Steven (unzeugmatic) wrote,
Steven
unzeugmatic

Cheese, Cheese, Bacon, and Cheese

I am in a state of beatific stupor just at the moment, despite the deadline flurry of work this week. Last weekend was our annual midwinter Cooper book shapenote convention, and we had guests from Texas and England and Maryland and Pennsylvania and Illinois and Canada and Michigan and Georgia. We sang and sang and sang and it was just lovely.

Our Cooper book singing is one day (instead of two, like our September Denson book singing), so on Sunday we have a potluck brunch and a more informal gospel singing. As I did last year, I got up early and cooked up four pounds (!) of bacon in the morning, in shifts in the oven in 5 glass baking dishes. That's quite the cleanup task, but boy is it worth it because people go after that bacon like it's the lost gold of the Incas. My friend Jim made bacon as well, not quite so much, so there were probably six pounds of bacon that disappeared.

I don't really eat much of the bacon. I love bacon as a sort of flavoring, in salads and stuffing and pasta cream sauces, but all by itself in a big salty greasy slab it doesn't have quite the same appeal. But I tasted it as I cooked to check on the texture, and, surprisingly, this cheapest bacon in the market tasted just fine. Our southern guests seemed particularly happy. ("Is this real bacon? Not that tofu stuff or anything?")

And now, and so it will be for at least a week, my kitchen and verily my whole apartment smells like a cheap diner. I myself, for a while, felt as if I were wearing Eau de Pig Fat perfume. Perhaps this explains my general popularity at the Eagle last night, where I took ocelot_flavored who had arrived in town about 4:30 for a technical conference this week (networking). He was impressed at the friendliness of the locals. Then we had a really wonderful dinner (of excellent salad -- mine topped with rare grilled steak, his topped with, um, chicken?) at The Local on Nicollet Mall. So I was ready to face today's work flurry. Gloriously enough, things are moving on schedule. So I had time to get tomorrow's cheeses.

Last week:
Folks, we've got Laura's mid-morning snacks and my mid-afternoon cheese. We live the Life of Reilly here at Red Hat Minneapolis, let me tell you.

Today's cheeses are fun, to the extent that the word "fun" applies to cheese. I know it's a stretch. We have:

-A goat Gouda. Arina Goat Gouda from Holland. I've had this. I like it. I remember it as being smooth and white with a bit of the sort of tang that goat milk brings. I'm thinking this would make an interesting grilled cheese sandwich. With mushrooms and maybe some dried herbs. On wheat bread.

-I got some Gjetost this week, that brown cheese that you see in the supermarket. It's from Norway and is known as a breakfast cheese. Although it's a gross color, it's a pretty mild safe cheese. Laura likes it, this we already know.

- Cambola from Germany, described as being "a delectable blend of Camembert and Gorgonzola". "Delectable" seems subjective to me, but then again I'm a tech. writer. GFS offers a delectable cluster file system that is available with the scrumptious Red Hat Cluster Suite? Nah. I've never had this cheese. The cheesemonger referred to it as a blue cheese, which I guess is the Gorgonzola part of the hybrid.

All available for your tasting pleasure at 2:30.
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This week:
Surdyk's seemed to have gotten a big shipment in since last Monday. There were many appealing choices. Here's what's on the menu for tomorrow (plus we still have some left over from last week that I forgot to take out over the rest of the week).

Roaring 40s Blue: I actually had some of this when I was in Australia, where I learned all about the "roaring forties" at the Shipwreck Museum in Fremantle. Yes, there's an entire museum devoted to shipwrecks, with the hulls of wrecked ships and other paraphernalia that passes for significant historical artifact there. This is a blue cheese. Oh, the "roaring 40s" are the wicked westerly winds that prevail around 40 degrees S where there are no significant land masses to slow things down in the Indian Ocean. This gets you going around the world really fast, but you risk crashing into western Australia if you don't jog north in time, as many didn't. Thus the museum in Fremantle. Think of the poor dead sailors when you eat this cheese.

Corsica Fleurie: I don't know this cheese, but it's very creamy and seemed like a typical French cheese. The reason I got it, though, is because its rind contains edible penicillium candidum, and what with the flu scare running through Minnesota I thought we could use all the help we could get.

French Beaufort: An aged French Swiss, if that's not a contradiction in terms.
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We are the locus of all things high-fat these days, it seems.
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