A Tosa resident since 1991, Christine walks the dog, cooks but avoids housework, writes and reads, and enjoys the company of friends and strangers. Her job takes her around the state, learning about people's health. A Quaker (no, they don't wear blue hats or sell oatmeal or motor oil), she has been known to stand on both sides of the political and philosophic fence at the same time, which is very uncomfortable when you think about it. She writes about pretty much whatever stops in to visit her busy mind at the moment. One reader described her as "incredibly opinionated but not judgmental." That sounds like a good thing to strive for!
After spending Thursday with the County Board Audit and Finance Committee in hopes of overriding the county executive's transit budget, it seemed a little odd to spend the lunch hour today with Scott Walker.
As we sat in the Milwaukee County Finance and Audit Committee meeting today, the intern turned and asked me "Aren't they supposed to be listening?"
3:30 am. I lie in bed unable to sleep. The wind outside is strong, and I am worried. I think wrestling thoughts about bills, weatherstripping, the website I maintain, but mostly about my mother.
When a sewer pipe broke behind Underwood School last Thursday, spilling 9,000 gallons from the toilets of Brookfield, Elm Grove, West Allis, and Wauwatosa into the creek, no one seemed much concerned.
One of the Google Alerts I get daily on the subject “aging” offered this tasty tidbit: “The Art of Aging.” Who could resist? I clicked the link.
The article was about cheese. But might there be some lessons in aging cheese for aging people? After looking at The Nibble and Whey to Go! On The Art of Aging (Gracefully), I’m ready to say yes.
Author Stephanie Zonis writes:
“When I mentioned to a friend that I was writing an article on aged cheeses, she shuddered, adding that she couldn’t stand 'strong, stinky, old cheeses.' Hold on, there! There are some very strong, sharp, er, particularly aromatic aged cheeses, but they’re not all like that, not by any means. . .”
“Cheeses are either fresh or aged. Fresh cheeses are generally mild and soft in texture. . . creamy and somewhat bland. . .Aged cheeses are. . . multi-textured. One of the great things about (them) is their range in flavors. . . some are sweeter. . . beautifully complex.”
“The aging process is also known as ripening, maturing, or affinage.” (That’s French for “refining.”)
Here’s a point I can identify with:
“Without a good rind, a cheese will lose too much moisture during refining.” I don’t know about you, but my own refinement has involved a distinct loss of moisture.
The cheesemaker’s solution? Wash the exterior periodically with brine, oil, brand, whey, beer, cider, or wine. While the article didn't mention it, I've had some good cheeses that applied the wine internally as well.
The paths of people and cheese diverge when it comes to ripening, though. Cheeses do best in dark caves: people don’t.
One last lesson: You just can't judge a cheese by its appearance. Its beauty lies in its deeper essence.
A version of this entry appeared in my other blog, Aging Maven, as well.