Tuesdays with Tony is my attempt to be a better cook, or at least make better use of my copy of local chef Tony de Luca’s Simply in Season, 12 months of wine country cooking cookbook. Twice a month, I’m going to make something from Simply in Season. Just one recipe or maybe two at a time depending on my mood. And I plan to do it on a Tuesday. As a fan of alliteration, I like the sound of Tuesdays with Tony and I know that the man inspiring my resolution also hosts the odd cooking class series of the same name, so it seems fitting.
Dear Blue Cheese,
Let me start by saying, it’s not you. It’s me.
I realize what I’m about to say will probably make foodies sneer and think me a lesser being, but I just don’t think you and I are right for each other. My taste buds — I just don’t think they’re ready for anything serious right now. Maybe some cheap, imitation blue cheese salad dressing, but I just don’t think we’re mature enough to handle the real you.
You look good and I like the idea of you, but when we’re together, there’s just no spark. In fact, I don’t really like you. I’m sorry if that hurts. Maybe one day we can be friends but for now, I think we should only see each other in very small doses.
Like on a veggie platter. Or in the salad dressing aisle at the grocery store.
All the best,
Yes, that’s right. I don’t like blue cheese. Reminds me of the unfinished basement in my childhood home, which, thanks to the occasional failure of the sump pump, had kind of a musty smell.
Blue cheese tastes like that smell. It was a fine enough smell to only have to inhale during the brief, but obligatory, trips to the basement fridge for more milk or whatever couldn’t quite fit in our kitchen refrigerator. But not once did I ever think, ‘Wow, it smells good down here.’ Nor did that damp smell ever make me hungry. Never had the urge to lick a wall, just to see what it would taste like, either.
And yet, I paid a good chunk of change at the ever-quaint Chez Fromage for a wedge of Crozier Blue, an Irish blue cheese made with sheep’s milk, to make my latest meal from Tony de Luca’s Simply in Season. I thought perhaps I hadn’t given blue cheese enough of a chance, so I would make a savoury blue cheese cheesecake with onion confit. After all, it looked like heaven in the picture and who doesn’t want just a little piece of heaven for themselves.
Even though the moldy taste was t muted by the addition of cream cheese (’twas thanks to a goat in this case), there were still hints of basement. Blue cheese in cake form — Tony de Luca’s cake form, no less — still didn’t win me over.
The onion confit, with its sweet-sour tastes of maple syrup and red wine vinegar, was really the icing on the cake for me — the part that enabled me to swallow and keep the gag reflex in check.
My heart broke just a little bit when I didn’t swoon over this supper that I slaved over for two days to make.
My inability to gush about this little experiment isn’t a reflection of the recipe. My husband raved. So did several co-workers for whom I dished out pieces in a bid to get rid of the cake for fear the rather dear dessert for dinner would go to waste. Even my co-workers, who turn their noses up at, well, just about anything, shovelled forkfuls gleefully into their mouths.
But alas, blue cheese and I, we’re just not meant to be.
And I’m OK with that.
Alright, enough with the cheesy breakup metaphor.