December 22nd, 2005

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Holiday cheesiness

In the interests of my irregular, but now twice daily, cheese blogging, I offer forthwith a recipe for cheese pate, given to me by an Irish friend. My version, mind you, since even I can't resist messing with a recipe with three ingredients and two steps.

Ingredients:

Equal measures of:

Delice de Bourgogne, or a similar triple cream cheese* -- sample the cheese at the fromagerie to make sure it is not too ammoniac, as triple creams can have that slightly harsh undertone

Schwarz und Weiss, or a similar sharp, heavily flavored blue cheese -- see my comments on this cheese from last summer -- you can use Stilton or gorgonzola or whatever similar cheese strikes your fancy

I use four ounces of each if I'm doing this for a small gathering.

Half pint of heavy cream if using four ounce portions of cheese, scale cream up in proportion to amount of cheese.

Method:

Let the blue cheese sit out and soften a while, then mash it together with the triple cream using a wooden spoon or similar. Add heavy cream by the splash. Mash until mixture achieves a spreadable softness.

Serve with artisan bread.

Comments:

This is great to bring to parties. It's easy to make, many people have never tasted something quite like it, and the flavor is distinctive. It has two other advantages...those heavy, flavorful blues are usually eaten sliced or crumbled -- this makes them spreadable, which is better party food. It also cuts down the strength and saltiness of the blue flavor, which makes the cheeses more accessible to folks who are put off by the intensity.

* Philly Cream Cheese is to French triple creams as Velveeta is to cheddar, but if you wish you can use Philly in this recipe in lieu of a triple cream
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Such lusty lads these shepherds be

The Child asked me to go with her to The Shepherds' Play, an annual tradition at her school where the faculty perform something loosely based on the Second Shepherd's Play. Some shepherd comedy, some Nativity and adoration, some singing, including a song about how the shepherds are such lusty lads. Lots of use of the verb "to know" in the King Jamesian sense, too. Ahem. Her teacher was Gallus, one of the three shepherds (the other two were Huckle and Muckle).

On the way home we talked about the Baby Jesus, and how the three shepherds and the three wise men weren't the same three. She told me the wise men's gifts were a rose, a pair of slippers and a token box of pine scent.

In other news, we went shopping today at the Dollar Store so she could buy gifts for the family on her budget (her mother's idea, and a darned fine one). She picked out little thises and thats for everyone, but tonight while wrapping she couldn't find the item she'd picked for her grandfather, my dad. We eventually looked over the receipt and discovered it hadn't even been rung up. She's pretty disappointed, but I told her we'd go back to the store tomorrow and see if they still had the item (there were only two left today).

And sometime this past week, when I used the pronoun "they" to refer to a gender-indeterminate singular third person, I was corrected by the Child, who told me "they" had to be plural.

Ah, youth.