We all have those times in our life where we feel like we are scrambling to constantly catch up on all the things that need to be done. I've been feeling a lot of that lately.
We've had a couple busy weekends back to back that required trips to Portland so even though we've been home for a couple weeks it still feels like I'm behind. A lot has happened in those couple weeks. I'll give you a run down.
This is always such a fun event and I've volunteered the last two years. It's cool to have all of your favorite local cheeses under one roof. It's such a rarity. I've worked the area where we sell the cheese that is being tasted throughout the building. The line was long nearly the entire day which is wonderful, that means that people were truly there to support their local cheesemakers.
I didn't have time to snap too many pictures but here's a couple I took during setup.
I didn't take any pictures at this because I was enjoying running around eating and seeing some of my favorite cheese people from across the country. That lil link up there though will take you to the Provvista Facebook page where there are plenty of pictures to see what you may have missed. One of my favorite things that I tried was the Grafton Village Bear Hill. This little cheese made me do a happy cheese dance. It was perfectly sharp but sweet and floral. It's nice to see them breaking out of the cheddar mold and really pushing their own boundaries. I also got to try the Cellars of Jasper Hill Kinsman Ridge which is a cheese that they have been working on for a few years. I tried it in it's early inception but they've really nailed that perfect French style tomme now. Creamy and luscious with a nice vegetal backbone.
I also got to finally get my hands on some Pip's donuts and Tastebud Pizza which were both things that my friends in Portland rave about. They were worth all the raving. The donuts weren't heavily sweet like the ones at VooDoo tend to be (I'm not against that, just sometimes you want something different) and the crust of the pizza was perfect. Not soggy in the middle with a good chewy pizza bone.
After spending a few days at home back in Seattle, it was time to head south again. This time the original intention was for a reunion show of one of my favorite bands in high school, Hazel. We decided to make more of a weekend out of it and my husband was able to get a show booked with his old Portland band. This weekend also cemented my new life as a small business owner. I was able to book a couple of demos with Chevoo, the main client that I am working with to get in to the mouths of people in the PNW. It felt good to start this new venture at my old alma mater, Whole Foods Market Hollywood. Still to this day, one of my favorite stores. It was fun to interact with the customer base on a different level than I ever had before and to connect them to this wonderful new product.
Of course it would be unheard of for me to not include some tasty trips while in the foodie paradise of Portland so here's where I went.
Because, duh. I was also on the lookout for a cheese that had been making it's rounds on social media and I assumed correctly that Steve had some. Alp Blossom has been popping up all over Instagram because of it's beautiful rind that has been crusted with herbs and brightly colored edible flowers. I was happy to finally get my hands on some of it. I also snagged some Cottonseed from Boxcarr Farms. I've talked about my love for their cheese in previous posts, I was just happy to see it's presence on the West Coast.
This annual cheese festival in Portland always brings out the best and the brightest in the state. This year was no exception and the growth was apparent. Last year was a bit crazy so this year they expanded it to include more streets and more vendors to break up the intense lines that formed. I didn't get to stay the whole day so I don't know how it all panned out in the end, but it was nice to have an hour in the morning for just industry and media. Trying to take photos and talk to the makers when there are hoards of people is just impossible.
This place was recommended by my friend at Essex Cheese because they prominently feature their sheep milk feta. Having gotten the opportunity to try this delicious feta at CMI (The Cheesemonger Invitational), I knew I needed to make this my dinner plans. They feature the feta with the crudite platter and they whip it to perfection. There was also a Tahina dipping sauce that was phenomenal. After a few days of cheese, it was nice to have a dinner that was fresh and light even though cheese was part of the menu. The ambiance was light and airy with a huge picture of Keith Richards lounging in a pool right as you walk in. These iPhone pics I snapped pretty much tell the delightful story though.
Well, there it is. Are you feeling caught up? I'm still working on it.
A Certified Cheese Professional living the cheesy life.