Thursday, December 31, 2009

Ok, it's true

I'm the world's worst blogger. *hanging head* It's ok. I'm ok with it. It's just who I am.

But, I'm here to make amends. I have 3 items to add today. Not necessarily 3 cheeses, and there have been enough cheeses in the missing days, weeks and months to sink a small ship, but 3 items.

The first: the cheese. Now, I have long considered the perfect meal to be a fresh loaf of bread (preferably sourdough), a smear of goat cheese and a drizzle of honey. Well, the fine folks at... crap, the packaging is at the cottage. Well, it's really not important. But it is, so I'll get you the info soon. Anyways, these lovely folks have put the goat cheese and the honey into one lovely goaty-honey product. The way the cheese goddesses intended. Now I can get my fix at work without getting honey all over the papers that I'm grading.

The second: the recipe. Now, who among us doesn't long for an amazing macaroni and cheese on a winter's eve. You over there - put your hand down. Clearly The Pioneer Woman agrees with me, as she created Fancy Macaroni. Now, there are several reasons I have a hard time going hard-core vegetarian. And bacon is responsible for reasons 1-19. For those wondering, #20 is Thanksgiving turkey - thank you for being interested. First of all, Ree, the TPW is an amazing blogger. The amount of gorgeous photography alone is enough to give her site an X rating for being food porn. But her recipes? They just put it over the edge. So when she combined cheese *sigh* with caramelized onions and bacon *gasp* my heart leapt for joy. I started writing odes to The Pioneer Woman. I penned sonnets to her Fancy Macaroni. And then I reached for my stretchy pants. Because boys and girls, this isn't light stuff. But oh, so good. And I'll stop drooling now. I've made the recipe, and it's the stuff of dreams. I recommend a good bottle of wine and a movie and a snuggle buddy on the couch. Or a good bottle of wine and a bunch of friends around a winter table. Or a good bottle of wine... you get the point.

The last entry I have is long overdue. Very long. Back in April, I traveled to the Holy Grail of cheese shops - Neal's Yard Dairy in London. Oh, the heaven. Catholics go to Rome. Jews go to Jerusalem. Muslims go to Mecca. I go to Neal's Yard.

But, wait, there was more cheesy goodness on that trip. After leaving London, I flew to Cork, Ireland, where my travelling companion, Ruth, and I met up with my mother for a little tour around the Emerald Isle. Long story long... When I was nigh on 10 years old, I had a friend, Jatin, who, with his mother Saroj and his sister Anu, were aboard Air India Flight 182 en route from Toronto which was downed off the western coast of Ireland, killing all 329 people on board. The lovely people of Ahakista, Ireland, on the Sheep's Head Peninsula, were very gracious in helping the grieving families and recovery workers as they went about the horrible task of finding and identifying the passengers and their belongings. There you can find a memorial to the victims, and the names of my friend and his family.

Obviously after this we needed cheese. And, having scouted out its location before leaving the States, we headed around the Peninsula (BREATHTAKING views, but oh, so remote...) and back up towards Bantry and found the lovely folks at Durrus Cheese. We caught them on their lunch break, so the tour was actually a lecture. And a sampling. Oh, the sampling. What an amazing cheese - strong without being overwhelming, slightly nutty... wonderful with pears, as we found later when we had taken a small wheel to our hotel. Many thanks to our host, Jeffa, and her lovely companion, pictured here!