Yesterday I was feeling the effects of the colder, darker weather full force. I knew that I needed to do something to break out of my funk. After spending a little bit of time considering my options, the answer became obvious: cheese. And once I discovered that a local cheesemaker I’ve been meaning to visit has fresh curds for sale starting at 4:00pm on Tuesdays, I knew just where to go. So, after picking up Hannah from school I loaded up the kids and headed east in search of dairy delights.
When we arrived at our destination about 30 minutes later, the smell of cows was unmistakeable. As someone who grew up in dairy country, I took this as a positive sign. My grandfather used to refer to the aroma as “Matsqui Prairie aftershave”, and I knew it meant extremely fresh milk was being used in the cheese. I decided to leave the kids buckled up in the car for a minute as I snapped a couple of photos in the rain. I was so happy about the impending cheese that I didn’t even lose my temper when they started honking and I returned to the car to find Jacob in the driver’s seat and Hannah buckled in beside him.
Outside, there was country kitsch ornamentation on display, including antique milk separators. Of course, my children wanted to try using them. Luckily they didn’t break them. That I know of. I wasn’t really paying attention, because cheese.
When we walked in we were greeted and I said that I’d heard there would be fresh curds. The lovely lady helping me confirmed that there were fresh curds, and pointed at bags upon bags of them, in many flavours. But how to choose between plain, Greek, garlic and red pepper, chipotle, dill, and on and on? It was a very tall order, indeed. And beyond that, how to choose between all the different cheeses in their display case? I knew this was going to take a while, so I bought my kids gelato and sat them at a table to keep quiet. Miraculously that worked, and I was free to drool over the cheese and watch the cheesemakers at work in the back.
In the end I bought a cranberry quark, a garlic havarti, a smoked gouda, and two types of curds: plain and Greek. The curds were perfectly squeaky, which kept the kids entertained in the car on the way home. It really was win-win. I’m keeping the Greek curds for myself, though, to make a poutine with some kick. I would lay down my life for my kids, but I have to have something just for myself, you know? I choose cheese.
What are your sure-fire pick-me-ups when you’re having one of those days? And are you a cheese lover like me? Tell me all about it!