Trust Your Taste 017

Tomme Brûlée and Holiday Overwhelm

Cheese ~ Storytelling ~ Authenticity ~ Creativity

Happy December! 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

Tomme Brûlée

Tomme Brûlée is one of my favorite cheeses. And I think it’s perfect to bring out around the holidays. Here are the stats:

Basque ~ Sheep ~ Pasteurized ~ Animal Rennet ~ Aged 2 months

The name of this cheese identifies the style of cheese (Tomme) and how the rind is actually torched like a savory crème brûlée!

The paste is beautifully smooth and sliceable and has those toasty roasty notes that pair perfectly with accompaniments that have some acid/brine or sweetness! Olives, nuts, membrillo, jams, meats, bright white wine, full red wine-it all pairs well.

It will please the Gruyère and Comté purists as well as the people that eat all the Manchego on the cheese board at Christmas. I don’t find this cheese particularly “sheepy” either so it’s a great gateway if you are just starting to try them!

It also goes great with holiday cookies of all kinds….trust me.

Something True: A truth about myself

Turning Delights into Chores

Jim Carrey in How The Grinch Stole Christmas, 2000.

Here’s the truth.

I LOVE the holidays.

I love decorating, I love baking, I love hosting, I love shopping for festive foods and snacks, I love seasonal music, I love planning menus for Hanukkah and Christmas and New Years, I love the smell of Christmas trees, and I LOVE giving gifts…as you now know from my bonkers Mamma Mia story.

But all too often I get so caught up in the planning and preparation for the holidays, I don’t remember to stop and enjoy it.

And sometimes I manic-plan 1000 events and gatherings to go to in one month because I get so excited, and somewhere around Dec 12th I burn out, cancel all plans I can, and become the Grinch in front of the mirror saying “THAT’S IT I’M NOT GOING”.

If you don’t understand this reference please go watch Jim Carrey’s How the Grinch Stole Christmas immediately.

I’ve gotten better over the years at trying to PLAN time to do things I love doing instead of rushing through them like chores, but I’m still pretty terrible at it.

This week I put an hour block on my calendar to wrap presents I already have as a nice mindful thing to do with my hands away from screens…and so I don’t have to hide them in my room anymore.

I have still not wrapped those presents.

I’ve always been bad at keeping plans with myself. I’m working on it, but I’ve always needed external accountability and deadlines to really get things done.

How do you keep commitments to yourself? I’m very open to suggestions.

In the season of cheer and giving (and planning, and holiday grief, and family drama, and excess spending, and end of year targets, and seasonal depression) I am committing to enjoying the specific joyful moments that come around once a year.

I’m wrapping the presents on Wednesday night -see, you are my external accountability now-thanks!

As we move towards the end of the year, I hope you can find little sparkly cozy moments (and cheeses) to slow down and enjoy.

Farm to Fable: How food shows up in storytelling 

Feasts and Roast Beasts in The Grinch

It’s no surprise holiday movies have a ton of food in them, and this version of the Grinch is one of my favorite Christmas movies.

It’s brilliant. I quote it incessantly. It’s a part of my personality. It’s a problem.

And “feasting” is a part of a Who’s identity. The original Dr. Seuss text reads:

“The Whos young and old would sit down to a feast, and they'll feast, and they'll feast. The Grinch : And they'll feast, feast, feast, feast. They'll eat their Who-Pudding and rare Who-Roast Beast.”

During the Whoville Holiday Whobilation, the Grinch is forced to be the judge for the fudge, pudding, and fruitcake contests until he’s practically sick.

So the Who’s are definitely painted as gluttonous beings, which makes sense since a lot of the story is about excess. Unfortunately, all the food is very Dr. Seuss and fantastical and looks pretty tasty and now I’m hungry.

And honestly if your mouth started watering at however your mind pictures roast beast- you should definitely try Tomme Brûlée.

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 “The Grinch at a holiday feast eating cheese, pudding, and creme brulee.”