Trust Your Taste 001

Campfire Harbison and Tomboy Barbie

Cheese ~ Story ~ Authenticity ~ Creativity

Happy Sunday! Here’s something tasty, something true, and some musings on food in storytelling to ponder over your favorite Sunday Treat.

Something Tasty: A cheese pairing to try

Campfire Harbison

If you’ve never heard me rave about Jasper Hill’s Harbison before, that’s surprising because it is quite a culty cheese, and I am definitely a member of that cult. Here’s why- it’s beautifully and masterfully crafted spruce bark-wrapped ooey goodness always perfect for dipping your favorite potato chip or veggie (raw or roasted). It’s vegetal savory custardy bliss, which might sound like an acquired taste, but it’s really not. It’s not too far off from flavors you’ve probably had before, and so delicious- so it might look fancy, but you don’t need to have a fancy palate** to enjoy it. If you have ever felt joy from eating warm broccoli cheese soup from a very sad city or college town Panera (like I have) you’ll love this cheese for a few reasons.

Right now there is a special kind of Harbison called Campfire Harbison, where they’ve smoked the bark before wrapping the cheese with it. It is very special, a limited release (so it won’t be around forever), and perfect as we hit the peak days of summer and yearn a bit for sitting around a fire in the briskness of fall. If you’re feelin’ frisky, try dipping cut up rice crispy treats like a sweet/savory fondue. It just might blow your mind.

**This does not exist. Fancy/cheap or good/bad taste does not exist. Sound interesting? Check out the Trust Your Taste Workshop!

Something True: A truth about myself

Tomboy Barbie

This basketball photo is originally from a fake Wheaties box. Enjoy.

Here’s the truth.

When I was younger I did not enjoy playing with Barbie’s. I didn’t get the point? But I DID love the accessories that came with them. I didn’t care about dying Barbie’s hair, but it would be cool to die my hair. I preferred to draw, or come up with my own stories, or make clothes for fairies out of tree bark and leaves. I liked stuffed animals and my brother’s TMNT action figures, not DOLLS.

I was a self-declared tomboy. I played sports with the boys and hated pink because it was “too girly”. What I didn’t realize then was the self-hatred inherent in my feelings about “girly things”. And even though Barbies weren’t authentic to me, and some things girls were supposed to like just didn’t interest me- I felt a sense of pride for being “one of the boys” because I associated being a girl with being inferior, dumb, weak, and honestly- annoying.

Flash forward to today, my nails are bright pink just in the spirit of seeing the Barbie movie. It may not feel fully me, but it’s fun, and I do love a theme- so why not? And who’s to say it won’t feel authentic to me in two days?

Hint: It’s me, I’m the one to say if that’s true. Cool, right?

Trying things on and seeing how they feel instead of deeming something “not for me” can be wildly freeing, and it often begrudgingly pleases me when I try something that I don’t think I’ll like, and end up with some unexpected delight.

Because what’s the worst that could happen? I don’t like it? Who cares?

So I have bright pink nails. And I have years of unraveling my own internalized misogyny to thank for that.

Farm to Fable: How food shows up in storytelling 

Milk in Barbie Land - No Important Spoilers I Promise

This may sound silly, but seeing milk as Barbie’s drink of choice made me really happy. Having her get ready for the day at the beginning of the movie by “drinking” specifically cows milk (prop carton complete with a picture of a lil cow) as a part of her morning routine made my little dairy girl heart soar.

NOW, we could analyze this to death and look at how she is Stereotypical Barbie and other Barbies might have a different morning routine, and is “stereotypical” good or bad or neither? We’re lead to believe that before the initial conflict in the movie, Barbie Land is “perfect”… so milk exists in the perfect version of Barbie Land!

…but is it perfect? Depends who you ask (in the movie, and in the real world). I need to watch it again, but if I remember correctly- eating and drinking are all basically mimed so nothing is actually consumed in Barbie Land. Commentary? Fun reminder they’re just dolls and not real people?

All great rabbit holes to dive down next time you want to start and quickly end a conversation at a party. I honestly don’t think Greta Gerwig was making any kind of statement about milk or dairy, it just made me smile. If she would’ve made Barbie drink specifically “oat milk” in the morning, maybe it would have been a statement of some kind and it might’ve made me have more questions and…other feelings… but I’ll save that for therapy.

Until next time,


P.S. - Sunday Scaries

A terrifying AI image to help us all rest knowing AI bots could never replace a real human artist:

This week the prompt was “A happy pink cow surrounded by pieces of cheese in a large valley of wildflowers.” Yikes.

Anne-Marie Pietersma is a bi-coastal actor, writer, comedian, and cheese educator who believes 90% of the worlds problems would go away if everyone did high school theatre, went to therapy, and knew where their food came from.