Today I am finally bringing you the first post in my ‘Life Skills with Lilz’ series.
I’m starting with something a little bit fun but an important skill none the less.
What is Fivesies I hear some of you ask?
We call it Fivesies, you might call it Happy hour, 5 O’clock drinks, Cheese and bikkies, Cheese board, pre dinneries, etc
Basically it’s a selection of pre dinner snacks (normally a cheese board) and drinks consumed at around 5pm before your main dinner.
For me fivesies is always a cheese board and cool drinks (alcoholic or not depends on your preference). You can of course serve other snack foods, with or instead of, a cheese plate depending on the crowd.
Lilz’ top tips for putting together a great Fivesies plate
Lets start with the cheese board
Pick your board
Pick the right size board for your cheese board. You don’t want a massive board for only a few cheeses nor a tiny board to feed the masses. The size of the board may also differ depending on how many sides are with your selected cheeses.
Pick Your Cheeses
Firstly, How many cheeses?
Well that can depend on how many people you are feeding. I usually go with 3 or 5 (aesthetically an odd number is generally better though of course there are exceptions) but keep in mind you don’t have to serve the whole block or round at once. If there are only 2 of you, you may only want a 1/4 of each cheese and 3 cheeses. If there are 15 of you, you may want to but out 5 full blocks/rounds of cheese. For larger groups its also good to put out more than one board to make sure everyone can reach.
There are many types of cheeses and when you are putting together a cheese board you want to make sure to get a good variety.
The main cheese types (and some examples) are:
Fresh Cheese – Ricotta, Cottage Cheese, Cream Cheese, Flavoured Cream Cheese,
Soft White Cheese – Brie, Triple Cream, Camembert
Blue – Stilton, Gorgonzola, Roquefort, Danish blue
Cheddar – Vintage, tasty
Eye Cheese – Swiss, Edam, Gouda, Havarti, Gruyere
Fetta Style – Greek, Danish, Marinated etc.
Goats Cheese – Chevre
Italian Hard – Pecorino, Parmesan
Washed Rind – Red Square, Reblochon
When choosing different types of cheese its also important to take into consideration the texture of the cheese as well as the flavour. You don’t want all soft cheeses nor do you want all strong cheeses. Try to get a nice balance of soft, semi hard, and hard as well as a balance of mild and strong flavoured cheese.
Eat what you like. Don’t feel pressured to serve cheese you don’t eat. When it comes down to it, choose cheeses you like to eat.
When it comes to what to eat the cheese with there are many options . I prefer rice crackers, B prefers water crackers, my mum prefers wafers, my sister like crusty bread.
Try to offer a variety (even if you only pick two) and always put out more than you think you will need.
To go with your cheese you want to serve at least one sweet element.
Fresh or dried fruit. Seedless grapes, slices of apple or pear and fresh figs are some of my favourite fresh fruits to include. For dried I like dates, dried figs, dried apricots and dried apple. Once again go with whatever you prefer (or have in the cupboard)
Fruit paste, chutney or jam. Quince paste is lovely but it can be quite expensive. Jam works just as well when your on a budget. Sweet chutneys are also a good substitute and there are a lot of great varieties out there these days.
To keep the balance of flavours you also want to serve a savoury element.
All sorts of antipasti like olives, sun dried tomatoes, roasted capsicums, pickles, etc work well with cheese. One of my favourites when I can find them is caper berries. You may like to put these items in a little dish so the oils or brine they are served in don’t run over the rest of your board.
Cold cuts of meat like ham and salami or meats like cabanossi or chorizo are also a really good addition to a cheese plate.
Dips can be great for helping stretch out a cheese board if you have more people than your cheese will feed. Of course if you do have dip you will need even more crackers.
If there are kids around (or fussy eaters) you probably want to have some other snacks like chips or pretzels available. They are also good to stretch the cheese for larger crowds.
Fivesies is not complete without something to drink.
Generally cold drinks are in order but of course its really up to you.
Wine of course goes well with cheese but don’t feel pressured to drink it just because your having cheese.
My only real tips here are just have some options available and drink what you like.
So that’s it. My Fivesies 101.
I hope this helps you put together some well balanced fivesies for yourself and your friends.
If you do put together fivesies send me a picture or tag @thegammiecreative on Instagram.
There’s more life skills to come and next up we are going to tackle basic budgeting.