Friday, September 26, 2008

Cheese and Gold

When we were living in Germany, there was no cheddar cheese. I don't mean that it was prohibited in the country, just that it wasn't the cheese of choice for the Germans. They prefer their cheese in a white mild form. Butter Cheese or Gouda. In order to get some cheddar you needed to go to the specialty counter and pay some absurd amount for a little hunk of sharp. It made making macaroni and cheese a "special dish"!

When we moved to London we found ourselves in the quintessential land-o-cheddar. In fact, at the grocery store that I frequented there was so much cheddar that they even implemented their own Waitrose "cheddar rating system". This rating ranged from 1-4. 1 was mild. 4 was so sharp it crumbled. The packaging was designed with just a giant number on it. We were generally "3" cheddar eaters - except in the instance of making the previously mentioned mac/cheese. A combo of "2" and "3" was optimal.

Since returning to the states we have found ourselves mildly annoyed with the quality of cheddar available. Let's not even go with the cheddar that is in the dairy section. That isn't even in the same league. Frankly, it's just one short step away from Velveeta. Velveeta - - a "processed cheese food" that doesn't even need to be refrigerated and has a nuclear shelf life equal to twinkies. Scary stuff. I'm talking about the quality of cheddar found in the supposedly upscale deli areas that you pay some absurd amount for. It just isn't very cheddary. I am wondering if we have become cheddar snobs or if we just need to find another cheese supplier? This is not a very important issue, but it was on my mind today as I opened yet another $6 block of "sharp" and got no kick. Should I have bigger things to worry about like, say a failing economy and the fact that the tree squatters protesting the removal of redwoods at Berkley had to be forcibly removed from their trees? Probably.

I went to an informational meeting last night at school for Henry's upcoming 3 day overnight trip. They are going to Coloma, the supposed birthplace of the California Gold Rush. They're going to do all things gold-rushy like pan for gold, shop at the local general store for ingredients to make corn bread in a cast iron pot over a camp fire,build their own tents, and apparently they will learn how to dance a hoe down. This last part confused me. I need to do a little research on the genesis of the hoe-down (assuming that's even how to spell hoe-down) - but I was thinking it had to do more with the south and cotton than it did with California and the miners. If memory serves me, I recall that miners were more likely to head to the local saloon for a dangerous hand of poker, copious amounts of cheap whiskey and a "dance" with an easy woman than they were sitting around on bales of hay toe tapping to the Virginia Reel. I could be wrong. But then I guess a group of 4th graders experiencing the true authenticity of the period would probably not fully appreciate the enjoyment provided by cards, hookers and hooch. Yee Haw.

1 comment:

K said...

Do you need girls to do a hoe down? Perhaps that's what the gold miners did with each other before playing cards and "dancing" with loose women.