Tuesday, January 06, 2009

Tyromancy.

Today is Twelfth Day, and the official end of the Christmas season. Every previous year of The Old Foodie blog, I have written about the food traditions of this day, but this year I have a different idea for you.

The end of the Christmas season is a time for looking ahead and wondering what the new year will bring. One way to find out, so the old books say, is by tyromancy. A bit of divination one-upmanship on your friends who merely read tea-leaves or tarot cards. Tyromancy is divination by cheese – by the interpretation of the signs that appear as the cheese coagulates. Unfortunately, no book written by an enlightened one has appeared to help us read those signs, so we must make it up as we go along, or rely on our intuitive interpretation.

So – go to it, and make yourself some cheese, and watch it carefully as it cheeses. There are some instructions HERE.

When you have made your cheese, make some Welsh Rabbit. The number of variations on the theme of cheese on toast is astounding, and the collection of recipes (HERE and HERE) grows very large.

You are not likely to come up with a good Camembert cheese in your own kitchen, but if you have some at home, and are sick of the damn stuff, you can use it up in an up-market version of Welsh Rabbit.

Camembert Toast
1 Camembert Cheese
slices of Graham or Boston brown bread or crackers
salt and paprika
Remove the crust from a creamy Camembert cheese, spread the cheese thickly on slices of bread or crackers, dust with salt and paprika, and bake in a quick oven – 375 degrees F. – from five to eight minutes, or until the surface of the cheese is golden brown.
Mrs. Allen on cooking, menus, service: 2500 recipes; 1924

Quotation for the Day ...

Cheese is the biscuit of drunkards.
John Keats

5 comments:

somethingtonibbleon said...

I love all things cheese and this is something new! Who knew cheese could tell the future!

I also love the cheese quote too.

The Old Foodie said...

I love this sort of quirky thing too!

Judith Klinger said...

Apparently this is what happens when you stare into a pot for a long time... you begin to see signs.... such a wacky word!

T.W. Barritt at Culinary Types said...

I do tend to let cheese direct my life, so this makes perfect sense to me.

The Old Foodie said...

I grated Parmesan onto the pasta last night and it predicts it will be a great year for food bloggers.