FAITH-FILLED LIVING | SWEET TREASURES | SIMPLE PLEASURES

Jul 19, 2007

Hodgepodge

FOOD...

My boys are home... The roof is bouncing off its shingles! When I've been couped up for awhile, even the simplest "food" image will evoke cravings that can send me accelerating through the concrete jungles of Southern California.

Today, I am craving the Blue Frog Bakery in Orange, California. And, with no connection but still using the frog theme, the Frog's Breath Cheese Store. (I know, the name is jolting, although I can't remember actually smelling a frog's breath.) Both of these stores are located North (cheese shop) and South (bakery) of the Orange Circle.

The Blue Frog Bakery features soups, sandwiches, magnificent French pastries, tarts, cookies, etc. I love everything there, but their soft, plump peanut butter cookies are the best I've ever eaten! The cheese shop is for the cheese gourmand! It has an exquisite inventory of local, national, and imported cheeses.

American cheese was the staple of my formative years. I don't remember being aware of any other type of cheese until my teens, and then it was mostly cheddar. In my adult years, the world of cheese has become an exploration. The pleasures are vast! Since I don't drink, my cheese pairings have more to do with food. Aside from the usual crackers, toast, fruit, vegetables, and pita, my imagination is continually creating new matches. I enjoy tweaking traditional recipes by replacing the cheese with robust, artisanal choices that surprise the taste buds.

I have even begun to keep a cheese diary for future purchases. My 20 year old daughter simply snickered at this revelation. "Dear Diary," she teased, "today I ate some cheese." I chuckled, but when I like something, I want to remember it for future purchases. Likewise, I don't want to repeat something unpleasant. Besides, even the web is full of cheese diaries...

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INSPIRATION...

The hunt for inspiration, new discoveries, sparks that ignite... C'est la vie! Nowadays, my magazines and laptop are partners in crime. I pick up a beautiful magazine, spy something special, and moments later I'm taking a "bask" at it's web site! I suppose I need instant gratification, especially since there is just too much "waiting" in my life. Simultaneously, I will even be listening to a food or how-to channel, or even a podcast. I love saturation and absorption! I'm always wanting to go somewhere I've never been.

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My husband is an Independent Milkman! Yes, they still exist! Actually, in Southern California, there is great enthusiasm in bringing the milkman back to neighborhoods. For most, the milkman represented an era of wholesome living and convenience.

I have fond milk memories...

  • milk deliveries on our back porch (which didn't make sense because the product received early morning sun)
  • milk bottles morphing into milk cartons
  • wonderful drawings of smiling, clean shaven, immaculately dressed milkmen (since my husband is rarely seen, he doesn't look that good)
  • my family– squeaky clean and sharply dressed– walking from our home to the dairy photography truck parked at our curb
and the not so fond...
  • forgetting to bring the milk in before going to school (which did a great deal of sunbathing without sunscreen)
  • putting the compromised milk in the fridge, hoping to pass it off
  • my milk plot being exposed by the odorous stench that immediately slapped the nostrils (but nothing like finding the Brussels sprouts hidden in the Dixie cup behind the couch– 3 months later!)
My dairy delivery now includes having the product brought into the house and placed in my fridge. Well...I am married to the milkman! I'm going to suggest that he leave it on my porch and then drive around the block, just so I can taste nostalgia!

3 comments:

Prudence said...

I can really relate to the dairy article! However, I never had my photo taken by a dairy truck.

Jill said...

I grew up in Manhattan Beach, and remember having a milkman through the 50s and 60s from Alta Dena. Once he left some little copper salt & pepper shakers that looked like milk cans. Oh, the good ol' days!

KJ said...

As a matter of fact, my hubby delivers Alta Dena products! He loves them! Out of all the milk products he has delivered, we both think Alta Dena is the best.

Do you still have those milk can salt and pepper shakers?