In the bleak midwinter

That frosty wind has been making moan all right – making me moan, more to the point.

The whole earth-as-hard-as-iron thing put paid to my plan of riding before work yesterday.

And the water was indeed like a stone, which meant I had my favourite winter job; smashing the ice on the horses’ water troughs and lifting it out with my bare hands. It’s, like, so much fun!

At least the -5C temperature meant there was a nice sunrise:

But by yesterday evening, it was +5C and pouring with rain… mental.

And when it is freezing/wet/generally meh, (please be impressed with my crowbar-ing in some relevance here) you want comfort food, which brings me to this lot:
Lovely Ben from Delamere Dairy emailed me a while ago asking whether I’d be interested in trying out some of their products. I said I’d think about it.

From the range of goats’ milk, cheese and yoghurt, (they also do Channel Island and sterilised cows’ milk) he sent me spreadable, creamy and hard goats’ cheese, a goats’ cheese and honey log and some of their new soya milk, sweetened and unsweetened.
I tried the spreadable cheese first and have to confess that my ten-year-old self surfaced as I instantly thought: “I don’t like it” – because it was different.

But my mum would have been proud; I tried again and realised I really liked it. It’s tangy and creamy – and went down a treat in my lunches.

The next one I tried was the creamy cheese. It’s firm, like Cheddar but softer in consistency, and there was no childish doubt here – it was delicious. I’d never been that much into goats’ cheese before but this on its own was enough to convert me straight away. It’s got so much flavour, but without too much tang, and the texture’s great. It’s actually grate too (geddit?!) because it doesn’t fall apart when you try to grate it… 🙂

My favourite way to eat it was cubed and added to an omelette, with a handful of wilted spinach, while it was still cooking so it part-melted… seriously out of this world.

I had it with minced turkey, stuffed into a tiny pumpkin, which was also delicious:

… and in, er, quite a few other ways 🙂

I wasn’t a huge fan of the soya milk, I have to admit, but then I’m not too keen on the stuff anyway. If you like soya, I reckon you’ll like this, it seemed to have a rich and possibly more intense flavour than others I’ve tried.

But the mature goats’ cheese was again another matter. Harder and crumblier than the creamy one, it had more of a tang and it was also absolutely delicious. I had it mainly in my new favourite winter dinner:

Cubes of potato, butternut, onion and courgette, sprinkled with rosemary and garlic salt, drizzled with olive oil and roasted for about half an hour at 180C, till soft and caramelised. You’ll be able to tell by the mouth-watering rosemary smell just how good this is going to taste but crumble the goats’ cheese on top (the steamed leeks are obviously just a random addition) and you’ll be in heaven; the combination of the intense goats’ cheese, the rosemary and the crispy/soft vegetables is almost too good.

I’m definitely a convert but haven’t been able to find the Delamere cheese in any of the supermarkets near me; I have tried another brand but it just wasn’t the same… on the hunt for the Delamere! If you’ve never tried goats’ milk or cheese, give it a go. They can be good alternatives; some people that intolerant to cows’ milk are fine with goats’ products. What I also really like about the Delamere approach though, is this page, which tells you about how the goats are kept – the life of Riley, apparently!

Have you tried any Delamere products? What do you think of goats’ cheese in general?

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32 Responses to In the bleak midwinter

  1. Oooh, all those products look great, I love the sound of the goats cheese honey log, have you tried that one yet? What did you think of it? (I did read this post twice searching for a mention of one, but pretty sure there isn’t!!)

    I haven’t ever tried Delamere products, but I do love goats cheese. I usually buy a soft log that has rind, and use it in risottos/quesadillas/sandwiches/pasta etc etc … anything really! 🙂

  2. Goat cheese ROCKS! I soooo wish a goat cheese company round these here parts would send me some stuff! 😉

  3. I love cheese in almost any form…it sounds delicious to me! That last dish looks wonderful! Also, Eleanor, I LOVE the sunset photo!

  4. Alexandra says:

    Man, your eats are just beyond tasty. I love the teeny pumpkin you stuffed too! 😀
    I’ve never tried goat cheese before, but I’m not a big cheese fan anyways so I guess that’s why haha

    • That pumpkin was mad! Still not sure exactly what sort it was but it was only the same size as an onion 🙂
      And if you like cheese, you’ll love goats’ cheese, the harder stuff especially is so good!

  5. goat cheese is my absolute favorite kind of cheese! And it never upsets my stomach the way other cheeses do 🙂

  6. I have to admit that if I were to start eating animal products again goats cheese would be it! I’ve always said that I’d eat it again if I got any mega cravings but I haven’t yet although your description has made me crave it a little bit!

  7. Maria says:

    I love goats cheese- which is lucky because normally when eating out that is in the veggie option! I love it with butternut squash- think the flavours go really well. Or with caramelised onions. On a pizza, on some pasta….. basically it makes most things nicer!

  8. Bronagh says:

    I’m a huge goats cheese fan, in fact it’s really the only cheese I do eat. I agree with Maria, it pairs wonderfully with butternut (or any) squash, on pizza and definitely with eggs/omelettes too. Can’t recall seeing Delamare in any shops around here but I’ll def be on the look out for it now 🙂

  9. Ooh, gotta love the goat cheese. It’s so tangy and delicious. Love your photos of the veggies!

  10. Leigh says:

    Oh goat’s cheese how I love thee. I’ve been looking out for this delamere stuff and can’t find it anywhere, and I live really close to delamere!
    I can’t imagine having to get up in this cold and look after horses every morning, how many layers do you wear?

    • Nightmare! Maybe you could pop in to the farm 🙂
      As for layers, on Monday I had on *deep breath* tights, cycling shorts, over-the-knee woolly socks, jodhpurs and boots, then a vest top, a polo-necked woolly jumper, two fleeces, hat, scarf and ski jacket…! When it snows, I add jeans and a mammoth jumper knitted by a friend’s mum 🙂

  11. I really love goats cheese especially in salads with pear, walnuts, and dried cranberries…yum!

  12. I dont think I’ve ever had goats cheese, but it sounds great!

  13. The weather has been crazy – so mild today! I’m very glad that I don’t have a horse to look after at this time of year – it sounds miserable.
    I really like goats cheese and have been using it a lot more. Goats cheese and beetroot is a match made in heaven.

    • It’s all right, I just like a good moan 🙂 definitely happier with this mild weather than what we had this time last year though!
      And usually I can’t stand beetroot but something about that combination appeals to me… 🙂

  14. Kate says:

    Goat cheese is the best! I could eat it all day, every day. I know you hate the snow but oh my gosh, that picture is so pretty! Can we switch houses? You could have a hot Christmas and I could enjoy the snow 🙂

  15. Hannah says:

    I adore goats cheese, heart and soul! Oh, I want to try these so badly 🙂 Love the cute lil pumpkin too!

  16. I can totally relate! I actually spent a couple weeks on a goat farm in the Dominican Republic and I STILL refused to try goat cheese… I don’t know, there was something about it that weirded me out! But I eventually DID try some in a salad (just this past year) and I actually did like it!

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