Christmas came early this year – in a box. It wasn’t chocolates – it was cheese.
That’s right, an entire gift box full of cheese, just for me. Well, and whomever decides to come over this weekend, because the Discovery Box ($49.99 only at Calgary Co-op – no they are not paying me to tell you this) has also inspired the theme of our Christmas party this year: Polyester and Cheese. (OK, perhaps it’s more accurate to say our pals Mike and Natasha came up with that particular theme last year, but the Discovery Box jolted my memory. By the way, they’re pretty sure they birthed the Bad Christmas Sweater party too, which has seriously increased the value of all synthetic reindeer sweaters with jingle bells on them.)
But seriously; not only is a cheese smorgasbord the easiest menu I can conceive of, I can’t imagine waking up to Sunday morning’s leftovers. And who doesn’t adore cheese? Especially when it’s minus 30 outside and swimsuit season is about as far away as it’s going to get. (Shoveling snow can be our antidote to all that triple crème – as A put it, shoveling a corner lot is like bikini boot camp, Canadian-style.)
To clarify: I have nothing against chocolates, although I think I like the idea of a box of chocolates more than actually being given the opportunity to make a selection from one – all the nut clusters and caramels are the first to go anyway. (The exceptions, of course, are any that come from Bernard Callebaut, because as everyone knows his chocolates are just the best things on earth.)
The Discovery Box (could be more aptly named Party-in-a-Box or Happiness-in-a-Box, or The-Best-Present-Ever) contains five Canadian-made cheeses: Oka, Champfleury, Chevrita, three-year-old Canadian Reserve cheddar and two Roundoux Triple Crèmes (because hand-to-hand combat isn’t in keeping with the festive season), along with a map to navigate them all – just like you get in a box of chocolates.
Add some homemade Raincoast Crisps, and you have yourself a party.
What says I love you more than a box of cheese?
For Free Stuff Friday today I have a new book courtesy of Simon & Schuster; it’s called The Christmas Cookie Club, by Ann Pearlman (I feel like I’m writing a book report here). To sum: every year on the first Monday of December, Marnie and her twelve closest girlfriends gather in the evening with batches of beautifully wrapped homemade cookies. Everyone has to bring a dish, a bottle of wine, and their stories. Each chapter starts with a cookie recipe and spins the story of a member of the Cookie Club. I started to read it but kept falling asleep – not because it was boring but because I had typically just finished a blog post and could not keep my eyes open any longer without the aid of toothpicks.
I’m missing out on actually hosting/attending a cookie exchange this year, so maybe we could just talk about cookies? What’s everyone baking these days? Which recipes can not go unmade over the holiday season? If you have a post about it, leave a link!
Next week for Christmas I’ve got a really fab giveaway. Here’s a hint: you’ll have to be in Calgary in January. The 12th, to be precise…