Welcome to the second installment of our Winter Cheese Plate Winners! Here’s where you’ll find five weeks of our winning foodie bloggers, sharing their personal spins on our Winter 2012 Cheese Plate! Our next guest post comes from Katherine Hysmith, a displaced Texan and grad student at Boston University’s Gastronomy program, recording her New England kitchen adventures at The Young Austinian. Check back next Wednesday for the third post in this series, from Leah McFadden, of Shootin The Bries!
And so it begins: five weeks of our winning foodie bloggers, sharing their personal spins on our Winter 2012 Cheese Plate! Our inaugural guest post comes from pastry chef-turned cookbook author, Garrett McCord, of Vanilla Garlic. Check back next Wednesday for our second post in the series, from Katherine Hysmith -AKA- The Young Austinian.
This may not come as news to many of you, but even though the holidays are over… it’s still winter. Days are short, temperatures (here in Boston, anyway) are miserably cold, and it feels like everything in the CSA box is a root vegetable. On the other hand, sometimes all it takes to get you out of that mid-winter rut is a little fiesta… even if your birthday’s still six months away.
We know you’ve all been drooling over our Winter Cheese Plate… now we’re giving you the chance to taste it yourself!
In January Madame Fromage told us How to Make a Downton Abbey Cheeseplate, today, I propose a Game of Thrones cast of characters drawn from my garden, where crazy weather has nurtured freaks and monsters galore.
Sadly no contenders presented themselves for some cast members, Daenerys, Bran and Ned Stark notably. And I belatedly realized I should have snapped a pic of the potato plant fruit that appears occasionally late summer as a perfect representative of Joffrey...a cheery tomato-looking thing that is deadly, DEADLY poison (they don't call them Nightshade for nothing you know.) But I didn't so you'll have to imagine that one, or google it.
You have better in your garden or larder? Bring it on.
So here we go...a homegrown cast.
"I opened during the worst part of the recession," Laura Downey says with a chuckle as a coda. Such a statement of entrepreneurial horror isn't often followed with a gentle laugh, but Downey has earned that right. For her, the recession isn't an excuse for a failed business, but something that she has succeeded in spite of. She is the co-owner with Chris Palumbo of the thriving Fairfield Cheese Company in Fairfield, Connecticut, a shop bringing the best in artisan and locally produced cheeses to the Connecticut suburb.
I'm a Bostonian through and through. I'm loyal to the sports, the seafood and I've never been to Cheers. New York is not a place I'm often comfortable with visiting. It's too big, and frankly, I don't know what to do with a city whose planning actually makes sense. That said, there's one thing that calls me back again and again: the food. New York is arguably the best city in the United States when it comes to dining out, and whether you're craving a fresh salad or lamb on a skewer, New York can suit your needs.
So let's get right down to it... last night I opened three cheeses from Jasper Hill. Each came wrapped in brown paper so aside from the rough shape, all of us receiving these new cheeses had no idea what to expect.
What greeted us were three samples, each obviously the same cheese yet... not... exactly.
The Culture crew just got back from the Fancy food Show on Wednesday! It's quite the experience the first time around. This year it was held in the Walter E. Washington Convention Center in D.C. It also happened to be murderously hot outdoors, which made the cavernous interior of the venue a welcome refuge.
Laid out in aisles by country and state, with rough categories within that structure, the show is massive. Overwhelming is a word I heard often in the three days we were there. It took a full ten minutes to get from end to end at a swift clip.
That said, thousands of vendors are there to show off their product, which means mass amounts of free food, drink, and…ummm…CHEEESE!!
I spent my entire senior year at Emerson College in a turmoil of stomach pain before it dawned on me that I might have an allergy to something. As a rabid consumer of coffee, mostly in (iced) latte form, there were zero minutes in the day when milk was not in my system. Therefore, lactose intolerance never crossed my mind. Finally, a friend recommended I avoid dairy for a day. This was excruciating (hello, my COFFEE!), but I went with a black americano and voila! It was the most amazing feeling. Peace in my stomach!
Clearly, foregoing dairy was not a long term option for someone like me. I despised the chalky aftertaste of soy, and had absolutely no interest in venturing into the world of rice or almond milk. I NEEDED a way to get back to eating cheese, ice cream, and drinking iced lattes (believe it or not, I’m not obese).