Tag Archives: Max McCalman

Happy Cheesy New Year! The House Mouse Seeks an Education in Fermentation

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Over the past five years, I have written about cheese from the point of view of a cheese lover and enthusiast, wanting to spread the love of cheese far and wide. My story, while quirky isn’t new; child grows up loving cheese, only eats cheese, discovers there is more to food than cheese, still decides to write about mostly cheese. I have met some incredible folks over the years who I consider rock stars of the cheese world. People like Ari Weinzweig of Zingerman’s Deli and one of the most motivating speakers I have ever heard.  Maitre Fromager and author Max McCalman; his books are my fromage bibles. James Beard Award-winning author Laura Werlin who sat next to me in a restaurant in North Carolina and it was awesome and I totally embarrassed myself by telling her so. Co-founder of Culture Magazine, Kate Arding, who recently opened her own shop called Talbot & Arding in Hudson, New York. Kate may be one of the most influential people I have ever met and she probably doesn’t even know it. Early on, when I began writing The House Mouse, Kate actually read my blog, commented from time to time and encouraged me to keep writing, even when I doubted myself and wanted to quit. There are so many others I have met, fellow bloggers, cheesemakers, etc. and after all this time, I realize something…I feel like I still don’t know much more than when I started about cheese. I mean, I know some basics, but after five years I feel I should at least have made my first batch of ricotta or be able to explain animal and vegetable rennet better. Nope. My fermentation education when it comes to cheese gets a C plus at best. So, The House Mouse New Years Resolution…a cheesy education. At least a better, more structured one. Now all I need is to know where to start. This is my question to my cheese peeps out there. I would love some guidance, suggestions, anything as to where I might begin. I have some books (see above) and I am already an American Cheese Society member, but there are no monger jobs in the area (a common suggestion) so any other suggestions would be great.

I’m looking forward to an enlightening new year full of fabulous fromage and fun factoids. Feel free to comment anytime and remember to Stay Cheesy!

The House Mouse

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Holiday Cheeses and The House Mouse Festivus Cheese Book Giveaway

Thanksgiving Cheeseboard: Photo taken by The House Mouse

Thanksgiving Cheeseboard: Photo taken by The House Mouse

When it comes to holiday meals, I try to be kind to those I love and spare them the potential of food poisoning by bringing the cheese. It is just safer that way and also, to be honest, gets a ton of compliments and I feel like a total rock star for the first few hours as we await the main dishes being created in the kitchen. Then my brother-in-law’s three kinds of turkey (including a confit), my sister-in-law’s magic brusselsprouts, and my other sister-in-law’s yearly creation of awesome knock our socks off and the cheese stands alone. This year, I wasn’t taking any chances and decided to bring in the big guns and show I could hang with the best of them in our family version of Kitchen Stadium. Let’s just say, Game, Set, Match.  Continue reading

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Cheesy Gift Guide From The House Mouse Part 2 – Books

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Books have always been a huge part of my life – my parents encouraging my reading with trips to the library and bookstore on a weekly basis. I’ll never forget the time my mom got an angry call from my fourth grade teacher complaining about my refusal to participate in recess activities in order to sit under a tree with my new copy of I, Trissy by Norma Fox Mazer. My mother didn’t even respond. She just hung up the phone, came right up to the school (only four blocks away), sat down under the tree with me with her own book, glared up at the teacher and then proceeded to read right along with me. I thought my teacher was going to spit nails, but she just crossed her arms and stomped off. A great memory for sure, and yet another reason books have always been one of my favorite gifts to receive. Cheese books have become a particular passion now that I’m older and can appreciate them, and this year’s batch of fromage reads is pretty snazzy. I will admit to only owning one on my list of book gifts so should anyone wish to play secret cheesy Santa.

Okay, here we go for Cheesy Gift Guide Part 2 – Books: 

A quick note: all titles are available on both amazon.com and bn.com, however I encourage everyone to seek out local bookstores or click on the links to the websites and purchase directly from the author or the link. Shop local and support the community. If you want to buy big box and use a discount, head out to your local Barnes & Noble brick and mortar and save a job like mine. Alright, preaching done. Here we go!

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A Cheesy Confession

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Me with a busted arm when I was 10, but you get the point.

This has probably been the hardest post I have ever written since I began writing The House Mouse back in 2009. All the starts and stops, the interruptions and scrapped drafts, the frustrations and not knowing what to say have nearly driven me mad. I mean, I started this post back in May! I finally decided to just stop dancing around and come clean about why I’ve been so silent. This is really hard to say…
I, The House Mouse, am having a hard time eating cheese.  Just writing the words makes me so sad and sick to my stomach both literally and figuratively! I have rebelled against my body for so long and it finally caught up with me in pretty dramatic form. Continue reading

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Max McCalman explains why mysterious Blaui Geiss is worth the $78.00 price tag

Blaui Geiss from Artisanal Premium Cheese

As most cheese lovers know, fabulous fromage does not come cheap and with good reason. The care, effort and timing that go into a single wheel of cheese can make the difference between a splendid table cheese and a complete disaster. For the most part, the cost per pound of cheese reflects that quality and care, but sometimes a cheese is so pricey even the most enthusiastic turophile has to ask why. One such cheese is the rare Blaui Geiss ringing in at $78.00 per six-inch wheel. Continue reading

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6th Annual Oregon Cheese Festival this Saturday

Now that the 2010 World Cheese Championship Cheese Contest has come to an end, why not hop on a plane and fly 2000 miles to Oregon to celebrate!

The 6th Annual Oregon Cheese Festival is this Saturday, March 20th, at Rogue Creamery’s in Central Point, Oregon. Attendees have the opportunity to sample and purchase cheeses from Oregon and California cheese makers during the day-long festival.

Participants include Fraga Farm, Juniper Grove Farm, Pholia Farm, Tumalo Farms, Silver Falls Creamery, Siskiyou Crest Dairy, Tillamook County Creamery, Willamette Valley Cheese Co., Fern’s Edge Dairy, Rivers Edge Chevre, Ancient Heritage Dairy, Cypress Grove, Vella Cheese, Rogue Creamery, and many others. Continue reading

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