Oh, Sunday. Somehow weekends with two young children are never quite as relaxing as one might hope. For some reason little people aren’t born with a sleep-in-till-noon gene and while they may be content parked on the couch in front of Nick Jr. for hours on end, that doesn’t exactly win you a parent of the year award. Instead we’re up too early, on the field for soccer or rushing to tae kwon do or ballet and squeezing in a quick lunch between the next adventure. I’m a big believer in family dinner, but even Sunday supper can be a harried experience with little ones who need to be rushed off to bed. But something I took away from a chat with a favorite cheesemaker a while back inspired our newest family tradition: Sunday cheese.
I was chatting with Lynn Giacomini, maker of Point Reyes Farmstead Cheese, last year about their Toma and how totally smitten my kids were with its sweet, mellow flavor. She explained that it was born of their desire to create a “table cheese” like you might find in Italy — a cheese that sits out for family members to snack on as they come and go. Oh, to live in a place where cheese is so interwoven in daily life. Inspired to create our own such tradition, I now prepare a small cheese plate nearly every Sunday afternoon. Sometimes just remnants of whatever new cheeses I’ve sampled for the blog, but sometimes I pick up a few of the husband and kid favorites as well. (The aforementioned Toma, Pleasant Ridge Reserve, raspberry BellaVitano and a local cave-aged cheese from the farmers market figure heavily in the rotation.) My kids can devour a cheese plate in seconds, so it isn’t always the most leisurely experience … but at least it’s a few minutes of enjoyment before the next meal-time rush.
This weekend, we’re enjoying the fruits of our third-generation fig tree. My uncle has a stand of figs born of my late grandfather’s tree at their childhood home in Washington, DC. The best ever housewarming present was a twig of his tree to plant in our own yard — now two years old, it bore its first fruits this year. My son, who named the tree “Figgy,” checks for ripe fruits every evening. I managed to claim a few for myself and mixed up a simple Figgy Spritzer: one fig, sliced, two parts rosé wine, one part seltzer. And I’m sipping it with Monocacy Gold from local Cherry Glen Farm in Maryland.
I instagram/tweet our Sunday cheese most weekends (@curdwise). If you’d like to join, simply share a picture and use the hashtag #sundaycheese on Twitter, or post to our Facebook wall. Let’s enjoy a few moments of calm over cheese before the new week. Who’s in?