Achhhhh It’s time to pay the rent in the highlands of Scotland and ye best have your payment ready when Dougal arrives to collect it this week! He has a war to fund and will not be lookin kindly upon ye if ye can not pay your share! Dinna fash though, because he does understand how difficult cold hard coin is to come by in these days so he will accept other things in payment? Do ye have a spare goat around? He’ll take the goat, or perhaps some chickens, some eggs… if ye have a pig, you’d best be slaughtering it ahead of time though and offering him the meat instead because he’ll not be taking any live pigs! Now, do not be thinking you can play on his emotions and makin him feel sorry for your poor circumstances either. Rent is rent and it needs to be paid in some form or another. If your baby is in need of the goat’s milk, ye best not be trading the goat because a deal is a deal and he’ll not be giving it back even if the Sassenach, Claire does her share of pleading for you!
Hmmmm… You could probably pay your rent with some wool that you’ve made as well? But, it’s a verra hard and sort of nasty process, that wool making, it is… and if ye haven’t made it yet, ye will na have time to get it done before Dougal arrives tomorrow for the rent money?
Now, since ye don’t have time for the wool making, and ye’re thinking twice about trading the goat what with the baby crying for milk and all… I have a solution? It’s a well known fact that Dougal will accept cheese as part of the rent payment! What, cheese, ye say- We don’t have time to tryin that, that must surely be takin much longer to do than even the wool? Achhhh, that’s where you’re wrong! We can whip up some fine Crowdie Cheese in less time than it takes to catch and slaughter the pig… and a bit less mess to it all as well!
Crowdie is a Scottish cheese, or the term less often refers to a type of brose (an uncooked porridge).
The cheese is often eaten with oatcakes and recommended before a ceilidh as it is said to alleviate the effects of whisky drinking. The texture is soft and crumbly, the taste slightly sour. Like cottage cheese it is very low in fat, being made from skimmed milk.
A version of crowdie known as “Black Crowdie” or “Gruth Dhu” is made by rolling crowdie in a mixture of pinhead oatmeal and crushed black peppercorns.
A céilidh or ceilidh /ˈkeɪli/ is a traditional Gaelic social gathering, which usually involves playing Gaelic folk music and dancing. It originated from Ireland and Scotland, but is now common throughout the Scottish and Irish diasporas. In Scottish Gaelic it is spelt cèilidh (Scottish Gaelic pronunciation: [ˈkʲʰeːli]), and in Irish it is spelt céilí (Irish pronunciation: [ˈkeːlʲiː]).
Well, then, that is we’ll do… we’ll make some fine Crowdie Cheese for the rent payment! We’ll toss in some Scotch eggs as well as long as we’re cooking and maybe we’ll be offering him and his traveling group some nice warm scones as well? We’ll most likely have to give up a few chickens and possibly some of the pig that we butchered to cover the rest of the rent payment, but at least this way, we’ll manage to hold on to our prized and precious goat!
We’ll be using the recipe that Theresa has provided for us at Outlanderkitchen.com: http://outlanderkitchen.com/2014/09/03/homemade-crowdie-cheese-outlander-starz-episode-105/ Ahhhh Bless her soul, isn’t she the life saver for us as usual! She also has recipes for the Scotch eggs: http://outlanderkitchen.com/2012/09/24/scotch-eggs-from-an-echo-in-the-bone/, and a recipe for the scones as well! http://outlanderkitchen.com/2014/03/03/mrs-grahams-oatmeal-scones-with-clotted-cream/. An added note here, I really wanted to try the clotted cream recipe but can not find the right cream for it. It must be the not ultra-pasteurized type and I was not able to find this on my shopping trip! I am a bit disappointed because I did so want to try it!
Now, we being the poorer folk who have to scrape together our meager resources for that rent payment, we canna afford the luxury taste of a somewhat better quality of cheese offering? Crowdie Cheese is considered the poor folk’s cheese. There is a far better one that the much finer folk might consume? That would be Caboc Cheese.
Caboc is a Scottish cream cheese, made with double cream or cream-enriched milk. This rennet-free cheese is formed into a log shape and rolled in toasted pinhead, to be served with oatcakes or dry ttoast.
The texture is smooth, slightly thicker and grainier than clotted cream, while the colour is a pale primrose yellow. The fat content is typically 67-69%, which is comparable with rich continental cream cheeses such as mascarpone. Historically, it was a cheese for the wealthy, unlike the similarly-aged Crowdie, which is made from the by-products of skimming cream from milk and thus is considered a poor man’s cheese.
Caboc is Scotland’s oldest cheese, dating from the 15th century in the Scottish Highlands. The cheese was first made by Mariota de Ile, the daughter of the chieftain of the Clan MacDonald of the Isles. At 12 years old, Mariota was in danger of being abducted by the Clan Cambell, who planned to marry her to one of their own and seize her lands. Mariota escaped to Ireland, where she learned how to make cheese. On her return, she passed the recipe to her daughter, who in turn passed it onto her daughter. The recipe is still a secret and has been handed down from mother to daughter ever since. The present maker is Mrs Suzannah Stone of Tain, who works with a team of eight local women and her cheese is sold under the seal of Highland Fine Cheeses Ltd.
According to legend, the tradition of coating Caboc in oatmeal started as an accident. A cattle herder stored the day’s cheese in a box which he had used to carry his oatcakes earlier that day. Apparently, the oatmeal-coated cheese was enjoyed so much that from that day, Caboc has been made with an oaten coating.
A Scotch egg consists of a hard boiled egg wrapped in sausage meat, coated in bread crumbs and baked or deep-fried. The London department store, Fortnum & Mason claims to have invented Scotch eggs in 1738, but they may have been inspired by the Moghul dish nargisi kofta (“Narcissus meatballs”). The earliest printed recipe appears in the 1809 edition of Mrs. Rundell’s A New System of Domestic Cookery. Mrs. Rundell—and later 19th-century authors—served them hot, with gravy.
I surely do hope that Dougal is satisfied with our rent payments… I would hate for to be on the bad side of him!
Previous Outlander post: https://timeslipsblog.wordpress.com/2014/09/01/outlander-mystery-man-at-the-gathering/
Ahhhh So excited! Crowdie Cheese is a success! Thanks so much to Theresa at Outlanderkitchen.com! http://outlanderkitchen.com/2014/09/03/homemade-crowdie-cheese-outlander-starz-episode-105/
I followed her recipe exactly right down to the time increments and had no problems with any of it. It even yielded a bit more than I expected it would, but probably not nearly enough to pay all of the rent payment? Hmmm ummm perhaps Dougal and I could come to some sort of personal and private agreement on making up the difference? While that young lad, Jamie is a sight to behold, he’s bit young for me… and besides, he is obviously smitten with that white witch Sassenach woman. I think I would be tryin my luck with Dougal? I’ve heard rumors though about that other witch, Geillis Duncan havin her eyes on him, and that woman be putting a mighty fear in me?
Ohhhh ummm yes, so sorry for that bit of frightful dreaming! Now, where was I? Ahhh yes, back to the Crowdie Cheese and comin up with the rent payment?
As I said, I followed the recipe and instructions exactly, but did use some of her added suggestions and tips. I used fresh lemon juice rather than vinegar. There was a comment on Theresa’s site where someone had a bit of difficulty with the amount of curd. This poster mentioned that she returned drained whey to heat and added a touch more of the vinegar. So, using that information, I made sure to heat the milk to called for temperature. I used thermometer for the process even though Theresa mentioned it was not absolutely necessary. It worked perfect!
This is the consistency when I turned off heat at specified heating time.
Straining into the cheese cloth
Hanging cheese for 30 minutes
Removing the cheese from cheese cloth
Adding salt and cream, finished product! Just a note here- I used the 1/2 tsp of salt as called for but it was just bit too much? I added more cream at this point, and will probably add just a touch more cream before adding some additional herb seasonings for serving later tonight with some Cheddar Scones!