Memorable Mondays started out as a joke, but has since evolved into monthly nostalgic food posts. They are posted on the second Monday of every month and cover a wide range of food topics that influenced me as a child.
A day without cheese is a day that I perceive as a failure. Creamy, sharp, mild, I like it all. As a kid, our house was filled with everything from nutty Gouda to smooth French feta. I believe we may have even had some Kraft singles in our fridge every so often, though those plastic-flavored slices were a mistake about which I now try and forget. Though I could eat cheese on almost anything, the one thing I used to love was running home after school to snack on some crackers adorned with melted yellow cheddar. My mom probably made them because they could be whipped up easily, but I adored them. Warm, simple, and best right out of the toaster oven, these were quick bites that I never minded. They were one of the cornerstones on which my affair with every kind of cheese was built, so they’ll always hold a special place in my life.
Nowadays, I can still eat dozens of these. My love of cheese and crackers has evolved though, too. A bit of potent Valdeon balanced with sweet honey and cracked black pepper; rich Belletoile served over tart raspberry jam; soft white cheddar infused with ale and mustard seeds. They’re all completely different yet wholly satisfying. The highlight of my New Year’s Eve this year was being offered the opportunity to decorate my three-foot-long cheeseboard any way I wanted. It was a request I took pride in and had fun with. Picking out ripe berries, the best savory jams, and flavorful salami was the way in which I perfected my board after the cheeses were carefully placed on paper shaped like logs. I probably spent more time trying to create this than most would, but I reveled in it.
Ever since I was a skinny kid whose tastes were a bit unusual, there’s been an excitement that comes with trying new cheese and a lasting pleasure derived from taking a few moments to enjoy this treat. These are feelings I hope I always experience whenever I sit down to share a cheeseboard with friends and family, and they’re ones that I hope you encounter as well… unless you’re lactose-intolerant, in which case, this post was probably a huge waste of your time. For those of you out there who do enjoy your dairy, do you have any favorite cheeses? I’m always looking for suggestions and would love to hear some of yours!