cheese love

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Blanchie's homemade cheese spread

Well it's another wild & windy early morning here in this little seaside village. Rain is pelting sideways and tap tap tapping on my office/studio windows and the temperature has climbed (yeah !!) to +10 - virtual balminess for nearly mid December (did I say yeah ? Yeah !!). I stopped at the hardware store yesterday afternoon to pick up a new ice chisel/snow brush apparatus for the teak coloured 97 Ford Escort Wagon (it was so cold yesterday and my windshield had such a thick layer of hard frozen ice on it that my old one snapped in two while I was deep in the act of chiseling). While at the hardware store I also picked up a new string of 100 sparkling, twinkling (but not blinking - blinking is never good) multi coloured mini lights. The tradition here at 29 Black Street is to zig zag mini lights, a bit haphazardly, a bit Charlie Brown's Christmas tree, around and across my big front kitchen window - looks terrible in daylight but absolutely lovely in darkness. When Miss D and I came home last night from our evening stroll the little path from the street to our door was now cheery and bright, lit with the magic of Christmas. I leave them on all night and this early morning I poured my coffee in a kitchen dark but for the glow of these sweet little lights. Sigh.

And who said she wasn't a Christmas girl ?

Another favourite recipe from my other grandmother Blanche. Both my grandmother's were incredible strong, independent, women (perfect role models for young girl's growing up) and both were fantastic cooks. I guess I come by my love of cooking quite naturally. This recipe is for a homemade cheese spread perfect for Christmas giving - a kind of adult cheese whiz. I'll write out the recipe as I have it written down and then in the notes I'll suggest a few possible alterations, additions, etc. These recipes were recorded way before we had the kind of access to the gourmet ingredients that we currently have.

Cheese Olive Spread

1/2lb old, nippy sharp cheddar cheese*
1/3 cup of butter
1 cup of white sugar
1 bottle salad olives (drained well)**
1 cup of cream/blend
3 eggs (beaten well)
1/2 cup vinegar****
mix the next three items together well before adding
1 tbsp (dry mustard)***
1 tsp. salt
3 tbsp flour

Using a double boiler blend flour mixture, sugar and cream, stir well and gradually add beaten eggs and butter. Continue to stir and cook until mixture seems well combined and then gradually add in the grated cheese and the chopped olives. Cook until thick. Remove from heat and stir in vinegar. Pour into jars. Keeps refrigerated 1-2 weeks.

You can substitute a container of *Imperial cheese. I use the **best olives (quite finely chopped) that I can get from my deli section, a combination of big fat pimento stuffed olives along with a few Kalamata olives and/or a small can of well drained chopped roasted red peppers (pimentoes). I'm sure 1 tbsp of the best ***Dijon would be a great substitution and you could also experiment with flavoured ****vinegars (white wine or cider might be nice) and even adding a tbsp. of sherry at the end. Or just enjoy the recipe as is.

Very delicious spread on a thick slice of toasted Tuscan peasant bread (with a special holla to B. Vee who has become la Queen of the Tuscan peasant bread) a few crumbles of bacon on top and under the broiler 'til bubbly or as is avec knife for spreading and a tall stack of saltines. Wink.

Bathos bubbles from Lush this morning and (sigh) my second cup of java awaits.


  1. Morning Christmas that drawing.

  2. Yes, show us the light Susan!

    That cheesy thing sounds really unusual. Can you have it warm, like a fondue cheesy dip thing?

  3. I love the cheese-y little drawing...I think I could see a whole set of cards.....

    Nana Blanchie's favourites... I bet she had a few little specialties...

    don't worry about not "fitting in" with what everybody expects at Christmas...almost nobody does. It's like everything else... all the media hype shows the perfect family..the perfect decor...the perfect gift, etc.... when in fact, the reality is usually just the opposite in so many families.

    If anybody should hate the season, it would be me after all the drunken ones we were forced to endure as kids...but, now that's all behind me...I just do what I want, when I want. Some years I go all out with decoration, baking and visiting ......some, I don't. We don't visit one family because they are a pain... the other because they have too much other family around and we can't handle it....we love our merry little quiet Christmas.... a toast to the tree and the season on the big morn'... a little chicken dinner...a sit by the fireplace at night.. maybe a phone call or two.. just thankful we live where we do and have our nice warm roof over our heads...

  4. It's been terribly bitter cold here as well. I'm already ready for Summer to be back! =O

    Love your little "Love Cheese" drawing. You are an amazing and creative woman!



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