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Does that mean people think I’m the poster girl for cheese consumption alongside great health? It gave me a great laugh anyway to be asked to contribute. Cheese is part of my daily diet and has been all my life. In recent years it’s mostly been something on a cracker, but lately I’ve taken to having steamed broccoli at dinner time with any variety grated on top and a sprinkling of lemon pepper. And then there’s the occasional naughty treat like the recipe here, so I won’t be giving up the cycling any time soon.

For a very long time all around the world, cheese has been the bad guy of nutrition. High in saturated fat and salt, we’ve been told for years by the experts to cut down because it will have negative effects on our health. However there are now a growing number of studies that are questi oning that notion.

‘People who eat a lot of dairy show no diff erence in their risk of cardiovascular disease, diabetes or mortality compared with people who eat small amounts. If anything, there is a small risk reduction - so it is actually beneficial,’ says Professor Arne Astrup, Head of the Department of Nutriti on, Exercise and Sport at the University of Copenhagen and a global leader in nutriti on and obesity research.

It’s high in protein, calcium and B12. And it can help you stay slim because of butyrate found in cheeses like gruyere, blue, gouda and parmesan says Karen Ansel, R.D.N., co-author of Healthy in a Hurry: Simple, Wholesome Recipes for Every Meal of the Day. “Research suggests that it may help boost metabolism,” Ansel says - and that is very good news!

It’s good for your bones and keeps your teeth healthier if you eat it at the end of your meal due to the reducti on in lactic acid which breaks down tooth enamel.

If you’re looking for a reduced-calorie cheese choose goat milk cheeses, or fresh cheeses like ricotta and fresh curd, or feta. The hard cheeses like cheddar seem to have the most calories.

So while further research is still emerging, the good news for most people is it is possible to eat cheese moderately as part of a healthy diet, but do keep your portions under control because it still contains a lot of fat!


In this recipe, a cranberry sauce and bacon bits filling were sandwiched between two discs of puff pastry. The centre of the discs was then cut and filled with the camembert cheese. A pattern resembling a snowflake was afterwards formed around the cheese. After a sprinkle of rosemary leaves and a brush of egg wash, the cheese was then baked in the oven for 30 minutes. The result was a sight to behold - a nicely browned, sweet, flaky pastry around a smooth and melted camembert cheese. Yummy!

Sue notes, “Neil and I made this recently and devoured the whole thing in one sitting! I can see it will be my go-to winter party food. Of course you’ll be using an Over the Moon Camembert and this will work best with one closer to its best by - lots more flavour.”

“As an alternative to the cranberry and bacon bits, we used quince paste just on its own and it was delicious. I also cheated and used pre-rolled pastry sheets. Did I say that out loud?”

Prep Time: 25 mins

Cook Time: 35 mins

Total Time: 1 hour

Servings: 4


1 baking camembert 2 sheets puff pastry

3 tbsp cranberry sauce 1 tbsp crispy bacon bits

1 egg whisked Olive oil

Rosemary leaves


1. Preheat oven to 350 degree F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.

2. Roll out pastry on a lightly floured surface. Place a large mixing bowl on top of the pastry sheet. Cut around the bowl to form a circle, (around 9 - 10 inch diameter).

3. Repeat step 2 with the second sheet of pastry.

4. Place one circle pastry on the prepared baking sheet. Spread cranberry sauce over the pastry, leaving the middle centre open or clear. Sprinkle bacon bits over the cranberry sauce and then cover with the second circle pastry.

5. Place the camembert cheese in the centre of the circle pastry and then cut around to form a circle. Discard the cut pastry and lay the cheese in the open centre.

6. Cut the circle pastry in 16 equal segments. You can do this by cutting the circle first into 4 equal segments. Then, cut each segment in half and then in half once more, ending with 16 segments in total.

7. Lift one segment, twist once to the right and place it down. Then lift the segment next to it and twist once to the left and place it down. Keep going around, alternating the direction of the twist. Finally, bring up edges of two segments with opposite twist and press together.

8. Brush pastry with egg wash. Make 3 - 4 slits on top of the cheese and then drizzle cheese with olive oil. Sprinkle rosemary leaves over the cheese and pastry. Bake in the preheated oven for 30-35 minutes.

Inspired from: twistedfood.co.uk [/box]

There are mixed reports about school holiday behaviours around town.

Some parts of the community and town talk about our young ones being very respectful and safe on our streets.

Others report fighting incidents at the skate bowl, including stand over bullying and door knocking and burgling of homes.

Let's look after our town and each other. Please keep us informed and more cameras installed should help us keep a check on this.


The death of John Clark aka Fred Dagg has brought many of his programmes back to the screen. Those of us who have memories of his warmth and wit from the 1970s recall Farmer Fred, his gumboots and the Trevs, (his sons). His move to Australia was met with a variety of responses but we loved it when he continued to rib Australians as he had us.

“If it weren’t for your gumboots” and “we don’t know how lucky we are,” still bring back memories that seem like yesterday.

One of his popular comments about his homeland was more recent, in 2014... “New Zealand, is an egalitarian nation of well over four million rugged individualists and naturally gifted sports people and is run on alternative days by the government and whoever bought the national infrastructure.” This gum-booted, kind hearted comedian could get away with almost anything and leaves a legacy of rural humour.


This contribution follows our, “if we are doing to say something we don’t like, we also have to say something we do like or agree with” approach. Easter and school holidays meant I had to park in side streets, manoeuvre round trucks, wait in shops and generally look where I was going on the streets in town. The lack of hustle and bustle is one of the reasons I love being here but I could certainly see the shop keepers being grateful for the business and I know that’s important for Putaruru’s future as a town.

 Write an article, suggest topics or respond to what has been written in a constructive way. You can do this at: theprattler.org.nz

It would be great to see Putaruru as a town that focused on keeping our stuff safe, keeping our young ones safe and played its part in raising the children of our community.

Please join in and send ideas and thoughts to: theprattler.org.nz

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