Tuesday, 12 March 2013

Not a great but a gouda story

I decided to venture a little beyond my usual shelf in the dairy section of the supermarket to the herald place of speciality cheese (also known as the area of smaller portions for no small price). I purchased some Dutch Gouda for my Apricot and Gouda scones to be made later on that afternoon but before I skip down to that delicious recipe my perusal of the cheese counter brought to mind a rather cheesy story of when I was small:
My brothers and I had been on errands with my Dad and we stopped in at the local grocery store to grab some bits for dinner. My Dad, per usual, made a quick stop at the cheese counter and while he was pondering over Havarti and wishing for a wedge of Raclette our young eyes spotted a square of cheese that could have been plucked right out of a Sunday cartoon: it was spotted with perfect, circular holes!
Before you could say Emmental (the type of cheese it was) one of us had plucked it from the cooler as we three exulted in unison over the wonders of this "mouse cheese!" and consequently begged Dad to add it to his basket. He did but on the condition that we must eat the entire wedge which, he reasoned, should not be that hard seeing how much we already loved it. The wedge, when divided into thirds gave us three a good sized snack. We readily agreed and could not wait to get through the till so we could peel back the plastic wrapping and enjoy. 
When we reached the truck Dad divided up the wedge and I remember taking a great bite...and absolutely hating it. The flavour was off. The texture was wrong. My anticipation deflated like a balloon and so did my attention span. It was not cheesy as the cheddar I was familiar with nor as wondrous as the Sunday cartoons which had spurred the enthusiasm in the first place.
I tried to pawn my portion off but Dad caught this side deal (even though I had no takers) in the rear view mirror and insisted, since we all had wanted it so badly that each of us was to finish our piece of "mouse cheese." I do believe I cried on the way home over the cruelty of it all (whether I was upset at Dad or the fact that "mouse cheese" wasn't what I thought I don't quite remember). Moral of the story: don't bite off more than you can chew.
Now for the gouda part:
Apricot and Gouda Scones
1/2 cup Dried Apricots, quartered
1/2 cup Apple or orange juice
3/4 cup Unbleached flour
1 cup Whole wheat flour
3 tbsp Sugar
1 tbsp Baking powder
1/2 tbsp Ground nutmeg or cinnamon
4 oz.  (120 g) Gouda, grated
2 tbsp Butter (room temperature)
1 cup Milk
These aren't No Bake Scones they are just Not Baked Yet Scones
Preheat oven to 375'F.
Place quartered apricots in a small saucepan add juice and bring to a boil. Simmer for 5 minutes covered and then let cool. In a large bowl mix in dry ingredients with Gouda. Cut in butter and add milk while stirring dry ingredients. Add apricot mixture to dough. Place large spoonfuls of dough onto lined parchment paper baking sheet.
Bake 12-15 minutes or until scones are golden brown.  Serves 12.