“Poets have been mysteriously silent on the subject of cheese.” 

Today is another perfect day. The air is still. The sun is bright and warm. It is in the low 70’s. Tomorrow the weather changes. It will be hot at 81˙. I’m already planning to be deck bound with a cold drink, a good book and maybe some cheese and crackers, staples in my house. I think I saw some cheddar.

When I was a kid, my mother always bought the orange cheese, the American cheese. I remember each slice of cheese was a perfect square, perfect for sandwiches. I don’t remember the taste. I do remember each slice of cheese had the imprint of the paper it was wrapped in on it, similar to the canned cranberry sauce and its ridges, but on the cheese, the imprint looked like a wrinkle or a seam on the earth from an earthquake, a dramatic interpretation.

Ghana had no cheese so I don’t think it was until after Peace Corps when my cheese palate expanded exponentially. Out was orange American. In was cheddar. A flood of other cheeses followed (I am using flood as the group name here. I like it.). Even now I’ll try a new cheese. There is a great cheese selection at my store. I always check it out. I always buy some cheese. I never want to run out.

I think cheddar is the main cheese always in my fridge. When I have company, I usually serve at least 3 cheeses on a charcuterie plate, my new appetizer. The plate is fun to make.

When we traveled, my mother, my father and I, my mother always packed snacks. Late in the afternoon, after a day of walking, touring some city, we’d go back to the hotel. My father and I would play cribbage. My mother would make each of them a drink from the nips she had packed. I’d order a Diet Coke. My mother did crossword puzzles from the book she had brought while my dad and I played. After a while, she’d bring out the snacks. She’d packed those little packages with bread sticks and spreadable cheese, Velveeta I suspect, and crackers with peanut butter. Sometimes she’d even pack M&M’s. These were the perfect snacks. They reminded me of when I was a kid. They also tasted good, especially the M&M’s (I do love chocolate.). Those snacks held us together until dinnertime when the three of us would walk to a restaurant close by we had noticed and wanted to try.

My mother always brought those snacks. What gave me a smile was when’d bring out the orange cheese with the bread sticks. The cheese was in a square container. The whole scene was a throwback to that American cheese in the wrapper. The only difference was this cheese was soft for dipping. It looked the same and tasted the same. I think I ate all those snack crackers. I was able to lighten my mother’s load.

I still sometimes buy Velveeta. Nothing melts like it or sticks to a tortilla chip in the same way.

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One Comment on ““Poets have been mysteriously silent on the subject of cheese.” ”

  1. Bob Says:

    Hi Kat,

    Another version of yesterday with an even higher maximum temperature, forecasted to be 101°. Tomorrw should be the hottest day this week with a high predicted of 103°. Once you break the century mark it’s not much different feeling until you go above 110°, then it really feels hot.

    I love most kinds of hard cheeses. Swiss, Chedder, American, Havarti, Parmesan, Mozzarella, Romano, and Peccarino. The only soft cheese I like is plain Cream Cheese, hold the veggies and other stuff hiding in the cheese. I don’t like any of the soft cheeses like Brie, or the ones with the green or blue penicillin stripes or particles like Blue Cheese, Gorgonzola, or Limburger. Those are smelly cheeses which make me ill. Their aroma is enough to make me want to vomit

    I love snacks, especially ones made of chocolate. However, I also enjoy Ritz Crackers with peanut butter, or cheese, or meats, or just plain out of the box. We probably eat a couple of boxes weekly. Saltines are only good when you’re sick with a bowl of Campbell’s Chicken Noodle soup. 🙂 My former eye doctor once told me that the homemade variety actually has medicinal qualities including the correct electrolytes. His Internal Medicine professor studied homemade chicken soup’s ingredients. The, “Old Wives Tails”, actually worked. This was before they had antiviral drugs like, Tamiflu.

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