Last night, after coming home from the shop, I found a package waiting for me. At first, I thought it might be a late Christmas present from my husband, but I was wrong! It was much better. Kim, a super crafty and gourmand friend from college, and my hiking buddy on the Mont Ste. Victoire in Provence, had sent me The Cheese Chronicles by Liz Thorpe. I am so excited to start reading it! I’ve fallen behind in a lot of reading these past few months. I wanted to join a Dharma women’s reading group with my friends back on the east coast, but I haven’t had the chance to get the first book. I still have to prepare for my “wine exam,” for which I am woefully unprepared. I wanted to keep up with my French literature, but with no success. But anyway, I am going to read this book!!! It looks so fascinating. So, THANK YOU, Kim!
The last day of the year was indeed a busy one. Almost crazy, actually, from the moment I walked in. I needed to do the check out procedure from yesterday, and then open up. Customers started coming in right away, so while James helped them, I did all the “behind the scenes” stuff, like stamping shopping bags, stocking the cheese counter with supplies, and baking bread and cookies. And they just kept coming. Moreover, my colleague had discovered an old order laying around, in one of the shop owner’s handwriting–except she was supposed to be on vacation. I spent all morning wondering if this was a current order, and that the owner had secretly magically returned, or if it really was an old order, because I remember having filled a similar order a couple of weeks ago (it turned out to be an old order). To top it off, we only had one box of baguettes for the day, and we’d gone through about 3/4 of it by 3pm. Yikes! Usually, people don’t buy baguettes, but today, even more than for Christmas or Thanksgiving, people were asking for baguettes specifically to take home.
I ended up working the bar quite a bit this afternoon, but I feel bad that I didn’t have much time to clean the glasses (or much else) after they were used. :( Sad.
At the end of the day, I bought myself a round of Langres to bring home and share with my family for New Year’s Eve. Even my French husband had never heard of it, although I remember being served Langres on many cheese plates while in France. Most family members, who do not eat cheese regularly, wrinkled their nose a little at the strong aroma and wrinkly rind. My husband likened the aroma to Pont L’Evêque, another washed rind cheese from Normandy. Once I cut the cheese into portions, and everyone could see the soft, slightly runny, white paste, I think they were a bit more comfortable with the idea. My husband liked the taste, which is rich and complex. The mouthfeel is creamy. We didn’t add a few drops of champagne to it like tradition dictates. Midnight is still a couple of hours away, though. We can do a reprise then! Dinner was a homemade bouillabaisse with homemade mayonnaise, so everyone was pretty full by the time the cheese course came around. That means there’s a good amount of Langres left for later.
Happy 2010, everyone! I hope this new year brings you all much joy, good food, and good fortune.