Trust Your Taste 015

Thanksgiving Cheeses + Compulsive Gifting

Cheese ~ Storytelling ~ 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

Last Minute Thanksgiving Cheeses

Collage by Anne-Marie Pietersma

This week is a special Thanksgiving list!

If you need last minute pairing to bring or serve at a gathering this week- here are five recommendations to get in the next two days.

  1. Something tried and true: A bloomy cheese and a bottle of sparkling wine. See the letter on Brillat Savarin & Bubbly for inspiration!

  2. For your foodie friends: A spruce-wrapped softie and really good potato chips. Check out the letters on Rush Creek Reserve or Harbison 

  3. For a twist on familiar flavors: Clothbound cheddar and fruit preserves like Cabot Clothbound and spiced cherry preserves, or orange cranberry marmalade

  4. For the potluck: Nutty Alpine style and roasted vegetables. Grate it on top, or serve a stunner like Alp Blossom by itself as a grazing appetizer.

  5. A savory/sweet pie alternative: Blue cheese and fortified wine- my personal perfect dessert. Stilton and Madeira, Gorgonzola and Port, Roquefort and Sherry- mix and match- you really can’t go wrong.

Reminder: You can always respond to this e-mail if you want other recommendations or have specific questions!

Especially as we really get into the madness of holiday entertaining- PLEASE use me as a resource to take some of the inevitable stress off!

Something True: A truth about myself

Compulsive Gifting

Mamma Mia, 2017 Woodminster Amphitheater

Here’s the truth.

There are few things I love more than giving the perfect gift.

Gift giving is something I genuinely love to do, and it’s a skill partially born out of insecurity.

For a lot of my life I didn’t really believe that I was enough- in general. For whatever reason, this caused me to believe I needed to really go way above and beyond in everything I did just to catch up to everyone else’s worthiness.

At some point, it became a compulsion, and at times I found myself sacrificing a lot of sleep, time, money, or sanity to make a bunch of gifts for people.

Ready to hear something wild I did??

I was doing Mamma Mia a few years ago and on closing night I decided to write everyone little “happy closing night” notes…it was a big cast.

But I didn’t just do it for the cast. I didn’t want to leave anyone out since I did appreciate everyone’s contribution to the production so I needed to get the creative team and the orchestra and the stage crew too!

And clearly I needed to write everyone’s names in block letters and put it on colored paper that matched the main color of their costume.

And of course I needed to do a quick sketch of every musician’s instrument and every main set piece the stage crew moved to make it personal.

And obviously I had been finding out everyone’s favorite candy for a month and attached it to the note. 47 people in total.

…I know, it was too much. Oh, and did I mention that I was actually close with only about 5 of these people?

What’s that about?? Not great!

I’ve since learned to know the difference between how it feels to put a lot of thought into something special for someone I love, and what I now know to be compulsive gifting. 

So I’m reminding myself (and you) that as you give thanks this week and get into the holidays,- gifts are about thought and intention, and they don’t have to be material either.

It can be a gift of quality time, or acts of service. And you are enough, no matter how you show appreciation for someone.

Farm to Fable: How food shows up in storytelling 

A Charlie Brown Thanksgiving

This year is the 50th Anniversary of A Charlie Brown Thanksgiving.

The scene where Chef Snoopy is making dinner is a great example of an animated food montage that is sure to make you hungry…even if what they’re preparing seems to be a bunch of toast, popcorn, and bowls of pretzels and jelly beans.

It’s of course an amazing soundtrack that- I can confirm- makes for a very fun and cozy cooking playlist.

All the Charlie Brown holiday movies are great because that bald melancholy boy reflects a lot of conflicting feelings many have during festivities this time of year.

Family gatherings can be complicated- whether that family is given or chosen.

Charlie shows us we can be grateful without necessarily being super cheery. And Snoopy shows us you don’t need a specific menu to be thankful for food on the table.

I’m endlessly grateful I get to write about food and storytelling every week, and I’m very thankful you keep coming back to read it.

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 “Charlie Brown eating cheese and pumpkin pie with Snoopy.”

This isn’t as much scary as it is dumb.

Problem #1? This boy has hair. He looks like a snooty fussy child character that got cut from one of the Claymation Christmas movies. He simply will not stand for this cheese-pie (?) that is half the size of his body.