When I was in Korea a couple of years ago, we drove up to Mt. Seoraksan and visited a secluded little farm. Coming from the more tropical parts of the world, I always expect farms to have large expanses of rice paddies and coconut trees. In much cooler parts of Asia though, such as Korea, farms naturally have flora and fauna meant to withstand the chillier climates of their year.
Hence the strawberries, thick- fleeced sheep, and a very responsive snow dog:
As is the norm in farm living, most things were made by hand. Most ingredients were plucked, harvested, and milked “from the land”.
One afternoon, they taught us how to make cheese. Sheep’s cheese, that is.
There was an abundance of cute, kitschy, funny signs all over the place. All hand- built and painted, bearing caricatures straight out of one mad farmer’s head.
Now this was how we made cheese.
Things we used:
1) fresh sheep’s milk
2) white vinegar
4) a bunch of wild flowers and sunflower seeds (for added flavour)
5) a metal bowl
6) a rectangular strainer
7) a burner
8) a piece of cloth
9) a piece of brick (wrapped in aluminum)
We boiled milk and vinegar together over low fire and stirred this mixture until it looked a little lumpy. Pinches of salt were occasionally thrown in there too (to taste).
While the boiling was happening, we took a wet cloth and put that over a rectangular strainer (the shape was to mold the cheese into a rectangle).
We randomly sprinkled wild flowers and some sunflower seeds on this cloth. These had to be at the bottom of the strainer because once the cheese hardens and is turned over, you want to see the lovely colors on top.
After pouring the cheese unto the strainer of flowers, we wrapped the rectangular blob using the very cloth it sat on. The brick in aluminum foil was then used to hold the whole thing down and push whatever liquid was left in it.
About 15-20 minutes after, we opened the soggy rectangle and voila! Sheep’s cheese with sweet wild flowers and sunflower seeds.
We had this with freshly baked crackers, home- made wine, and some home- made strawberry jam.
If this is some indication of what farm life is, I might just want to live in one- some day.
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