The Cheese Files Vol VII

I’d first learned of Humboldt Fog when researching Cyprus Grove Chevre’s Midnight Moon. So far in my quest through these cheese files I would rate Midnight Moon as my favorite; yet this lunary delicious cheese was not as critically acclaimed as Humboldt Fog according to people who probably know cheese better than me. What is this Humboldt Fog and what makes it so revered?

What is it? Well, it’s a goat cheese and it’s the flagship cheese from Cyprus Grove. The cheese’s most unique visible feature is its coat of vegetable ash. The ash is edible and there’s even a stripe through the center of the cheese. It’s not as weird as it sounds. It’s probably where the fog part of the name comes from, but that is 100% speculation.

Humboldt Fog

The Ash, is it gimmick? Maybe. Our good friend Michelle who knows cheese better than any mortal gets a little Hipster on Humboldt. She describes it as the secret cheese that everyone has heard of.

Does that mean it’s not good?
No. In fact, it is completely delicious. It’s soft and creamy and very pleasant on its own. The cheese-maker’s website suggests honey or pear for pairing. We didn’t have pear to pair, so we paired with honey*. HONEY IS WHERE IT IS AT. With Honey, the cheese went from excellent to divine. A heavenly texture and flavor.

Because it’s as soft as it is, I don’t think Humboldt Fog is quite as awesome as Midnight Moon when consumed alone. But overall the taste was still top notch.

Taste: /4
Price: $$ (25/lb)
Independence: Medium

*heh, this sentence pleases me.

Dataless Day 4

My greatest curiosity surrounding this time experiment of no data for February is to see how much time Jen and I earn by not using our devices. How will our routines change? Every day I start by reading news on my iPhone. Now, my news will come from a newspaper. Will I get up earlier? Will I exercise more? Will we be bored?

Is it going to be the most exciting food month of all time with extra time for chefery?

Or perhaps we will hardly notice. It’s a curious thing to think about.

Also: Happy Birthday Theresa! Woo!

Dataless Day 2

What better way to start our month of no TV and internet than by watching the SuperBowl!! Okay, I admit it. We specifically crafted the rules to make sure we could still watch the SuperBowl. The rule was that our TV would be unplugged.

We watched the SuperBowl at Shaun’s place.

Is that cheating? Eh, maybe. But the goal here isn’t to be stupid, it’s to stop stupidity. The SuperBowl is a gathering, a social event. It’s hardly Jen and me sitting at opposite ends of a couch looking at Facebook or Words with Friends for an hour without talking. Watching the SuperBowl with friends is good in the the same way that going out to a movie would be fine.

It’s a far more social experience than a binge-a-thon of Cupcake Wars.

Glacial

The team were four. Three friends and their guide. The goal? Climb the insurmountable: a glacial drift so spontaneous in its appearance that hushed rumors passed speculating dark arts and mischievous doings behind its sudden rise. In just 12 hours it had appeared. In those short 12 hours it had already entered local lore, feared and respected by the village. The allure of this challenge is one no true adventurer could resist. Like an unmastered wave, a cavern unexplored, or rapids unridden, the peak called to them.

The guide didn’t bother with air tanks, but the three friends knew not to trust their bodies alone. They weren’t accustomed to exertion at these altitudes. The morning of their departure they packed their packs, hugged those dear to them, and per local tradition raised one flag each in the town center symbolizing their part in the elation and pride of the community.

The village cheered their heroes off as the snow billowed in frightful gusts.

Ice scape

With snow up to their waists, the team trudged upward and onward. The peak rose unmeasurably tall before them. Every single step brought them further from Earth and closer to heaven. The wind howled relentlessly. The cold gripped them to their core.

The village at the base of the terrible peak waited with baited breath for the return of the adventurers. The pubs were full but the steins empty as the patrons respectfully waited for their ambassadors to return with stories of victory and tales of great feats.

The steins remained empty that night.

As morning dawned without word from the exploration, the locals saw that the peak had risen to twice its previous height. It’s shadow cast long across the village. The sun fell and rose again. and again. Still no sign of the team.

With the solemn village people surrounding, the loved ones of those lost grimly lowered the flags in the town center to half mast. One pair of empty shoes, as per local tradition, was laid at the base of each flag.

Months passed. The flags were taken down, the shoes placed in the catacombs of the church. And then one day, a picture found its way around. There stood the four. Beaming at the summit.

Victory

No one knows where the picture came from, how it was developed, or who took it. And while the village was too wise to let hope return, the ale ran out before the kerosene that night.

The team, though fallen, had triumphed.

The Cheese Files Vol VI

Red Dragon is a Y Fenni cheese.

A who now what?

Y Fenni. It’s Welsh. And it’s mustardy.

RedDragon

The Welsh blend a softish cheddar with some ale and plenty of mustard seed to make Red Dragon. The result is slightly creamy with a comfortable kick. The cheese’s name comes from the Red Dragon that graces the Welsh flag.

Prior to this one, I’d never even heard of Y Fenni. Y Fenni is the Welsh name for the town of Abergavenny in SE Wales. The cheese is great cut thin by itself and just as great served on crackers. Eating a big chunk is a little overwhelming, because it is a little bit strong. But certainly not unbearable. It’s mustardiness also led us to try it on a ham and egg breakfast sandwich, though in my mind it fell a little bit short in this application.

Let’s rate it:

Taste: 2.5/4
Price: $ Not bad.
Independence: Versatile – good alone or paired

Dataless

Recently, I was brain-stem deep in a game of Candy Crush. My eyes itched from staring at an iphone screen. My dreams for the previous two nights had included switching jelly beans with werther’s originals in order to blow up frosting to free gummy bears from some other-worldy chocolate centipede thing. I needed to stop.

Back when I was working in Ohio for weeks and weeks at a time, I became friends with a guy who practiced a “no electronics February” with his family. No TV, no video games, no laptops, no cell phones. Nothing.

This February, Jen and I are going to try.

That said, our goal is not based in a post-modern belief that there is truth to living in simplicity. No, most electronics are totally awesome it’s just some that are completely life-draining (I’m looking at you Candy Crush). So we’re setting up some ground rules so that we take advantage of the benefits but limit our exposure to time wasters.

Cell phones:
Cell phones can be used as communication tools: phone calls, FaceTimes, texts, or emails.
Apps can be used only if the supplement some other activity. For example: logging our exercise or looking up a recipe

Television:
Our TV will be unplugged for all of February

Laptops:
All the same rules as cell phones
Laptops can be used for work
Laptops can further be used for errands like paying bills or ordering a water filter off Amazon

Lastly: all of my personal usage will be logged. I will report back in March with the details

Since I won’t be going online to update my website, I’ll be prepping a bunch of posts in advance. These posts will show up a couple times a week for the next four weeks. Also, I will be keeping a legit diary which I will share come March.

The countdown is on: 5 days until

Painting #2

I am proud to announce the completion of my second painting!

Painting2
ta-da!

This one was inspired by a Graham Gercken piece. Check out his original here.

I really like his style. It’s colorful and vibrant with nicely textured strokes. I’m not sure what I’m going to try next – perhaps I’ll try something original.