Monday, August 23, 2010

Reflections of a Cheese Lovin' Year

This time last year, I was fixin' to attend my first American Cheese Society (ACS) conference in Austin. Aside from massive amounts of cheese, no idea what to expect. The trip was followed by a journey to Europe & ultimately catapulted this Mission. Now, here I am, 1 year later packing for the same conference, but it feels completely different. This year I head north to Seattle & I am beyond stoked to see friends made throughout the year, chat cheese, & let loose (yes...cleesemakers & mongers like to...well...have a good time).

I am especially pumped to see Sheri Lavigne & her new shop Calf & Kid, which opened back in April. Sheri & I met last year in Austin, both budding cheesers, & a year later her shop is wildly successful AND she has offered to take me in as a house guest for the conference! As the resident Seattle "cheesemongress" she has been invited to some cheese-a-licious events...and yours truly will be riding her coattails as her guest. Rock. On. The stories are bound to be entertaining & of course, I will share.

What a glorious year it has been...enough to make me misty eyed. The places I have traveled, people I have met, and the lessons I have learned in the name of cheese have warm my soul & allowed me to keep focus on the Mission. Speaking of which...I do not have the official update on the space. Unofficially I would say it's looking pretty good. Fist pumps & air drumming reserved until all is signed & sealed. year. Really? More to come from sunny Seattle!

Monday, August 16, 2010

Update. Yeah!

Where do I ever begin? It has been busy busy since my last post with a nice little cold nuzzled in the mix ('s pretty much winter here in SF) that has had me off cheese for the better part of a week (don't worry...I am holding up...sniffle). Lots of good stuff has happened, let the update begin.

First, Oliver & I made a trip to the Hughson to check on the progress of our cukes & provide a little trellis action for them to climb. Sounds like a fairly easy task, but for this rookie farming produced a good bit of comedy. (glance left to see my mallet gracefully missing it's target) After thorough research of the cucumber trellis, we decided to use these here 7 ft T-posts, nylon trellis netting, various wire types, and string. Just for the sake of detail I'll give you the play by play...

1) Pound giant posts in the ground. 3 per row, with the exception of one mini row. 5 rows. 14 posts. (I like math.) Let me just say, I know that mallet looks wimpy...but it was serious heavy. The aftermath was worse than Bowlers Elbow (don't pretend like you don't know what I am talking about).

2) Stretch nylon trellis netting between posts & secure with wire on top & bottom.

3) Secure net to posts with string for good measure.

Voila! A giant jungle gym for mini cucumbers. They are going to love it!

That very evening we cruised to Oakland for the very first East Bay Underground Market & it was ROCKIN'! We melted through 30 lbs of raclette before we sold out. The crowd was psyched, patient, & hilarious! I think my favorite line of the night was..."I'm lactose intolerant & I don't care!" Classic. Loved it. We also received a lovely shout out in the Oakland North, which really put things over the top. I am beyond grateful for the support, excitement, & appetite of this lovely Bay Area. So smitten.

Finally, on the business front it has been a few weeks of conversations with my ever so knowledgeable CPA & lawyer working out investor logistics (If anyone out there is starting a biz & needs a referral, let me know...these guys rock!) & securing angel bucks* to allow this Mission to come to life. 88% done. (Can I get a fist pump?!?) Then of course there has been the hunt for a space, which continues, BUT there is a front runner folks! Yes, that's right...I said it. My next post is likely to be either an euphoric fist pump packed celebration, OR a pretty deflated back to the drawing board wet blanket. Which shall it be? Fingers, toes, arms, legs, & eyes crossed for the former.

To be continued...

*angel bucks: money when you need it

(my first cliff hanger & footnote in the same post! Exciting?)