When humans want to make an offspring, it’s pretty simple; egg, sperm, nine month incubation. The Accidental Locavore was wondering while tasting the second piece of the new masterpiece from Point Reyes Farmstead, how exactly do you design a cheese? What's the jumping-off point? Does it start with a cow, goat or sheep, or all of the above? Do you just have a flavor profile in your head and work towards making that real? Once you have a starting point, how do you maneuver such fickle ingredients as milk, mold, temperature and time? In cooking, when you have an idea, you assemble ingredients, cook them and see how the results are to your vision… generally not too time consuming. If you screw up, it's time for a quick re-do, or a call for Chinese delivery. With cheesemaking, I imagine there's a lot less instant gratification. So, do you have several versions at various stages of aging?
After going through the motions of emergency preparedness, for Irene, the Accidental Locavore started to focus on the important stuff: what we were going to eat if there was no power. Cooking through the contents of a full fridge and big freezer was an option, however some things that didn’t need much if any preparation would probably be a good idea. Smoking a chicken seemed like a good idea, so I butterflied one and, after brining it overnight tossed it on the smoker. Three hours later, beautiful bird and one that would keep if the power were off for a while.
Since the Locavore was near the Culinary Institute early on Thursday, I stopped by to pick up a dozen croissants from the Apple Pie Bakery Cafe. That proved to be the closest to a psycho-drama as the whole hurricane experience provided. Turns out, they don’t want you stocking up, so they’re now rationing croissants…but there’s a work-around for that (comment if you want to know what it is).
Anne Maxfield, the Accidental Locavore, was brought up in the early days of Julia Child, however back then what she really thrived on was the bounty of prepared foods. Onion rings in a can, on top of macaroni and cheese from a box, with those cute Vienna franks (also from a can) and there was a great dinner! Parents going out? Frozen pot pies, or even better, a TV dinner…bliss. Why whole grains and fresh vegetables, when there were cans or frozen foods?