I love cocktail party food.
It's not a dignified admission for a man to make, but it's true. I harbor untoward desires for pickled fish on a cracker, or dates broiled with bacon, or any other small salty thing that crosses my path. The feelings are especially strong when there's a drink in my hand (Tanqueray martini, two olives). It's a compulsion, and with the approach of the Fancy Food Show this weekend, one that could do some serious harm.
For those who've never attended, Fancy Food is a massive gathering of specialty food producers, a trade show closed to the public with free samples of everything from cheese to olives to jelly beans and more. Attending what's essentially a 10,000-person, 3-day cocktail party when you're at the mercy of your snacking demon is a prescription for the vapors.
Hi! I’m Alexandra and I am a new (excited, naive and food-obsessed) intern at Culture. I don’t know a ton about cheese but I love to eat it and I am eager to learn more. Will has asked me to make my first blog post and I immediately thought of ice cream. Get ready for your mind to be blown.
I cannot think of a better way to savor the last few days of warm California weather than with this amazingly delicious and savory ice cream recipe. I would have never thought to pair cheese and ice cream, but I must say that this Honey Goat Cheese and Fig Swirl Ice Cream, via Erin's Food Files, not only sounds fun to make, but even more fun to eat.
I am sitting here at my laptop, thick curly white-girl ‘fro in a monstrous bun on top of my head and some ridiculous outfit that was an attempt at cuteness and comfort to beat the heat, and I can’t help but wonder... am I the Carrie Bradshaw of Cheese Blogging?
I have a fabulous home, more clothes and shoes than I know where to store, go to fabulous events with fabulous food and wine, write a column on my vices, and go through cheeses in an almost episodic rhythm. I am, however, currently going through a little “dry spell” (a.k.a. luxuries like wine and cheese are the first to go during an austerity period) and so my “column” is drying up as well. What would Carrie do for her hungry New Yorkers longing to read about her sexcapades at a time when there are no men in sight? Write about daily life, other kinds of love, weathering the blues, and good times with friends.
Four Years and 364 Days to Build a Creamery...
and I may be overly optimistic about the 364 day part!
A goat dairy at the nascent Pennyroyal Farm vineyard began as a conversation early in 2007. After two years of planning, foundations were laid for the barn and milking parlor in a freshly planted vineyard just east of downtown Boonville, a secluded town in California's Mendocino County. The 70' by 100' barn was designed to comfortably accommodate a milking herd of 108 goats. The milking parlor permits 36 goats to enter at a time, filling two raised platforms between which the milker is stationed. While construction proceeded on the dairy buildings (which allowed me to relocate my herd from Sonoma County to the site of the future farm), planning and the convoluted permitting process were tackled for the creamery.
In sharing stories with fellow cheese dorks, I’m starting to realize the extreme measures to which people will resort for a fix. I’m not talking smuggling French cheese past U.S. customs in one’s underwear, although that’s certainly admirable.
No, I’m talking about situations that are perhaps a bit humiliating, if not outright pathetic. I seem to find myself in these situations with some regularity, in part because I’m frequently on the road (here or overseas) for my work as a food and travel journalist. The fact that I’m lactose intolerant just adds to the fun.
Podere Conti Olive Farm
Tuscany, Macerie/Filattiera di Lunigiana/Pontremoli, Italy
03 February 2011
Sick kids and friend-in-residence at home with a cold all week + Regardless of weather, Spring is coming and so are guests + Newborn baby and four other boys keep Mom and Dad on high alert = Lauren digging through leftover ingredients and getting creative to use everything I pull out from deep within the restaurant’s fridge here at the Agriturismo.
I left the main house, sweeping past my room to grab the upside-down, nearly dry salvia (sage) from the knob on my kitchen cupboard and stuffing it under my arm. I grabbed a few other herbs from the side garden along the way: loads of thyme, rosemary, and oregano. In the restaurant’s kitchen there was an abundance of eggs, too many to use before expiry, and plates of miscellaneous well-grazed cheeses. Yep. Frittata.
I happily work for (restaurant) people I both like and respect, but there’s a certain in-charge person at my workplace that I can’t bring myself to enjoy. The feeling is clearly mutual, and nary a day goes by without said PERSON telling me I’m an idiot (in one way or another), or whittling away at my self-respect with persistent condescension. Hmph. Curbing my rage and subsequent bitter responses is a great exercise in restraint. Luckily, interactions like the following, furnish me with all the vindication I need.
Me: Where is the goat cheese we use in our [blahblahblah] salad from?
Evil Powerful One: Vermont
Me: do you know who makes it?
Evil Powerful One: Laura Chenel
Me: Oh really? Thanks. (silent interior victory dance)