Thursday, February 9, 2012

Thank You Cheddar, England

For our study of England we came across the most wonderful information because it involves cheese.  We love cheese.  I don't mean kinda like it so we say we love cheese, I mean we love cheese.  We eat it sliced, individually wrapped, melted (there really isn't much you can't added melted cheese to the top of), cubed, fried, creamed, as a dip, with apples, on every sandwich and burger, baked, microwaved on a plate  and heck, when we are milking the goats Dad even makes cheese.  The kids go into panic mode when we run out of string cheese and it warrants a trip to town. 

So as we were studying and came across Cheddar, England our ears perked up and our stomachs started to growl.  People in Cheddar, England have the honor of saying they live in the birthplace of cheddar cheese.  How cool would that be?  Probably not as cool as I imagine it to be. 

Cheddar cheese got it's name from the process used to make cheddar cheese, which appropriately is called, cheddaring.  Cheddaring is where cheese makers stack the cheese so that lots of whey is squeezed out and acidity level raises.  Once it hits some point that makes the cheese maker happy, they run it through a cheddar mill that is like a wood chipper to cut the cheese into finger sized pieces.  Then they squeeze it again, wrap it up and age it for about a year all the while treating it with tender loving care.  Cheddar cheese is white unless anatto, which is a natural food coloring so Dancer can eat it, is added to make it orange. 

All this cheese talk got us hungry so we whipped up a batch of cheddar cheese soup.

Cheddar Cheese Soup

1 small onion
1 stalk celery, thinly sliced
2 tablespoons butter
2 tablespoons flour
1/4 teaspoon pepper
1/4 teaspoon dry mustard
1 can 10 3/4 ounce chicken broth
1 cup milk
2 cups shredded cheddar cheese (8 oz.)

Saute onion and celery in butter until onion is tender.  Stir in flour, pepper, and dry mustard.  Add chicken broth and milk.  Heat to boiling over medium heat stirring constantly.  Boil and stir one minute.  Stir in cheese over low heat just until cheese is melted. 

The kids plopped a few garlic croutons in their bowls and we had it with chicken Kiev.  It was awsome as a dinner side dish.

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