Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Cheese It

The theme of this post is laziness. I didn’t want to waste any energy weaving a subtle web around my point so there it is. I’m not even going to try to find a synonym for lazy so I don’t say lazy a hundred times in this post.

This week I have been lazy. Which brings me to my next point (sans a time-consuming segue): My favorite thing to make for dinner when I’m lazy is a cheese plate. Sure sometimes we just eat out, most of the time we just eat eggs, but sometimes I still feel the need to “make” something and I don’t want to dirty a pan. A cheese plate is the perfect thing. (This post is also about cheese.)

On Monday I left work ten minutes early and went down to Pastoral, my favorite cheesery. It’s a small, pleasant shop filled with fancy meats, imported jam, wine, olives, and, of course, cheese. And though I trip on the ramp coming in most visits, and yeah, sometimes I say the cheese’s place of origin instead of its name because neither are familiar to me—fine the sandwiches are overpriced, too—I still love it in there. And on Monday I loved how easy it was to put together some dinner.

Listening to Van Morrison’s Tupelo Honey (which they not only play, but sell) I perused their nibble-worthy selection, settling on three cheeses: two of Prairie Fruit Farm’s goat options—one being my favorite, a fresh goat cheese which is creamy and fluffy and delightful—and a crumbly Little Darling for sharpness.

At home I sliced a demi baguette on a diagonal (also found at Pastoral) and dug through the fridge for acceptable accompaniments to round out my supper. Left-over chicken, cabbage and apple slaw, a jar of local honey, and some banging pickles all found their way onto my biggest cutting board, which makes any cheese arrangement look polished. Dinner was served.

Cheese can be dressed up or dressed down, served for one or many, an appetizer or a main—if you aren’t lactose intolerant, it can be your miracle dinner.

I’ve chronicled my culinary ventures for a year in my wildly successful flickr series, Food I eat. I eat food. So in addition to a snapshot of Monday night’s laze-fest, I’ve included two of my other most successful cheesings. I recommend the obvious choices: your favorite cheeses, fresh fruit, crisp veg, nuts, deli meats, jellies, and a really big cutting board.


  1. Did you drizzle the honey over the goat cheesed baguette? A revelation.

    (I like that cute little cheese knife shaped like a leaf.)

  2. Oh my god. My last sentence used to read "... and a cute little cheese knife shaped like a leaf." But then I thought that would be too obscure. And yes, about the honey. Terrific.

  3. I'm hungry. Bring me some food while you can still get by security (or the lack thereof) at my office.

  4. Y'all are destined for one another!

    This post makes me despise my unable to process cheese body. But the platings (and cutting board) are GORGEOUS. And now I really want a crisp pickle.

  5. many honey's also pair well with bleu cheeses, fyi. chesee and charcuterie make the best / easiest / tastiest dinners alone or to share. stop into Marion Street Cheese Market, near Mairead's home, and we'll hook you up too! - Michelle / I work at MSCM

  6. Thanks, Michelle – I'd love to come check it out!

  7. Great advice, Michelle! I will definitely take Hanna over to Marion Street the next time she visits me in Oak Park.