Welcome to the blog of the Rehoboth Beach Cheese Company. Pull up a bar stool and experience our Counter Culture!

I'm Andy Meddick, Owner and President of the Rehoboth Beach Cheese Company. In 2005, I left my corporate I.T. job in Washington DC, to relocate with my spouse's business to the DE beaches. What to do now we live in a state where chicken houses can often outnumber human? Faced with a four hour round trip to the closest decent food market, I opened my first store, Good For You Market, a full service grocery store, focusing on organic, natural, and gourmet foods. In the worst economy since the 1930s, I won Best of Delaware awards three years running. After four years, I decided to simplify the business, re-aligning to focus on what we did best. The result is the Rehoboth Beach Cheese Company. We sell (retail and wholesale) artisan/farmstead cheeses, charcuterie, organic produce,and other specialty foods such as spices and seasonings. We also teach cheese classes, cater, sell online, and consult with other businesses to build their cheese programs.

I've learned much since starting out. For example, staffing was a steep learning curve, and I discovered that a savvy sales and marketing professional lay dormant in an I.T. geek! Systems analysis, business analysis, database design and development, data architecture, web design, specialty cheeses and foods, organic farming, catering, and cooking. What do all these threads have in common? Curiosity! It begets technique, which in turn begets better solutions to commond needs. Why complain about lack of choice, if you're not willing to offer an alternative? Our move, and my business development has taught me to participate in life, and to be ever curious! Enjoy!

Jun 25, 2012

Is Gingham Ever Appropriate?

This morning I awakened at quarter of an hour that no one should ever be roused unless there are international flights involved. One thought flirted with my consciousness, "Is gingham ever appropriate?" Could it be that simple - could gingham be the reason for the lack of z's? A fashion faux pas my somnabulistic Robin Hood? I looked the word up - nope, no z in gingham according to Wikipedia. More thought was deemed appropriate for this predawn enigma. Body parts were scratched, yawns stifled, Jack Russell Terriers walked. I think a tea kettle may have been drafted.

It's been a strange, yet compelling few weeks, so you'll forgive my mental meander. There was a drive from Rehoboth Beach, Delaware to Miami Florida. I stumbled on the set of Tru TV's "South Beach Tow" and got included in the filming of the next season as I stood transfixed by Bernice's ability to ramp up from subdued to screaming between, "Cut" and, "Action." 

Later that day I recorded my own South Beach Toe when I almost lost a toe nail in my fervor to take up outdoor running. 

I was in DC for a week at the summer Fancy Foods show & was initiated into the, "Men o'Cheese" group. However, just like the Freemasons, my lips are sealed. I had a side trip out to Virginia's mixing bowl. Not a kitchen supplies store as it turns out. Who knew?

Ginge & I did not kill each other during the 2 day drive south to Miami. Ginge did have a minor meltdown when I insisted we (i.e. he) drive our large rental truck around the tight squares of Savannah, GA. Score 1 for me since we got our moving truck stuck behind a horse and buggy occupied by a microphone wielding tour guide whose genteel enunciation was none the worse for wear over a tinny microphone. I at least enjoyed the free tour. Ginge was, well being a ginge, all fired up and nowhere to go fast. I believe I heard him mutter "I'm going to miss the 11am breakfast at McDonalds if Scarlet O'Hara doesn't wrap it up." Wherever Equus go, we go. 

I'll spare you the domestic details about our Miami trip, but will share some of my Facebook updates. This I do in homage to the schamncy Lincoln Road shop assistant who suffered my innocent reply, "It's the humidity I dislike" to her conversational gambit, "Are you a fan of the Miami Heat?" They do not suffer sweaty fools gladly in the basketball obsessed Magic City. And yes, I had to Google - I thought it was baseball.

"4 kids. 4 drums. 1 Baggage Claim + 1 huge headache. I'll do the math if you leave the kids and/or the drums at home."

"That's a lot of Vera Bradley for so early. Poor guy."

"How can this be a red eye when the Illy coffee stand is closed?"

"I'm soaked & I smell like fried chicken. Why couldn't I have gotten stuck in a bar?"

"Wondering if I can get a cab to bring me scotch?"

"I love cycling around this crazy art deco spanish mid century modern city in the evening. Surreal (in a good way) for this boy from the Valleys. 84F at 9pm. Scent of olive oil frying, coriander, the ocean, and tropical flowers on the cool breeze. Spanish being spoken everywhere. Sometimes I think I'm in southern Spain, especially when cycling the ocean boardwalk paths. Lovely."

This was followed by...

"The douchebag stole my bike and now my phone autotype recognises douchebag. A mixed blessing."

"Can I bring a bag of beets in my carry on? They're not a liquid, gel, or in my shoes or underpants. Anyone?"

"Is it wrong to want to slap the jolly people who've been playing paddle ball for 45 minutes next to me? I guess if you have to ask... Zen enough for you?"

"Forget Gatorade - Dale's Pale Ale works for me after a long bike ride!"

"Stunned. Just had the guy who works the counter at the FedEx office basically tell me to go back to England, or whichever country it is I'm from. Dude, I'm from Wales. I've been an American citizen for a decade & a USA taxpayer for 2 decades and I don't understand the relevance of nationality to customer service. Who's training these guys? "Eva beware of the city. It's hungry and cold. Can't be controlled." Indeed!"

"Ever the over-achiever. I've developed runner's toe after only 2 outdoor track runs in Miami."

"Guy next to me at SBUX is clipping his nails. Slowly. #indangeroflosingbreakfast"

"Just paid $4.75 for a 20oz bottle water. Movie only cost $11."

"At SBUX, Ipod tells me I burned 24 calories cycling here. Lemon poundcake is 500 calories. Belly good!"

"Surreal moment of the night. Good Morning Baltimore from the high seas. Nice connection back to James Marsden!"

"Wierd being at the beach on one's own when it's busy. I feel like Mr Bean!" 

"Water just emptied pretty fast. Guys spotted two 4' sharks! Where's Chief Brody?"

"Weather's gorgeous today. Beats tropical storm Andy yesterday. Dragging my empanada & beer filled belly to the beach! It ain't gonna be pretty!"

"Actually contemplating a jog tomorrow. Intimidating. Yet to see anyone look tired whilst jogging the streets/parks of Miami. Myself, I can barely speak when I'm moving!"

"Staring at my bike locked up in a pool of water & wishing I'd had the sense to lock it up under the umbrella table next to the lamp post. Doh!"

"City apartment living can take some getting used to. Dude close your bathroom blinds. Please!"

"Saved. The toaster has arrived. Thank you a very warm UPS man"

"Overheard at SBUX, "Remember when it got cold a few years back & the iguanas were falling out of the trees?" Good times!"

"That was interesting. First time (and second time) I ever got stung by a jellyfish (twice mind you)."

"My world traveler husband just asked the cable guy if he's German. "No, I'm Cuban" came the reply. Close but no cigar!"

"I don't think any male under 30 owns a shirt in Miami."

"Reading reviews for gyms. Trying to find a gym to work out at while in SOBE. I'm quoting a review, "Provided one the strangest gym experiences ever when I walked in to find a drag queen DJ'ing in the middle of the day." Gotta love Miami."

"Roadtrip. Not even out of Rehoboth & I need to pee!"  

OK, so cue the record scratch sound effect. What was it that woke me so early if not for the gingham? I saw it in the kitchen while waiting on line for the tea kettle. It's L & O day today. The Limoncello and Orangecello has done its magic and now becomes an adult beverage. Into the freezer it goes, and we'll have booze before July is out! Recipe will have to be included in a future column. I'm all out of words.

And, oh, back to the gingham. Turns out I had a column due and the gingham, well while it it may not be appropriate for dinner with friends, fresh cheeses, peaches, blueberries and strawberries are here, signifying early summer picnic season, so what other use is there for gingham? And that, dear readers is the subject of a future column... 

This column is dedicated to my two wisest and generous friends in the food biz (you know who you are). Your advice is much appreciated, and I'm sincerely touched and motivated to make you proud. I leave it to the delicate, yet wise words of a certain New Jersey lady, who leaned in close with words of advice to her future son in law on his wedding day, "Son, don't f*** it up!" With the gifts of great wisdom shared comes a great responsibility. I am in your debt. Thank you. I'll try not to f*** it up!

May 31, 2012

Mo-roccan This Dish! All Aboard the Marrakesh Express!

Got a lot of requests for my recipe for my spicy toasty quinoa dish whose photo I posted to our Facebook page last week, so, flushed with appreciation, je te presente!

I've been reading Jack Turner's Spice: A History of a Temptation recently. Lazing on the front porch in the steamy humidity of our mid-Atlantic Memorial Day weekend, it was not hard to drift away to the spice islands. Dinner beckoned, and well, "When the schmeckon beckons" whom am I to say no? The cupboard yielded: organic red quinoa, cashews, and chickpeas, cumin, and garam masala (an aromatic, sweet, slightly spicy blend of cardamom, cinnamon, cloves, cumin, black pepper,and coriander). The fridge yielded organic carrots, gold beets, Medjool dates, and a lemon. The freezer had a bag of frozen peas to be used before I could get fresh in season. The garden begged me to pick from our already groaning mint bushes. What to do? Spices always take me to those colorful towering cones of spices in the Moroccan Medina, so some kind of Moroccan inspired dish. Who was I to know that later that week Bravo TV's Around The World In 80 Plates would land in the Medina in Marrakesh? Incidentally, kudos to the copywriters at the Bravo website for coming up with a line I'd be proud to have owned, "Funky cold Medina!" Without further ado, voila!

Toasted Spicy Quinoa (serves 4)

 Quinoa is an ancient grain of the Incas and contains all the essential amino acids necessary for our bodies to synthesize protein. As such quinoa is a complete protein and is a low-cost, healthy substitute for all or part of meat in a dish. I love to cook with spices - any dish when cooked fresh, or added to leftovers can be enriched.


  • 1/2 cup red quinoa
  • 1 15oz can chickpeas
  • 1/3 cup cashews
  • 2 large carrots
  • 2 small (1 large) yellow beets
  • 1 cup petite peas
  • 1 large lemon (use organic since we need the rind)
  • 4 Medjool Dates (roughly chopped into 1/4 inch pieces)
  • 2 teaspoons garam masala blend
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin (or 1/2 teaspoon whole cumin seeds)
  • 2 large sprigs fresh mint (yields 2 tablespoons chopped). Any variety. I had chocolate mint.


  • Rinse the quinoa with water in a sieve. Set aside.
  • Heat a dry cast iron skillet. (no need for oil). Add quinoa and cumin, and spread with a spatula. Heat for a couple minutes. Add drained can chickpeas and cashews. Continue heating, spreading with spatula. Remove from heat when quinoa starts to jump and smells like popcorn. Do not burn the quinoa. It will spoil the dish. It is OK to have a little 'char' on the cashews and chickpeas.
  • Remove chickpeas and cashews from quinoa and set aside.
  • Boil 1 cup water and add quinoa. Simmer covered for about 15 minutes until the little 'tails' pop out of the quinoa seeds. It's OK to have the quinoa 'al-dente', just not rock hard!
  • Roughly chop the carrots and beets. Add together with peas to a steamer and steam until still a little crunchy.
  • Zest the lemon. 
  • Chop the mint.
  • In a non-reactive bowl, combine the freshly squeezed juice of the lemon (about 2 tablespoons) with the garam masala and chopped mint.
  • Add vegetables, chickpeas, cashews, chickpeas, Medjool dates, and cooked quinoa to dressing. Mix well.
  • Plate. Garnish with lemon rind and fresh mint.
  • Eat immediately. Also delicious cold when made ahead. Popular at summer cookouts. 

Dec 22, 2011

A wise man once said, "When you have nothing to say, it's best to say nothing." So, just sayin', I ain't been sayin', know what I'm saying?

Here I am, an hour to kill waiting on some software to download to complete a client project. So, off the clock, and to the blog to finally say something
Yikes, December 22 already. Scratch that, finally! This year has been like wading through treacle. Or like watching our two Jack Russell Terriers try to get through the dog door at the same time. A lot of activity, no apparent progress. I haven't felt like I had much to say recently. Not much news on the business and professional fronts. For much of this year I alternated between feeling barely above water, or going crazy with the frustration of all plan, no progress. As I look back on this year, I realize it wasn't half bad. It actually was a most interesting year. When things seem to be slow, there's really lots going on!

I'm not a big fan of New Year's Eve. I'd prefer to do it Masterpiece Theater style, rent an old cottage on a remote coastline, hunker down with a bunch of friends, and experience drama Alan Ayckbourn would be proud to script. Failing that, spouse, dogs, and I hunker down in front of the TV, and they're waking me for midnight. Beach towns in Delaware - not so big on the festivities. I'm thankful I have a family to hunker down with, regardless of falling asleep before the Swarovski chandelier drops.

St. Govan's Chapel, Pembroke Coast, West Wales
I'm always in a funny mood this time of year. Maudlin verging on muddling. Excited verging on over- stimulated. How does one process the cognitive dissonance of looking back as well as forward? It's all a little schizophrenic. If we're not spending the holidays in Wales, I get very homesick. Odd when I've been in the States going on twenty years. I miss my family very much, and in a great smack in the face with a wet kipper kind of irony, I had no appreciation of how beautiful Wales was whilst living there!

Cliffs - Rhossilli, South Wales

Here in Delaware, the mid-Atlantic coastline naps, emitting the quietest of  sighs. Quite lovely in its understated elegance. Yet in this year of subliminal progress, I feel the need for cliffs with their raw outrage squaring off shoulder to shoulder with the sea, energizing my mood, challenging my assumptions. I miss landscape in this flattest of states. I miss a dramatic meeting of land and sea.

Tom laughs when visiting UK coasts. "Why are there no fences? How can you walk right up to the edge?" Well he's not quite that polite about it! It was the same outrage when trying to find Stonehenge on a very dark December evening on Salisbury Plain. "You'd think a national monument would be lit up!" I think they're too busy appreciating the view to ponder a plummet and well, who in their right mind would visit Stonehenge in the dark? Just sayin'...

It's, "Armageddon Week" on the History Channel. Any other year, the timing of such an odd collection of programming would cause a few raised eyebrows in this season of celebration and joy. Yet this year with everyone in such a high state of anxiety, it actually gets viewers - hard when you're up against the open house schedules. Nothing like a good apocalypse to get you in the party mood.

So, back to the treacle. Oh the irony. I love treacle! There's two jars of it in the pantry awaiting the day when I get the odd urge to mix up a sponge pudding, or pastry for a tart. This year seems to have been about appraisal, closure, simplification, and, appropriately for this season, an anticipation of hard work, and good things ahead. My high school biology teacher on seeing my scruffy lab desk cautioned me, "Mr Meddick, work in a puddle, mind in a muddle." It appears this year's theme for me has been working on the puddle. No puddle no muddle. No muss, no fuss!

I got my early professional training in software development for IBM UK. A key part of putting a project into production was the post implementation project review. We called it the, "Lessons Learned Review." I was one of the wierd people who looked forward to this meeting. The job was done, the overtime checks cashed (those where the days!). The meaning in the post-implementation review, for me, was in lessons to carry ahead - forward momentum, not about life in the rear view mirror. So this week as we move through and beyond the symbolism of the Christmas and Channukah celebrations, we hit that quiet week before New Year. No physical work really gets done. Retailers and service professionals are exhausted. Manufacturing and other production businesses are quiet. We go within. We reflect (nurse hangovers!), consider our lessons learned, and make forward plans, "resolutions" if you will, that take us on with the new year.

2012 - it's going to be a great year!
So, do not misunderstand me reader. I love this time of year. Why? Because I love any time of year, the whole darn experience - spring, summer, fall, winter, Christmas, New Year, and on... Each brings its own rhythm. Sometimes, admittedly, the best you can do, is get through this moment now. Yet, you reap what you sow, and learn from those moments also. Take this season to reflect, appreciate, learn a few lessons, and sow good things for the coming year. Above all let your curiosity outweigh your fear, and always live with an 'attitude of gratitude.' I have some great things resolved for the new year - on the professional, and the business front. Stay tuned for some exciting announcements on the latter. What are your resolutions (plans) for the new year?

Thank you everyone for your business this year and for your support and encouragement for our future plans.

Have a safe holiday period wherever you may be celebrating.

Faith, peace, love, and great food y'all.

P.S. I did learn something of interest on Armageddon Week. One of only two large extinction-size meteorites to hit the earth impacted in the Chesapeake Bay. We still have a 500 mile crater in the sea floor to show for it. We almost got cliffs! Pity the poor dinosoar sitting at Starbucks that day, complaining that nothing ever happens in Delaware. Bang! Then again maybe he didn't hear the impact above the coffee grinders. Just sayin'...

Nov 5, 2011

Remember, remember, the Fifth of November. Gunpowder, treason, and plot...

Running a small business means you wear many hats: IT Manager, HR Manager, Payroll, General Manager, Marketing and Advertising, Buying, Cheesemonger, Educator, traveling salesman, occasional Farmer, you name it! All of this hat wearing can sometimes result in, well, head wearing! So this week I’m going to take a fun diversion and share some of my British culture. I’m going to tip my worn head to a UK festival occurring today, November 5th

When we were kids, we used to call the November 5th festival, “Bonfire Night,” but it is also known as, “Guy Fawkes Night”. November 5th marks the Gunpowder Plot of November 5, 1605. A group of conspirators attempted to blow up the British Houses of Parliament, the King and his government. The plot was thwarted, barely! 
Why did we call it, “Bonfire Night?” Festivities, both public and private center around building of large and small, ‘bonfires’ – stacked up for a couple of weeks prior to the event. Effigies of Guy Fawkes (one of the conspirators) are burnt on the bonfire and fireworks lit.  Communities gather around a common bonfire. The community children will make their own effigy, or, “Guy.” We would trawl through our community dragging the poor guy, which we made out of donated clothes and my Mom’s knotted panty hose stuffed with newspaper. We would knock on doors, calling, “Penny for the guy!” This was a common way for us to raise the necessary monies to pay for community fireworks. In the public park at the end of our road, adult volunteers would build our bonfire using donated scrap wood, furniture, newspapers, and so on. We would take turns guarding the bonfire since it was not uncommon for the kids from other communities to raid your bonfire. It was a huge coup if you managed to kidnap a neighboring community’s guy and you thought yourself honored indeed if you were chosen to store your guy in your Dad’s garden shed! On Bonfire Night, individual homes in the community would build small fires around the community bonfire and we would use them to cook food for the evening.

Since it gets dark very early in November in the UK, we would be let out of school early to get home in time for our community festivities. The community leaders would light fireworks, and the highlight of the evening would be the placing of our “Guy” on the top of the bonfire. We’d all light the main bonfire using torches from our own smaller fires. Finally we would share our food around the large bonfire before dragging ourselves home exhausted and stinking of smoke! The main bonfire would still be burning the next evening when we got home from school! In later years due to concerns over injury from private events, the government clamped down, practically eliminating private events, replacing with local government sponsored public festivities.

Typical foods eaten during the Guy Fawkes, or Bonfire Night festivities are: black treacle items (no jokes about English teeth please!) such as Bonfire Toffee (treacle toffee), Parkin (a soft cake made of oatmeal, ginger, and molasses), Toffee Apples (candy apples), Baked Potatoes (baked in aluminum foil in the fires), a dish made with Black Peas and vinegar (ychafi!), and baked groaty pudding (a stodgy, heavy sponge pudding made with soaked groats, beef, leeks, onion and beef stock) and similar in texture to “Spotted Dick.”

So, back to Guy Fawkes and the Gunpowder Plot since history fascinates me as much as food! Why did Guy Fawkes and friends want to blow up the English parliament? Short version: Queen Elizabeth I died in 1603, and was succeeded by James I. English Catholics had been persecuted under Elizabeth I’s rule, and hoped that James I would be more tolerant of their religion. This was not the case, and a group of thirteen men, led by Robert Catesby, and including Guy Fawkes, decided on the violent protest of blowing up the Houses of Parliament, killing the King, Prince of Wales (the male heir to the British throne), and members of Parliament unsympathetic to their cause. It is rumored that some of the group became concerned over the harm they would cause others and a letter sent to a member or parliament warning him to stay away on November 5 was intercepted, and brought to the King’s attention. The plot was foiled, and Guy Fawkes was caught ‘red handed’ with 36 barrels of gunpowder in a room beneath the House of Lords. Awkward! Some time later all conspirators were caught, and true to the brutal times, were hung, drawn and quartered as a public message of deterrence.

You have to ask yourself, what exactly are the British celebrating? That the plot was foiled, or that it was attempted in the first place? Either way, Bonfire Night sparked my imagination as a kid and was a jolly load of fun. I shall be eating baked potatoes on the grill this evening and waving a candle around since I don’t think the City of Rehoboth would think too kindly of a bonfire downtown!

Interestingly for those in Lewes, Sussex County, Delaware, the town of Lewes in the English county of Sussex hosts one of the largest public Bonfire Night festivities in the UK, necessitating the closure of the town center. Mayor Ford, any local volunteers? 

Be careful on these dark nights, whatever you’re celebrating. 

Oh, don't forget, put your clocks back one hour tonight for 'tis the end of daylight savings!

Oct 21, 2011

Holy Mongers Among Us (Batman)!

It's Friday. I have to sell cheese in a muddy field. I cut my finger. I'm cranky! I needed a diversion. This story caught my eye. Lots of people have picked up on it, but, I found the real story lies beneath the story. Where's Paul Harvey when you need him?

The Center for Retail Research in a recent report with the mildly threatening, yet irresistible name of, "The First Worldwide Shrinkage Survey," found that cheese is the most frequently 'lifted' item out of shops at the global level. Well, they phrased it as, "Shrinkage Losses of Most Vulnerable Lines." Oh, where do I start with that?

This got me thinking, in a (bi)lateral kind of way. The venerable institution never called me! I beg to differ in all of the shops I've had, and all of the venues I sell in/at. I've not found their statistics to bear true. Why? 

Here's my theory. If we as customers support the true cheesemongers among us, then the retailer curiously experiences less, uhm, 'shrinkage,' (and who wouldn't want to support that? Look, if I have to endure politely all those, "Who cut the cheese?" jokes, then please indulge my Beavis & Butthead euphemisms!

Why would the retailer experience less 'shrinkage' (itself a euphemism for pilfering)? Simply put, it's hard to put the lift in shoplift when fine cheese is cut to order, not pre-cut and left to 'age' in the open environment of the store. Customers are getting short-changed if they miss out on the theatrical experience of buying artisan/farmstead cheeses from a knowledgeable professional at the cheese counter. Sure, we cut some part of our inventory to meet the needs of our, 'grab and go, got somewhere to be 'now' customers, but the cheesemonger will know their inventory and determine what is suitable to be sold this way. Would you like a story with that (cheese)?

So, my point is, please support your friendly, professional, local cheesemonger who cuts to order for you. Not only do you get a great product, custom picked for your needs, but you also get the knowledge transfer to make you look good. Additionally, please reassure yourself that, by standing on line at the cheese counter, you're helping the retailer minimize shrinkage, keep prices down, and get more of the artisan cheesemaker's hard work in the hands of the people in a manner that supports everyone's bellies and pockets, not the 'shoplifter.'

Let's hear it for the mongers amongus! Are you a member of the American Cheese Society? Do you plan on getting your staff certified as cheese professionals?

Oct 20, 2011

When the Garroxta Gotcha, or Tales Out of Leftie Field!

I read in one of my many cheese books (all apologies to the author, I can't remember which), that sooner or later it happens to everyone at the cheese counter. That mother of all cuts. Not a casual knick and a curseword. No, a Monty Python gusher of a flesh wound, with all the accompanying woozy spells...

Well, as the saying goes, s**t happens! S**t happened to me last night. I got, 'the cut.' That this had to happen in the restaurant kitchen of my friend, a chef and restaurateur, treating us to an informal private pre-opening dinner, was, well, humiliating! Yes, we watched as my pride left the building, preceding my fall from competence. As it happens, Cat Stevens was wrong, the first cut is not the deepest. The first cut was a graze. This was deep! Deeper than the pile of metaphors I'm burying myself in!

I tried to brush off how awful I felt - dizzy, woozy, slightly nauseous. All caused by the sudden loss of pride, not the amount of blood (which was impressive), or cabin pressure. My friend the chef, already a little crazy (in a talented, creative wild man kinda way!), is made crazier by the fact, that after months of hiking up the mountain of obstacles to open his new restaurant, he now sits in that elevated plateau of rarified air, weeks away from opening, and subject to zealous bursts of oxygen and sleep-starved creative energy. I should have known better than my poor choice of joke intended to lighten the load of my humility and put the focus back where it should have been - his food and the restaurant. You see, this idiot (me) thought it appropriate to offer my copiously pumping blood as paint somewhere in the building. I think he actually wanted to do it! Oh, my poor attempt at humor gets worse. Me, noticing the chorizo that Chef friend has made, quips, "Well you could always use the blood for a blood sausage." This consequently steals the thunder from his presentation of the blood sausage he is about to show us. Still, everyone forgets later when they tuck into the sausage. Why do I not notice when I'm the only one laughing at my jokes?

Spouse stepped in, not in that 'lick of the handkerchief soothing maternal way.' No, more in that, "I'll knock you into the middle of next week if youse two don't stop your whining, don't make me come in there" kinda maternal way! Spouse tells me to stick my arm in the air, suck it up and eat. We'll stop at the E.R. on the way home because, "It would be rude to leave now since Chef friend had gone to all this trouble!"

While spouse sits knocking back the wine (whine), Chef friend, also a volunteer firefighter, saves my thumb by using an elastic band to tournaquet; then goes back to the quarter pig roasting, while simultaneously attending to the blood sausage and chorizo he'd made by hand! My hero, I swoon (lack of blood)!

So, what culinary crime did I commit to earn my badge of shame cut? I offered my help. I was delegated the cheese board to prepare. Distracted by chatting, I reached for a different knife, so that the Colston Basset Stilton knife would not contaminate the Garroxta I needed to cut next. I did not even notice that instead of a ten inch chefs knife, I had grabbed a ten inch paring knife. It gets better! I used the knife upside down. When I sliced down with all the pressure I knew appropriate to slice a wheel of rinded Garroxta, the blade sliced me, and the cheese was merely tickled by the top side. I swear I heard it chuckle as the knife bit to the knuckle! You see, the Garroxta (prounounced gah-ROTCH-ah), well, it gotcha!

What have I learned? Well, Jack Byrnes (Robert DiNiro) was right. It's all about, "opposable thumbs" (Gregory). Having one out of commision has turned me into a leftie, wondering how the heck I'm going to, "Suck it up" and live to serve Milton Farmers Market with cheese tomorrow! One has to laugh! One has to open that book on knife skills I got for my birthday, and quit relying on Top Chef to learn cutting technique!

The cheese I featured in this article were Garrotxa, and Colston Basset Stilton. For more information, on Garroxta, click here, for Colston Basset Stilton, click here.

Who is my Chef friend? For those who know spouse and I well, you can probably guess. I won't divulge yet though. Chef has a great new concept, authentic, of its time and place, and unique in our area (at least for now - imitation will be the sincerest form of flattery). He is so close to opening, I do not want to steal his thunder. All I can say is I've had a glimpse of how the space will appear. Impressive! We've enjoyed more than a glimpse of the food. Yes, it gets our, "We Know Yum" stamp of approval. Rustic with a sophisticated twist, and delicious!

Oct 18, 2011

Poppadom Preach...

So, I was ruminating (no it will not ruin your eyesight!) the other evening. Why is there only 1 Indian restaurant in Delaware? I love Indian food. The attention to detail. The use of the freshest spices, the colors, the aromas, the textures, and yes, the nutrition.

I come from a land where there is an Indian restaurant and associated pub every block (kind of like donut shops and funeral homes in New Jersey), and the national dish is "Chicken Tikka Masala." Trust the Brits to create a 'fake' Indian dish based on a cuisine from a former colony! That's a lot of chutzpah! A lorra, lorra chutzpah (my British readers will get that cultural reference). Any guesses my American friends?

The almost complete absence of Indian food in Delaware has forced me to experiment, and become adept at cooking Indian food, much to the chagrin of my LSS (long suffering spouse). When my Mam in Wales makes a curry, it is a 2-day event. Mam makes it all from scratch, even making her own curry spices from cumin, coriander, galangal, ginger, tumeric, and so on. None of this store bought 'curry spice mixture' for her boy! Being Brits we will incorporate chips also (chunky French Fries)!

So,what's my favorite Indian dish? It's a vegetable biryani with a panak paneer sauce and Peshwari Naan bread. Biryani is typically a meat based dish, but I prefer the vegetarian version.

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