Wednesday, March 4, 2009

cheese is contagious

so last weekend we did it again. this time i made the excursion, dragging along pooka and my niece danica.

at first, pooka didn't want to go and she pitched a fit because she thought we would make her eat everything and wouldn't let her choose one or something like that. i'm not sure exactly, kisu us the family psychotherapist on her. i get too frustrated.

anyway, we bravely ventured into the cheese fridge at westborn market. that place is freezing! they had everything nicely sorted on wire racks. an entire 4' wide, 6 shelf rack of cheddar! one for swiss, several shelves for italian, blue, and french. the featured selections this month are irish, naturally.

pooka cheered up and decided to participate when i pointed out a chocolate cheese fudge. forgetting, momentarily, that we tried it and didn't particularly like it at the cheeshaus in frankenmuth, i allowed her to buy it.

danica picked out one, i chose one for me and one i thought kisu would like. we grabbed a baguette and headed home. $30 in cheese, people!

we tried to prepare a proper cheese tasting board, with a selection of crackers, baguette, and apple slices. elegance went right down the drain, however, when i dropped two hunks of cheese on the floor downstairs. pooka had to retrieve one from under the couch. the cat licked up the smears.

a very short time later, we were crumb-covered, lactose-saturated, and lethargic. we also had some new data for our cheese files:

chocolate cheese fudge: meh. one bite cheesy, one bite chocolately. neither in a good way. pooka liked it, so she will be getting it for lunch desserts for awhile.

white stilton with lemon zest: a (poorer) cousin to the mango/ginger variety we had last time. good flavor, but the zest left a gritty feel. paired well with the apple slices.

chevre with honey: i like goat cheese when it's incorporated with other things, like as a binder for a portobello filling (which i've done), but not so much when it's the main flavor. kisu and danica enjoyed it and the small portion we bought was eradicated.

formaggio with roasted garlic, tomato, and basil: like a pizza without the crust. so much flavor! i think it would be perfect melted onto the baguette, but we couldn't be bothered to go back upstairs.

a dutch cheese labeled vlaskaas: not sure if that is the brand name or the type. it was a hard cheese, similar to parmagiano reggiano, but not as pungent. it was described as buttery and sweet. it was fairly strong, but i decided that i liked it. good on the apple slices.

a good haul, but left us only wanting more. danica wants to participate again and we have already marked out 2 to try next time. i want to avoid too many mix-ins, like the herbs or the fruit. they're good, but i want to experience the natural flavor of the cheeses first. the inherent character infused by the bacteria that create each individual type.

wow, that makes it sound kind of disgusting.

Monday, March 2, 2009

bye bye binky

both my girls were pacifier kids. with pooka, we had to have 5 or 6 stashed around the house for the chronic misplacement of it.

bug is not quite as attached, but it is a definite cue of naptime/bedtime for her. at daycare, they stopped offering it, oh 6 months ago or so. at home, we were still employing it. occasionally i would tell her, "when you turn 2, the binky is gonna go bye-bye, ok?" and she would agree. i thought i was doing a good job preparing her in advance.

until last weekend, when i actually set us back a little. she wasn't feeling well and i let her carry the bink around the house pretty much all weekend. during the week i realized my mistake and decided to correct it. permanently.

thursday night, the bink got 'lost'. when i put bug to bed, i told her i would bring it in when i found it. she was fine with that, but golly gee i never did find that thing. friday night when she asked about it, i just redirected her. that worked fine until 5 am saturday when she woke up too early. usually the reinsertion of the bink puts her right back to sleep. this time it took a little backrub. when she woke up much later, i saw that my timing for her binky-intervention was not the greatest: she had a fever and was feeling lousy. of all the days to not have that self-soothing tool. i wasn't sure how naptime would go, but ultimately it was fine.

sunday afternoon she saw the binky on the kitchen counter. "dere i' is!" she declared.


once again a little redirection avoided any further attention and as soon as she was out of the room i buried that sucker(!) in the trashcan. with 4 nights and 2 naps under our belts, we are officially done with the binky.

now i'm thinking: perfect timing or too soon? we have this little trip coming up. long flight, strange bedroom. recipe for cranky toddler or one less thing to pack/lose/replace?

let's pray it's the latter.