{Giveaway is closed }Guest Post By Dinah Corley Author Of Gourmet Gifts and a Giveaway

Chalkboard Cheese Board with Quince Paste
A guest post by Dinah Corley, author of Gourmet Gifts
I am so happy to be guest blogger for Jacqueline! I think she has style, enthusiasm, and skill in equally generous measure. So for Jackie I chose a project from my book that requires a little of all three.  If you have never made cheese, it is not as hard as you may think, and twice as much fun. The cheeseboard covered in chalkboard paint is a simple project with practical good looks (and would make a welcome gift with an assortment of store-bought cheeses or homemade). Only recently did I come across Basswood County Rounds, sanded cross sections of wood with bark edges, and I think they would work as well as the wooden cutting board for this project if you want a more rustic cheeseboard. Enjoy, and if you have any questions, you can always find me at DinahsGourmetGifts.com!

How to make the cheese…
Overall Prep Time: 30 hours
Active Prep Time: 1½ hours
Shelf Life: 1 month, refrigerated
Makes: about ⅓ pound
-4 pounds fresh quince, peeled, cored, and diced
-1 fresh lemon
-Superfine sugar in a volume equal to the quince puree; see directions below

1. Put the diced quince in a large saucepan or small stockpot and cover with cold water. Use a swivel-bladed peeler to remove 2 or 3 strips of zest from the lemon, taking care to leave behind the white pith. Add the zest to the quince and water. Juice the lemon and set the juice aside. Bring the water to a boil over medium heat, reduce the heat to low, and simmer the quince, uncovered, for 45 minutes, stirring frequently to prevent the fruit from scorching. Add additional water a couple of tablespoons at time as needed to keep the quince from scorching.

2. Drain the quince. Puree the quince and zest in a food processor or blender until perfectly smooth.

3. Measure the quince puree. Combine it with an equal amount of superfine sugar in the saucepan; for example, 3½ cups of puree requires 3½ cups of sugar. Stir the puree until the sugar has dissolved, add 3 tablespoons of the reserved lemon juice, and very gently simmer the puree, stirring occasionally, over low heat for 1½ hours, or until the puree has thickened to the consistency of thin jelly and the color has changed from a cloudy pale orange to a translucent deep coral pink. Set the pan aside to cool briefly while preheating the oven to the lowest possible setting (125°F is ideal).

4. Butter an 8-inch square glass baking dish and line the bottom with buttered parchment paper. Pour the puree into the prepared pan and bake it on the middle rack of the oven for 2 hours, or until you can peel a corner of the quince paste away from the parchment paper liner. Set the pan aside to cool on a rack for 24 hours, loosely covered with a tea towel.

5. Lift the parchment and quince paste from the glass baking dish and cut it into 4 rectangles, about 2 x 8 inches each. Wrap each rectangle first in fresh parchment paper and then in clear cellophane. Refrigerate the quince paste until you are ready to assemble and deliver the gift.

Wrapping It Up

Plaid brand chalkboard paint is child safe and nontoxic. If you use a different brand for this project, carefully read the label first. Be sure to sand between each coat of paint for a flawless finish.

Suggested Supplies
1 hardwood cutting board, at least 11 x 14 inches
Medium and fine grit sandpapers
Tack cloth
Low-adhesive painters’ tape
1 container (8 ounces) water-based chalkboard paint, preferably Plaid brand (available at craft
Clear cellophane
Double-face tape
An assortment of aged dry cheeses and creamy soft cheeses, each wrapped in parchment paper
and labeled
1 cheese knife
1 small box chalk (optional)
Paper cheese leaves to place under the cheese for serving, available at gourmet shops and some
supermarkets (optional)
Regular adhesive tape
1 length (about 2 yards) thin ribbon or raffia

How to make a “write right on it” cheese board

Lightly sand one side of the cutting board, first with medium grit and then with fine grit sandpaper.
     Clean the sanded side of the board with the tack cloth and mask off the edges of the cutting board with the painters’ tape. Apply at least 5 coats of chalkboard paint to the sanded side of the cutting board according to the manufacturers’ directions. Sand between coats with fine grit sandpaper, and wipe the surface with the tack cloth to remove any dust before applying the next coat. Once the final coat of paint is completely dry, carefully remove the painters’ tape and wash and dry the cheese board.

Wrapping the cheese board in cellophane is like wrapping a gift box “upside down.” Cut a sheet of cellophane roughly twice the size of the cheese board, allowing for the cheese and other items that will be arranged on it and leaving generous margins. Smooth the cellophane out on the work surface and center a long strip of double-face tape (no longer than one long side of the board) on each of the shorter sides of the cellophane. Center the cheese board on one taped edge so that about one-third of the board is sitting on cellophane; press the tape into the board to make sure the cellophane is firmly attached to the underside of the cheese board. Write a gift message on the cheese board. Arrange the quince paste, cheeses, and cheese knife on the board (if you like, add a box of chalk and some French paper cheese leaves). Carefully bring the cellophane sheet tightly over the cheese board, then carefully lift the board and press the second taped edge of the cellophane to the bottom of the board. Tuck both free ends of the cellophane under the cheese board and use the regular adhesive tape to attach these free ends to the underside of the cheese board. Center the wrapped cheese board on the thin ribbon or raffia. Bring the ribbon or raffia together over the top of the wrapped cheese board and tie it in a knot, followed by a simple bow. Trim the free ends of the bow as desired.

Thank you Dinah for your guest post!
I can't wait to make my own chalkboard cheese plate and some cheese!

Of course one of my lucky readers will be able to have the chance to win your very own copy of Gourmet Gifts by Dinah Corley
thanks to The Harvard Common Press!

Stop by there Twitter page  Harvard Common Press Twitter Page

This is a great book with so many recipes for gift giving ideas and awesome instructions on how to wrap them up, this book will come in handy since the holidays are right around the corner.

You can check out Dinah's website here
check out her press page here to see sample pages from her book

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This  Giveaway ends the 25th of October at Midnight and the winner will be picked by Random number generator and I will post that winner on the 26th of October.

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