Well, the apartment drama is over. Mr. and Miss Cheesemonger have found an apartment near water, a farmer’s market, a bakery, a butcher’s shop, and a cheese shop. To celebrate, we decided to get out of the city. My choice? Point Reyes Station. Only after we arrived did Mr. Cheesemonger see why. There is a good deal of artisanal cheese here, as well as plain old good food. For dinner last, we grabbed some bakery bread, and a chunk of Point Reyes Blue. What a difference it made to taste the cheese in its own hometown, before it’s been shipped to far-off lands for retail. I always enjoyed Point Reyes at the cheese shop before, but here, I could taste a whole new freshness. It tasted more rugged, savage, and aggressive than the wheels that my old cheese shop received. It was also much more creamy, and we slathered great amounts of it on our bread with reckless abandon. This activity alongside the fact that we were in a stunningly beautiful natural reserve area made the evening one of the most memorable in a long time.
This morning, we headed again to Point Reyes Station for the weekly farmers market, the last one of the year I believe I remember hearing. It wasn’t large, but it sure was refreshing. I saw only one cheese stand, and they were selling only the cheeses from local companies–Cowgirl Creamery, Point Reyes Farmstead Cheese Co., and Nicasio Valley Cheese Company. I tasted two from Nicasio, Foggy Morning and Formagella. They are both from cow’s milk and both extremely mild. Foggy Morning is a bit like the cheese I made about a month ago–fresh, lightly salted, versatile, and made me crave a dollop of jam alongside. The Formagella is the youngest of their aged cheeses, and it’s a soft-ripened one. We ended up buying neither one, since we were looking for something stronger. We settled on the Marin French Cheese company’s take on camembert (Mr. Cheesemonger is from Normandy. Maybe he was feeling homesick.). In the end, though, that TOO was extremely mild, and pretty firm, even though it was supposed to be at its ripest around today. Oh well. At least we know the Point Reyes Blue satisfies our love of pungent cheeses.
We strolled around the downtown area of Point Reyes area, in search of Cowgirl Creamery. We found it without any difficulty, but it turns out the shop is closed on Saturdays! What a shame! I hope we’ll get to stop by tomorrow before heading back to the city.
There was plenty of other food to keep us sated, though. Breakfast consisted of a pear and strawberry muffin for me and an enormous pain au chocolat for Mr. Cheesemonger, courtesy of Bovine Bakery. HEAVENLY is all I can say! My muffin and the pain au chocolat were ENORMOUS. Half could have easily sufficed. The muffins in this joint are extremely fluffy, so much that they stick to each other in the pan. This requires the bakers to cut the muffins apart, giving them a huge blockheaded appearance. Mine had large chunks of fresh fruit baked inside, and just a light touch of sweetness. I didn’t even think of tasting my husband’s pain au chocolat, the muffin was that large and satisfying. Wow.
After touring the market, we went off to visit the Point Reyes National shoreline. We drove past many ranches within the reserve, where hundreds of cows grazed peacefully beside the road. It was so foggy, we could barely see 5 feet in front of us. However, when we finally arrived at the lighthouse, we learned that the point is actually quite clear. The coastline was stunning: roiling waves battered jagged, craggy rocks below, while foam swirled in savage, lacy patterns all around. We even saw a pacific grey whale swim by the point. Not far from the point was an elephant seal outlook, where, indeed, we could witness dozens of elephant seals as they slept, fought, swam, and slinked across the beach.
I am excited about tomorrow. We’ll visit the Tomales Bay park before heading back to the city. I am in love with this region; I feel at home here already, even though I don’t have enough warm clothing at all to ward off the cold, damp, and wind.