Tasmania produces some great cheeses, and I plan to taste as many as possible while I am here on holiday. In keeping with my Tasmanian food theme, I have selected for you some cheese recipes from local sources.
Firstly, from the Advocate (Burnie, Tas.) of 11 April 1931:
Rice and Cheese.
Quarter pound common rice, ½ oz. butter, 2 oz. cheese, 1 pint skim milk, mustard, pepper, and salt.
Wash the rice and put it on with plenty of cold water to boil, when the water must be poured off and replaced with the milk, in which allow it to boil until it is cooked enough but not too pulpy. It should boil very slowly. Grate 2 oz cheese, and add half of it to the rice, add a pinch of salt, a little pepper, and half a teaspoonful made mustard. Turn out on to a pudding dish and sprinkle the remainder of the cheese on top, the place on it half an ounce of butter in little bits and brown before the fire.
Four ounces grated cheese, 1 oz. butter, 2 oz. flour, 1 egg, 1 pint milk, salt to taste, a pinch of cayenne, some good pastry.
Melt the butter in a saucepan, stir in the flour, add the milk, bring to the boil, cook for three minutes, stirring all the tie. Stir in the salt, cayenne, and the cheese, simmer for a few minutes till the cheese is melted, remove from the fire, and when it has cooled a little, stir in the egg (well beaten.) Line some greased patty tins with the pastry, fill with the mixture, and bake in a quick oven for twenty minutes.
Half pound self-raising flour, ¼ lb grated cheese, 1 oz. butter, 1 smal teaspoonful salt, 1 large teaspoonful sugar, little pepper.
Mix dry ingredients, rub in butter, add cheese. Mix to firm dough with milk or water, roll out, cut into small scones. Bake in hot oven ten to fifteen minutes.
In case you have a piece of cheese which has become hard, the following ideas from King Island News (Currie, King Island) of 5 July, 1931 might serve as inspiration. King Island lies in Bass Straight, between the mainland and the main island of Tasmania. It has an area of just over 1,000 km2 (424 sq mi), a population of less than 2,000, and is noted for its cheese and seafood.
Cheese that has become dry and hard is often a source of worry to housewives. Here are some simple ways of using it up.
Grate the cheese and mix with it a tablespoonful of flour to every tablespoonful of cheese. Add a little salt, pepper, and mustard, and bind all with a well-beaten egg. Fry it in fat in the ordinary way, or drop it by spoonfuls into a frying-pan containing boiling fat and fry a light brown. The above can be varied by serving on a bed of plainly-boiled macaroni and covering with hot tomato sauce.
Grease a pie-dish and put a layer of thinly-sliced cheese at the bottom.
Place over this a layer of hard-boiled eggs, thinly sliced, then a layer of breadcrumbs. On top, put another layer of cheese. Dot the top with pieces of butter and bake in the oven until the cheese on top is slightly browned.
Grate the cheese and well wisk [sic] the white of an egg. Stir the cheese into the white and season with pepper and salt; place in a small greased baking dish. Drop the raw yolk of the egg into the centre of the white and bake in a moderate oven for eight minutes.
I have a couple more cheese recipes for you from a cookery book in my own collection.
It is the Hobart Cookery Book (3rd edition, and undated; a display advertisement includes a 1907 date, so I am guessing it is a little later than that.) There is a special place, I know, in many of our hearts for community cookbooks. This one was compiled by ‘a Committee of Ladies for the Methodist Central Mission, Melville Street, Hobart, and contains ‘1000 tested recipes.’
Line a pie-dish with breadcrumbs, then a layer of grated cheese, pepper, salt,, mustard and butter, and continue till the dish is half full; then add 1 well-beaten egg, with sufficient milk to almost fill the dish. Bake slowly. - Mrs. Russell C. Proctor.
One hard-boiled egg, ¼ lb. grated cheese, salt and pepper, 1 tablespoon melted butter, 1 tablespoon vinegar. Mix all well together, and spread between buttered bread.