A blog for gourmet palates
living on squatter budgets.
Saturday, November 26, 2011
Kiss My Morbier
Muenster, flour, bell pepper, scallion, carnation milk, & butter
Woe betide the creature who steps into my garden when I’m cooking Thanksgiving dinner. For me, cooking is a deep, meditative journey and to prepare for such an adventure, I must nourish my spirit with secret treats that will get me through the congested parking lots, frequent jaunts to Walmart and Whole Foods, chopping, massaging, and leaky onion-eyes. These treats are not on the menu. They’re in my gourmet squatter stash. This year I hooked myself up with a quarter pound of morbier and Boar's Head Prosciutto Piccolo. The prosciutto piccolo tastes like a knock-off Proscuitto di Parma with its yummy, salty bite. And it’s way cheaper. I love morbier funk—the detestable, French cheese aroma that’s comparable to sweaty armpits. I grabbed some Jamaican water crackers from my mother’s cracker jar since they were there. These crackers are thick and can handle the most creative topping towers. I made this crazy dip with mayo, finely chopped rosemary I pulled from my garden, ground black pepper and a spike of scotch bonnet pepper sauce. Increíble. And, of course, there’s the wine. I bought an Australian Grenache not worth mentioning and ended up sipping some Korbel a cousin gave me as a gift. It’s not Champagne, but it served its purpose. I was ready to work. It’s taken me eight whole years t0 master the art of making a creamy mac-n-cheese. Inspired by Haitian cooks’ amazing macaroni au gratin, I subbed whole milk for carnation milk. I also subbed sharp cheddar with Finlandia aged Muenster which is reminiscent of a gorgeous, sharp British cheddar. It was a beautiful Thanksgiving dinner. My father told Jamaican duppy (ghost) stories that had us cry with laughter. I watched my family chew bones, their eyes licking the plates. When my mother wandered into the kitchen, I stuck a piece of piccolo-wrapped morbier into her mouth. “Mmmmm. Where did this come from?,” she asked.