Summer Snow

For our tenth anniversary — of dating — Dave and I decided to take a road trip. We packed up the Sonata with a cooler of wine and snacks and drove north to Kennebunkport, Maine. Yes, I know an anniversary of dating seems flimsy, but we love any excuse for a celebratory dinner or trip. Or, in this case, both. 

(As an aside, we took this getaway over the summer. But I’m really bad at downloading — or is it uploading? — my photos in a timely manner. I finally did so today, leading me on this trip down memory lane. The cheese was great, so I figured that it’s never too late to share. Now back to my story.)

Maine was amazing. I ate my body weight in lobster and learned how to properly peel and eat steamers. (Thank you to the kind waitress at Nunnan’s for her non-judgmental tutorial!) Here’s a picture of me looking ridiculously happy once I finally caught on:

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Since we were celebrating such a momentous occasion — a full decade of putting up with one another! — we decided to splurge on the tasting menu at The White Barn Inn Restaurant. Frankly, the meal was not at all memorable. But dessert is a different story. I applaud any restaurant that rolls out a full cheese cart. It makes me giddy and kind of want one at home.

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Once again, sorry for the dark photos. I need a new camera desperately. (Santa — are you listening? I can’t wait till next Christmas.) And perhaps drinking less wine would have made me more attentive to detail. Anyway, the cheeses were organized vertically by milk type. I was slightly disappointed that there were more imported than local cheeses, but here are the eight that I chose:

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The real standout was the oozy, gooey, bloomy white-rind cheese third from the top. Summer Snow is a pasteurized sheep’s milk cheese made in Weston, Vermont at Woodcock Farm. It’s similar to a camembert with a creamy and buttery texture and slight taste of lemon and mushroom. The cheese is only produced during summer and early fall, so make a note to look for it once the weather gets warm. If you’re in the NYC area, try calling Saxelby Cheesemongers or in Boston, Formaggio Kitchen. I’m marking my calendar now.

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A Breakfast Use for Extra Shredded Cheese

After a party, particularly around the holidays, I inevitably end up with multiple baggies of shredded cheese. Sometimes I’m smart and label them with the type of cheese and the date so I make sure to use them before they go bad. Most of the time, though, I shove them label-less into the fridge where they are pushed to the back and forgotten about until they turn green.

Last weekend, Dave rescued one such baggie holding a mere 1/4 cup of shredded parmesan and upped the ante on an already-delicious breakfast. Since the picture turned out so pretty, I thought I’d share his process. (I say “process” instead of “recipe” because it really involves grabbing whatever we had hanging around in the fridge.)

He toasted a generous slice of sourdough bread, topped it with ripe avocado and layered on a scrambled egg. He then added a hearty sprinkle of the parmesan (though any shredded cheese would be tasty) and some leftover herbs. A handful of grape tomatoes got tossed around in a pan and voila — a quick and healthy meal.

How clever is this?

Cheesemonger Ingenuity

I woke up today to this pic of a Chicago cheese shop’s cute chalkboard sign. Thanks to Stacey for sending it (and for getting Annie Lennox stuck in my head all day!)

Anyone remember the video? The Eurythmics duo in a conference room being circled by a giant cow? No? Well, that’s what YouTube is for.

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The Only Cheese I Won’t Touch

I would pretty much eat anything. Ok — in the interest of full disclosure, I did pass on fried cockroaches in Thailand. But as a New Yorker who sees squished roaches on a daily basis, I just don’t want to think about that in my stomach. Another thing I’ll pass on — cheese made from human armpits. Yes, you read that correctly. HUMAN ARMPITS, people! 

The U.K.’s Daily Mail recently reported on an exhibition of cheese made from bacteria taken from a foot, belly button and armpit. Called ‘Selfmade,’ the exhibit featured 11 cheeses made with starter cultures taken from different people’s skin, the report says.

Get the full story here.

The cheese wasn’t made to be eaten, but this one actually looks pretty tasty.

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Alder's Purple Pub Cheese

Purple Pub Cheese

This purple schmear of cheddar is not at all what I was expecting when I ordered the $11 “Pub Cheese” at celebrity chef Wylie Dufresne’s casual East Village spot Alder. But with red wine providing that color, man, was it good. My husband and I gobbled it up faster than it took to figure out how to say Dufresne. What’s not so good is the picture I snapped with my phone. Alas, the New York Times, in its preview of the restaurant, luckily published the lovely photo you see above.

The newspaper also provides a recipe for the cheese deliciousness here.

With a total prep time of 4.5 hours plus at least 4 hours for chilling, I’m going to pass on trying this one at home. I’ll save myself 8 hours and 10 minutes by just walking to the restaurant. But if you don’t live in the area and do have the stamina to attempt the recipe, let me know how it turns out.

Alder, 157 Second Ave., NYC

For the love of all things cheese