The response to our V-day contest has been tremendous: thanks to everyone who sent in their verse. We've read the entries, and it was a tough choice selecting the winners of the Capriole Farmstead Bourbon Chocolate Hearts.
Like most people I look forward to Saturday, but for me it isn't the start of the weekend. Instead, it's my day at the Cheese Shop. After spending my weekdays working either as a freelance writer or running The Joy of Cheese, my series of informal cheese seminars, I spend Saturday afternoon and evenings at The Bedford Cheese Shop, and though exhausting, it's always enjoyable.
First of all, I've done this sort of work in the food business since I was 24 and since the next birthday is number 51, it's reassuring that I can still do something physically rigorous as well as I did when I was 28. It's a fact reinforced by my collegial relationship with my coworkers who are mostly in their late 20s and early 30s. But the real highlight is the cheese, it's what makes this kind of job, so much more than customer service.
Last Thursday night I taught a cheese and wine class pairing class at the 92nd St. Y, and it was wonderful in all the usual ways. The room was packed full with more than 30 people from a diverse range of ages. My collaborator, Beau Rapier, one of the managers at Uva Wines & Spirits, brought exceptional wines to match with the cheeses (the list is here), and the discussion was lively with thoughtful questions right from the outset. These classes typically run 90-105 minutes long but ours ran nearly two hours and fifteen minutes without anyone looking impatient or edgy. Afterward I was approached by a nice couple and asked, “so when will you open a store in this neighborhood.”
I've always wondered what happens the moment layouts for culture leave the confines of my computer, on their way to becoming a glossy magazine. The journey started three months ago with a lot of brainstorming and planning. Today is press day and I'm about to learn how culture becomes a magazine in my "behind the scenes" press trip at Lane Press in Burlington, VT.
10 February 2011
Perhaps the best meal I’ve ever had was at a roadside truck stop. In Italy. On Sunday. I can’t remember which exits it was between on the Autostrada, or even which number of Autostrada I was traveling on, but it doesn’t matter. Autogrill is at all of them, a fast-food convenience chain geared toward the casual traveler or the serious trucker, with a range of merchandise for either profile, or shades between.
In this particular case, though, the weapon was butter:
A Sicilian couple thought they had the perfect weapon to get rid of her ex-husband -- a slab of butter which would melt after they asphyxiated him, the Corriere della Sera newspaper reported Saturday.
04 February 2011
Macerie di Filattiera, Toscana, Italy
Red kidney beans were pouting in a plastic container on the counter tonight, a half-pipe carved out where a sausage one laid. I was on leftover duty again, having proven my chops at the helm of late. Frozen ground beef, puree of tomato, loads of thyme, chili powder, cumin, garlic, and oregano... Lauren’s almost-authentic-except-for-the-cumin-Texas-Chili. I plunked a whole onion in the pot as well, creating a completely stewed and flavorful item to grill when the chili is gone.
In honor of V-day, we are holding a contest for the best cheese-related love poetry in America.
Use any meter or verse you wish—sonnet or limerick or free-verse, and employ any muse, be it a fair lad, lass, monger, or succulent cheese—but your masterpiece must include both l'amour and le fromage.
Alright, as if there were any doubt who we're backing this year, here's a clue: