First, let’s get one thing straight: I’m a bad Jew. I don’t know what holiday it is (It’s Passover – Ed.) and I’m unclear on what my legal obligations are at any given moment. This makes me feel free to also be a bad Catholic, by marriage. Thus it came to me as rather a surprise when I decided to join my wife in giving up cheese for Lent. But here we are, 40 days later, and there’s been no cheese. Well, until now. Today, I get cheese.
I went to the Cheese Store to get something worth celebrating with. Cheese, to me, is kind of like bacon to other people. Or maybe sausage to me is like bacon to other people, which would make cheese my… pancakes? Anyway, cheese is awesome, and good cheese is even better. Usually the Cheese Store is a great place to shop because you can try as many cheeses as you like before you buy, but this time I couldn’t try, because it wasn’t Easter yet. (For the non-Catholics out there, Lent is a 40-day-long period ending on Easter in which you give up stuff. There may be other important religious aspects, but I’ve exclusively had romantic relationships with Catholic women for seven or eight years now and have only ever heard about the giving up bit. On Easter you get to start back up on whatever you gave up. Lent, by the way, starts on Ash Wednesday, which is that odd day on which Catholics all look like they’ve escaped from a mildly burning building.)
Anyway, after having my parents try a bunch of cheeses, and communicating with the cheese store clerk as if by semaphore — I asked him for a cheese with a flavor and texture profile, my parents tried a couple, they gave me some feedback, I asked for something else — I ended up with a soft, grape leaf-wrapped Sheep’s milk and two Basque cheeses. We generally like the Basque cheeses around here. For a little variety, I matched them with a baguette, arugula salad, and a little bit of proscuitto.
Cheese: it’s everything it was knocked up to be.
The funny thing is, I really enjoyed the challenge of giving up cheese for 40 days. I’m actually excited about the idea of giving up something else soon, maybe soda or cookies or something else I could do without. It’s pretty awesome, and I’m glad I finally decided to catch Lent fever!
Also, dearest wife: I signed you up for the cheese e-newsletter. I figured you wouldn’t mind.