No, really, I just stopped by my favorite local cheese shop on my way home from work to have a glass of wine, say hello, and catch up on Slow Food stuff for a few minutes with the friendly owner, Gen. How was I to know that the final session of her 3-part chevre making class, beginning an hour from that very moment, was going to be a person short? She asked me to pinch hit for the student in absentia, and take home about three quarters of a pound of freshly made cheese for my troubles. (See, it can be nice to have an open social calendar, one uncluttered with numerous dinner dates with gentlemen callers. That would be a pain, right? Right? Have some more wine, Ibti....)
Before the other students arrived, Gen walked me through the final stages of chevre making that we would be undertaking tonight: unwrapping and weighing the hanging cheeses, then salting, flavoring, packing, and labeling them. We scrubbed in, donned our aprons and fashionable hairnets and got started:
Check out the sweet setup of flavor mix-ins: truffle salt, fresh parsley and dill from my school's garden (we cannot seem to consume enough of either herb in spite of copious use in numerous classes), lemon zest, spicy adobo peppers, cinnamon sugar, black pepper, and -- what came to be the agreed upon new favorite combination -- bacon, scallions, and finely grated cheddar.
Oh, the wine? Um, that was so that after we mixed up our cheeses we could try a few different pairings with the fresh chevre. Hey, I'm a food educator, I need to know which wines work well with which cheeses.
About an hour ago, Ollie and I headed home from Sona with three tasty new cheeses in our panniers:
I'm thinking some kind of baked potato something or other for Thanksgiving with that bacon chevre concoction. Yum, eh? I need to keep an eye out for future classes.
God help me if I become lactose intolerant some day, I will NOT be a happy camper.