Cooking: Cheese Making Made Simple by Lakeland


Have I ever expressed my love for Lakeland on here before? If not, shame on me. If so, sorry, you're going to hear it again. I ADORE Lakeland. Not only can they both amazing customer service both in store and online (and I cannot begin to tell you how important that is to me. I hate going into shops to be met with sales assistants too busy chatting to each other to serve me, or contacting a customer service department by e-mail to be met with useless automated responses or rudeness. URGH. Thankfully, Lakeland do neither!), but their products are wonderful, more to the point. Full of kitchen and homeware gadgetry (a big obsession of mine, I put some sort of kitchen gadget on my wishlist every Christmas and birthday!), but no gimmicks. Everything is actually useful, actually serves a purpose. Yep, you probably did survive without it, but with it, your life is going to be better, in culinary or housekeeping terms.

My most recent Lakeland catalogue arrived in the post. I remember when I was living at home and these would arrive for my Mum, she used to let me open it even though it wasn't addressed to me simply so I could pour through the pages until she got home from work. What an excellent mother she is! Anyway, this particular catalogue was so chock full of things I want I might have to put it in the recycling as quickly as I can bear so I don't spend every penny I own buying up everything. This catalogue is called Simply Home-Made and there's so many amazing things in there. But what really caught my eye was their new range of cheese-making products.

I sort of knew that making soft cheese wasn't especially difficult, nor was it fantastically time consuming, but I hadn't really considered it. However Lakeland have teamed up with BBC Good Food columnist Gerard Baker to produce a recipe book:

Image courtesy of the Lakeland website

How to Make Soft Cheese  is a 34 page book with basic recipes, tips, equipment lists, etc. According to the blurb in the catalogue, you can make cream cheese, 'feta', halloumi, ricotta and mozarella to name a few. I'm hugely tempted by this. What goes one step further than making cheesecake? making cheesecake with homemade cream cheese in it, of course! I love being able to make those extra touches. My 'signature' dish, as it were, is lasagne (I might post a recipe one of these days). Its been a labour of love that I have worked on improving for 10+ years, and I make nearly everything from scratch (never have made the pasta, perhaps that's next!). The idea that I could make the mozarella that goes in the lasagne too just makes me even more excited.

As well as selling a how-to book, Lakeland also sell the other kit you might need to make cheese. Such as a maslin pan, which I would call a 'jam pan'. I already own one, which was a hand-me down from my mother, which was a hand-me-down from my grandmother, so I'm not looking to replace it. But hey, I'm one piece of kit up on the cheese-making thing, winner!

Image courtesey of Lakeland website

This is one of two cheese moulds Lakeland are selling, both this conical mould and the basket mould are a snip at £3.99 each.

Image courtesey of Lakeland website

You'll also need some muslin squares to separate your curds from your whey. Muslin squares can also be used to strain homemade wine or to make bouquet garni, and are re-useable. This pack of 10 can be found here for £5.49.

I'm pretty sure I have just talked myself into buying these up and making soft cheese. I'll be sure to post about how I get on when I do (let's face it, its not 'if', it's when).

If you've never been to a Lakeland store before, shame on you. Get yourself there immediately to immerse yourself in all that is wonderful about kitchenware. The staff know their products and will be more than happy to chat to you if you have any questions at all. Also, check out their bargain corner for some amazing bargain finds. My mother picked up this electric jam maker for £49.99 instead of the £99.99 it was a few years ago simply because the outer box was damaged. Literally, just the packaging was a bit bashed, there was nothing wrong or missing from the product. Half price for a ripped box! That's amazingly good! The Lakeland Store Locator is here but if you get the chance, you have to visit the flagship store in Windermere, Cumbria. Its a vast store in the most beautiful surroundings and the cafe there is completely to die for!

Are you a Lakeland fan like me? Are you a cheese-maker who can give me some tips on my first attempts at cheese? Let me know in the comments!

I'd just like to point out that this is NOT a sponsored post. Lakeland are not paying me in cash or in any of their amazing products for writing this post. I'm a genuine Lakeland fan and this post is therefore genuinely gushing!

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