut and drain the curds, and this is what you get. (The curds had been prepared for us to this stage; very sensible, as bottomless bubbles, heat and precise measurements probably don’t mix well.)

A big bowl of curds.

Then it’s time to take out the frustrations of the day on the poor defenseless curds. Mash them with your hands until they fall apart and surrender.

Near-boiling water is then poured over the curds, and as you agitate gently the mass (mess?) starts to come together. Gather it all up in your hands. The contents of the bowl are very hot at this stage, which is why we all wore two or three layers of rubber gloves.

Still none too appetising …

A miracle happens as you stretch and fold it; the gloppy, stringy stuff becomes glossy and stretchy. (Mine never stretched this much, I admit!) This is why fresh Mozzarella (not the block stuff) can be pulled apart in layers.

 

I learned at this event that Bocconcini is just Mozzarella in small balls, and Burrata is a sort of stuffed Mozzarella pocket tied off with a knot. My attempt at Burrata was a misshapen lump that leaked. 😦

 

Now it was our turn to mash our curds, stretch and fold the cheese, and pinch off balls. First, though, it was time for a refill!

This bowl holds the far-from-perfect results of my two friends and me. More blobs than balls, but as the instructor said, they will melt just as well on pizza and will still taste yummy!

From the state of the table, you can guess that this was a messy process.

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Botanical Sun Dial

Royal Botanic Gardens sundial, Sydney

The sundial in the Royal Botanic Gardens, Sydney, dates to 1993, so it’s not as old as it looks. Allowing for us being on summer time now (requiring the addition of an hour), the sundial’s time matched that on my phone. Simple, but amazing!

Royal Botanic Gardens sundial, Sydney

December Squares #timesquare

Stop all the clocks

No man has the power to tell just where the hands will stop, at late or early hour.

“No man has the power to tell just where the hands will stop, at late or early hour.”

A mix of quotes in this post: the title is from a W H Auden poem, the photo caption is from “The Clock of Life” by Robert H Smith. This particular stopped clock is on Cockatoo Island in Sydney Harbour: convict prison; industrial school and reformatory for girls; ship building site; dockyard; and now urban campground and cultural events venue. From 1857 to 1991, Cockatoo Island was Australia’s primary shipbuilding and repair facility. I find something quite poignant in this clock, its frozen hands hinting at a time when the cavernous building in which it hangs bustled with noise and work.

December Squares #timesquare

Random Fridays: Could I ever have belonged to the heavens?

Icarus Container, Yukinori Yanagi

Icarus Container by Yukinori Yanagi

This photo shows part of an art work at this year’s Biennale on Cockatoo Island. Viewers walked through darkened shipping containers with mirrors on which were etched extracts of Icarus from Sun and Steel by Yukio Mishima. (While Mishima’s version is not that of the ancient myth, in which Icarus flew so close to the sun that the wax holding his feathered wings together melted and he fell to earth, it nonetheless evokes that story.)

The viewer’s perception changed as they walked through the containers, turning corners and looking back; the experience was very affecting.


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