Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Keeping the faith

This month has been like being stranded in quicksand. So much movement, work, activity was happening for a while there and now it's like I've hit a brick wall. Well, maybe not that dramatic, it just feels that way.

My loan officer strongly advised me to seek out an investor, and I'll be damned if I don't heed the advice of those who've watched this happen a hundred times. I'm a very independent thinker 99% of the time, but I know when to back off and do what I'm told when it comes to things that I'm fairly ignorant about, like, oh I dunno, starting a small business?? Luckily for me, my loan officer is really awesome, and very straightforward with me. According to him, I'd have about a 50/50 chance of getting exactly what I want as is, and if my application is rejected then I'll have to wait 3 months before re-applying. That will simply not do. So it's time to put on my dancing shoes and make someone else believe in this as much as I do, or at least $20,000 as much as I do. Lucky, seriously lucky me has no less than 2 people to approach right off the bat, and if they aren't interested they will surely be able to refer me to those who may. We will see.....

In the meantime I've been relishing some fantastic tomme style curdage from River Valley Cheese. We tried the Naughty Nellie, a lovely raw cow's milk bathed in Naughty Nellie beer from the Pike Brewery. Also tasted the Valley Girl and one not on the website that was wrapped in crushed Cabernet grapes. Mmmmmmmm......all fantastic.

I'm also playing with grilled cheese, so far ingredients involved have included: aged Gruyere, anchovies, rosemary boule, fresh pumpernickel, smoked onion mustard, roasted red peppers, black olives, carmelized onions, aged gouda, fresh buffalo mozarella, and garlic pickles. Not at all in that order.

Sunday, March 1, 2009


I hate hiccups, both in literal and symbolic form. As for the latter, it looks like I still don't have enough money to qualify for the loan I want. I love that in order to procure a loan, I need to front so much cash that I could ostensibly take all the money I have and just ask for a loan about 1/3 of what I'm currently seeking. And then it sort of all stops making sense anyway. Suffice it to say that things are slightly on hold until I can find an investor to inject that last $20K or so necessary to see this cheese baby to fruition. So if you know anyone with far too much disposable income who might like to own 5% of a kick-ass cheese shop, please do send them my way.

In better, and for more entertaining news, I held my first official cheese tasting last night at Chez LaVigne. While Mr. LaVigne and I have held many a cheese session on our own, it's high time I get friends to come over for copious servings of dairy decadence. In return they eat the stuff I can't stand, and help me come up with witty and often terribly inappropriate descriptions of the cheese(s). See, back at in Brooklyn at The Bedford Cheese Shop, descriptions were half the fun of spending an afternoon tasting and spending far too much of a weekend allowance. For example, this is what they have to say about a goaty Crottin: "Can be enjoyed in the younger, fresh state or in the aged, hard-as-a-f%#king-rock-stage."

They are now slightly famous for their wacky descriptions, and I'm sure they won't mind if I take a page from their marketing book to that end. Last night a good helping of a dozen or do cheese-loving friends arriving avec various beers and wines to graze on a delicious selection of goat cheese. Among some of the descriptive hits were:

"This cheese reminds me of a Frenchman I once dated; he never bathed but was a great lover."

"Like making out with a gang of billy goats."

"This cheese could beat you at Rock Band." -- still not sure exactly what this means but hell, it sounds good!

"This cheese is the naughty that needs a nice."

And the list goes on, and yes, you will have to come to the shop to see, taste, and purchase the fantastic fromages that elicited such an outpouring of adjectives.

*Note to self: next time take a picture of the beautiful cheese board before letting everyone devour it. This morning I thought of it but our kitchen had been taken over by an army of empty wine glasses, bottles, and one hunk of wood with a few scraps of dried cheese on it.

*Note to self #2: disregard anything after cheese #4, because by that time we've all "tasted" far much booze to come up with anything beyond the intellectual level of Beavis and Butthead. Case in point - Pave de Jadis, an absolutely transcendent log of fluffy, lemon-infused paste covered in a layer of delicate ash. We ended the night with this and this is what I've got to show for it:

"Like a premature cheese ejaculation!"

"Like a quality hooker, it goes away right after you've enjoyed it but you'll always welcome it back for another round."

"Dude, this cheese is GOOD!"

Coming up in a few weeks for the next lucky selection of my peeps - an evening of blue's.