Monday, 21 March 2016

A Pocket Sundial

Mondays in Milan / Les lundis en Lombardie
This object on display in the Castello Sforzesco is an ivory and gilt brass pocket sundial and compass made by Hans Ducher of Nuremberg in the second half of the 16th century.
A la cuisine hier: I hesitate to say that we have a surfeit of cheddar, because I don't want to discourage our English friends from bringing over for us periodically. However, I needed to use up some milk, and we currently have quite a lot of cheddar lurking about (just over 2.5 kg) so I thought some Cauliflower Cheese was in order. As I only had a small cauli, and other veg to use up, it was cauliflower, broccoli, zucchini and carrot in cheese sauce, topped with breadcrumbs and parmesan. Dessert was stewed peaches from the freezer. Lunch was cold corned beef sandwiches.


  1. Real cheddar from Wykes Farms, Somerset, is now available at the Epi-Centre in Grand Pressigny!!
    Excellent and I am trying to get her to stock the 18 month Granny's Cheddar...
    very similar in taste and texture to Quikes!!

    Scottish "cheddar" 12 month old is available from "'Tis I, LeClerc"...
    nice, but Scottish!!
    Scotland is the home of Dunlop cheese... say no more!!

    Like the pocket watch from 500 years ago...
    I'll bet that came out for "demos" on a regular basis!!

    1. I think wealthy travellers often had these pocket compass sundials in the Renaissance. There are several known makers and a number of surviving sundials.

  2. I much prefer to make gratin de choufleur with Comté cheese. I'm sure that surprises you.

    1. If I'd had 2.5 kg of Comté I would just have happily made cauliflower cheese with it. I always buy some at the supermarket, and if I'm at Loches market, from the guy who specialises in Comté and a couple of other cheeses. They are superb.

    2. I have to say I'm not convinced that the Cheddar sold at SuperU is really up to snuff. I need to check at the (fairly) new cheese shop in Saint-Aignan to see if they have any real Cheddar for sale.

    3. Ken, the SuperU cheddar isn't real cheddar...
      that is also Scottish... see my comment above...
      and, like the real Somerset cheddar that our grocery now sells is young and mild... and is meltier than the more mature... but needs mustard to add kick...
      but whereas most "cheddar" sold abroad and in the UK is chemically matured... at least the cheddar from LeClerc is matured for 12 months and has a nice "bite" to the flavour!!
      One to watch out for is the 18 month matured Somerset cheddar that Lidl do from time to time... really dry and nutty!!
      Comté is a really nice "melty" cheese... as is Salers... in my opinion...
      both make a good cheese and Heinz tomato ketchup sarnie as well.

    4. Most of your good information about real or unreal cheddar would be a lot more helpful if I lived in the UK rather than in France. I have to say though, that adding mustard to cheese seems like a funny thing to do. And a cheese and ketchup sandwich doesn't appeal particularly.

      Salers is Cantal made in summertime when the cows are grazing on green grass rather than hay. I really like Cantal/Salers and loved my time spent at a dairy farm down there in 2009.

    5. Salers is Cantal made from the milk of the Salers cattle only...
      And mustard with cheese is a Northern Europe thing... UK, Belgium, Holland, etc.
      Cheddar or Red Leicester cheese and Heinz ketchup is a TTTOTTALLLLY British invention...
      and actually works!

    6. Having read your fascinating set of posts about Cantal/Salers please mentally delete that first line!!
      And it is very clear that Cheddar is the child of Cantal!!
      I also think that as the milk is used "still warm" from the cow...and in that insulating wooden tub, the rennet doesn't need to be held at a temperature above blood heat...
      It works the moment it is added!!

  3. I'm glad you have a good stock of cheddar as the run-up to this visit has been so busy that I forgot to check whether you needed any!!

    1. No worries Gaynor. I have resorted to freezing some of it, so we will have a supply for a couple of months probably.