cheese, deer meat, pixies, thanksgiving

Caribou and Cheese

A cheese plate, or course, to many is still something akin to cubed yellowish/orangish/whiteish cubes of cheese in a pile–perhaps with frilled toothpicks to assist in their retrieval–left for hours to sweat and then dry out. To others, like Erik at PFH, it’s both art and ritual.

This Thanksgiving, for as tender as the venison was..

(And we’re talking ‘melted away like sashimi grade tuna’ tender..)

..the part that stayed with me was the cheese.

Starting from the top position, working clockwise:
Longfellow Creamery’s Camembert–past. cows milk–k. hortons
Wild Boar Sausage from Cheese Iron
Uplands Pleasant Ridge Reserve–raw cow– from Cheese Iron
Landaff–raw cow–from Whole Foods
Herve Mons Tomme de Berger–raw goat/sheep–from Whole Foods
von Trapp Oma–past. cows milk–from Cheese Iron
Duck Proscciuto from Cheese Iron
Rolph Beeler ForsterKase–raw cow milk- from Cheese Iron
Raw Honey from Sparky’s Maine
Adriadic Fig Spread

Normally, I would have a little more balance in the plate–not so many washed rinds, some solo representations of goat and sheeps milk cheeses–but couldn’t resist the offerings I came across at the Cheese Iron and WF. But, the increase in flavor, which was perfect as we worked our way clockwise around the plate, made up for the lack of diversity.

The charcuterie, particularly the wild boar salami, paired amazing with some of the stronger cheeses on the plate, even standing up to the hefty earth of the Forsterkase. The duck proscuitto, however, lost the slight sweetness it had the day we tasted it as it sat in our refrigerator and became stronger than we cared for. If you do pick some up, I recommend eating it that day or the next.

The next day, we headed to Boston to catch an AMAZING show from the Pixies for the 20th Anniversary of their ‘Doolittle’ album. We were invited to the private after show from a friend, but too tired and a bit too hungover to handle traveling across town, we called it a night early and headed back home the next day.

1. Dancing The Manta Ray
2. Weird At My School
3. Bailey’s Walk
4. Manta Ray
5. Debaser
6. Tame
7. Wave of Mutilation
8. I Bleed
9. Here Comes Your Man
10. Dead
11. Monkey Gone To Heaven
12. Mr. Grieves
13. Crackity Jones
14. La La Love You
15. No. 13 Baby
16. There Goes My Gun
17. Hey
18. Silver
19. Gouge Away
20. Encore:
20. Wave of Mutilation (UK Surf)
21. Into The White
22. Encore 2:
22. Where Is My Mind?
23. Caribou
24. Vamos
25. Gigantic

It was a tiring week, but a thankful one.

(the most colorful Thanksgiving meal I’ve ever made–and a shitty plate job )

Hope yours was as good as mine 🙂

The Cheese Plate on Foodista

5 years in Maine, deer meat, pixies, thanksgiving

Things About This Week

1)Going to see the Pixies in Boston on Friday.
2)Celebrating my 5th Anniversary of moving to Portland this Saturday
3)My Father’s 65th Birthday is Saturday.
4)My partner officially becomes unemployed again on Wednesday, as her temp job comes to an end.

I’m looking forward to 4 of these things and I’m sure you can guess which ones. As our finances crunch once again, we’re going out with a bang this coming week. Because of getting food poisoning last Thanksgiving, from a raw oyster that never made it into the stuffing, I decided to go a different route this year and cook a rack of venison that I purchased when I was home last month.

While I’m still unsure of the preparation of the venison, I know I’ve got a killer Cranberry Apple and Pear sauce to go with it.

Before hand, to avoid having to do anything for a pre-meal snack, we swung into the Cheese Iron after hearing Vince had brought in some duck prosciutto. I am a bit conflicted about even mentioning it because it’s good enough to horde for yourself–in fact, it’s a bit mind blowing. Sliced perfectly thin, the thin line of fat at the top simply dissolves the second it hits your tongue.

It will be coupled with a boar salami, Rolf Beeler ForsterKase, Uplands Pleasant Ridge Reserve and the von Trapp Family Oma, which I first had at Evangeline.
And, like every other time I’ve walked through their doors, I had a set budget… and to stay true to form, I spent twice as much. But, really, who can blame me when something like this:

is put in my face.

This week is set to be a truly hectic, gluttonous and thanks filled one and I’ll probably post about how it truly went sometime next week… until then, a happy one to you.

Creole, Josies Wedding, NOLA, Po Boys

Craving New Orleans

This was what I ate one weekend last year in New Orleans… and I’m craving all of it, right at this very moment–reminiscing with serious munchies is not good for anyone, anywhere.


Cochon—right off the plane

~~Wood-fired oyster roast

~~Fried Alligator w/chili garlic aioli

~~Louisiana Cochon w/turnips, cabbage and cracklins

~~Smoked Beef Brisket w/horseradish potato salad

Desire Oyster Bar

~~Turtle Soup

~~Mixed Greens

~~Dzn raw Oysters

~~Gulf Shrimp and Oyster Po’Boy

~~Hush puppies


Café DuMonde

~~Café Au Lait


ACME Oyster Bar

~~Dzn Raw Oyster

~~Chargrilled Oysters w/seasoned butter and Romano cheese

~~Oysters Remoulade

~~Fried Oysters w/Hush Puppies

The Clover Grill

~~Pecan Pie ala mode

~~Vanilla Milkshake


Café Envive

~~Southern biscuits and sausage gravy w/hashbrowns

~~Brie and Ham omlette on croissant

~~Café au lait

Croissant D’or

~~Pan au chocolat


The Saddest Dog in NOLA


baking, caramel anything, pumpkin goodness

Fattening up in Fall

Pumpkin Bread with Caramel Cream Cheese Icing

My first job in a kitchen involved desserts and every winter I let that side come out to play. This bread was more like a cake, extremely moist, strong in pumpkin flavor and puffed up nicely in the oven.
I grabbed the frosting recipe from here and the pumpkin bread recipe from over yon, to which I added some chopped pecans to the top of it, instead of inside the bread, in hopes they crunch up a bit. They did and I’ve gorged myself on it for the past three days. One other note–it was baked in a large glass dish, rather than bread pans, adding about 10 minutes to the baking time.

When I stored this I kept the frosting and the bread separate which worked out as the frosting is a bit on the sweeter side. Don’t be afraid to use a little less powdered sugar than is called for in the recipe.

game meats, Llama, No on One

Llama–it’s what’s for dinner

Every time I venture home to NY I manage to disturb members of my family with the food that I eat, which generally isn’t hard because they’re very much a meat and potatoes kind of group. Going home, I gorged on things from my childhood–fish fry from down the road, cider donuts and hot fudge sundaes–comfort foods that are only that when they spark a good food memory.
The last day in NY I had one goal, to go to Adventures in Food Trading and get us something different for Thanksgiving dinner. While I had dreams of caribou or elk, both of which we’ve had before in the form of jerky and steak, I left their warehouse with a 5# rack of venison and a ribeye of llama.
I had all good hopes that the llama would be part of a celebratory meal, planning to cook it on Election Day, as Mainers went to the polls to vote on gay marriage and medical marijuana. While the day only turned out to be half a success, the meal proved more satisfying than the results.
Needless to say, there aren’t many recipes for llama online, so I treated it like a typical ribeye of beef, it was seasoned, seared and finished off in the oven until the middle was barely warm. As it cooked, it smelled heavily of lamb, but when eaten it proved to be the perfect middle ground between that and beef. Like many, i sometimes find lamb a bit gamey–depending on the prep–and this was lacking any edge. As the package stated, it was mild and lean, and honestly one of the best game meats I’ve ever had.

deep red and gorgeous

Roasted maple and brown sugar squash