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every bite of food has a story

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09 May 2007

every bite of food has a story


No matter what I do, I cannot seem to take a bite of food and not taste a story.

When the Chef ordered this cheese for the restaurant the first time, I couldn't stop taking little nibbles. The tangy rind, the oozing smooth layer closest to that rind, and the flaky white center, standing firm. Buche de Maitre Seguin is a beautiful cheese.

Try it crumbled on top of butter leaf lettuce salads, with avocado and champagne vinaigrette. Salad never felt so decadent on the tongue.

I swear, I was just going to post this photo, with no story, no words. Just a photo. That was the plan.

And then, yesterday, after I dropped the Chef off at the restaurant, and gave him a dozen kisses, plus ten more, I walked into the sunshine. And then, I turned around and went back in. The car needed a check-up. I was on my way to the mechanics, where the car would sit in the secret cave for the next few hours. I would write in a nearby coffee shop until nearly five.

Now, here's the problem. If you have to eat gluten-free, and you are in a coffee shop for more than half an hour, you are trapped into hunger. With a few rare exceptions in Seattle, I cannot go into any coffee shop and find something to eat. Muffins, scones, cookies, pizza bread, brioche, little baguettes, and olive oil crackers — they all contain gluten. There is coffee, and bottled water, and tea. But even some herbal teas have malt flavoring in them. Essentially, it's a steady stream of foam and caffeine, with nothing to take the edge off the gnawing in the stomach.

I turned to the Chef and told him of my dilemma. "Do you have some almonds I can have?" (I had not planned ahead.)
His eyes went wide, and his face took on that naughty delight he loves to live in. He raised a finger, to say, "Give me a minute."
I went out into the restaurant to take some more photos.

A minute later, he handed me a white to-go box, folded up and closed. He watched me open it. I sensed his smile when I squealed. Inside? A few pieces of pâte, with a dab of mustard. Pickled ramps. Kalamata olives. And three small rounds of this Buche de Maitre Seguin.

I threw my arms around him, of course. No one has ever packed me such a brown-bag lunch as this.

Every time I taste this cheese now, I will think of this story.


At 6:58 PM, Blogger Deborah Dowd said...

Yet another touching (and delicious post). This might encourage you to forget lunch more often!

At 7:46 PM, Blogger Sasha said...

Sounds tasty.

I know that Fuel on 19th sometimes has those Wow GF chocolate chip cookies, and some places sell fruit, so that's what I eat.

At 8:49 PM, Blogger Bengali Chick said...

I need to eat this cheese. Seriously.

I was just thinking... when I am pregnant (not if) and read your blog posts -- I'm going to feel badly for my husband. Your posts make me hungry. He'll have to run to the store.

You've cheered me up.

At 1:32 AM, Blogger Gemma said...

That sounds much better and tastier than most food in coffee shops, the ideal lunch box.

At 1:50 AM, Blogger et said...

Tell me about it. Snaks on the run impossible! I am new to this coeliac business, so I have cottoned on to taking snack bags with me.

Can the chef pack some for me?

At 3:15 AM, Blogger Kelly said...

that sounds so delicious. I keep forgetting that I want to grow ramps, they're incredible. Must. Get. Ramps. And that cheese looks like a round of creamy heaven. Wow.

At 5:32 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

...and I shall think of your story every time I eat this yummy cheese as well....

At 5:42 AM, Blogger Friendstacy said...

"But even some herbal teas have malt flavoring in them."

...or barley, or oat grass, or... I learned the hard way to always read ingredients, even on teabags! :( But what suprised me the most, I think, was when I first went gluten-free and bought some cottage cheese without reading the label, never suspecting it might contain gluten. *sigh* I wonder if that cheese is even available around here? Or, more to the point, what sort of frightening price tag it might carry.

At 6:29 AM, Blogger Allergic Girl® said...

pickled ramps!? now that's interesting. lovely brown bag.

At 6:51 AM, Blogger ChupieandJ'smama (Janeen) said...

Either you are two most romantic people in the world, or you just have a way with words. I think both but I think more of the first :)

At 7:32 AM, Blogger Michelle Ann said...

How sweet and thoughtful. I love it when someone does something unexpected.

At 9:11 AM, Blogger Mrs. G.F. said...

How sweet!

I love how he takes care of you.

Now I need to run down to the cheese shop downtown, and get me some good cheese.


At 10:09 AM, Blogger I'm Not Carrie Bradshaw said...

I'm looking forward to trying that cheese. Yes, sadly I hardly go and write in coffee shops anymore b/c of the lack of options. The daily walk to sbucks with co-workers is also not as fun but I had never thought bringing a snack with me--good idea!

I'm having dinner with my parents at Impromptu for the first time on Friday--I am beyond excited!!!

At 5:47 PM, Blogger terry said...

SO much better than anything you could buy in a coffeehouse!

largely because it was packed with love.

At 8:52 PM, Blogger Karianne said...

I, for one, am ecstatic that you always have a story to tell. More great reading for me!

At 9:32 PM, Blogger Tea said...

Freakin' gorgeous photo!

Yep, Fuel on 24th has the Wow cookies as well. Fuel on 19th has apples and oranges. But I think you got the better deal.

At 6:35 AM, Blogger Andromeda Jazmon said...

What a honey of a man you have!

At 6:35 PM, Blogger Shauna said...


I know! With a take-out service like that, who needs a salad at home?


Yes, I love Fuel, both at 19th, and on 23rd. They stock WOW cookies, and that makes them one of my favorites.

Brown girl,

Ah, but you’ll have the perfect excuse. You’ll be pregnant — he’ll have to cater to you!


Yes, it was. And the same goes for airplane food. We should all pack our own!


Snack bags are great. And I have found that no one in the coffee shop minds, if I explain. Gee, that could be a side business for the Chef….


“A mound of creamy heaven” is the perfect description for this cheese.

Peyton’s Mom,

I’m so glad that you are eating this cheese too!


It’s amazing the places that gluten hides, isn’t it? Yes, low-fat dairy items often have gluten. Another reason to eat real sour cream.

You know, this cheese really isn’t that expensive. Go to a good cheese store, a Whole Foods, and they are bound to have something like it. I’ve found that just a few nibbles are enough.

Allergic Girl,

Yeah! They are excellent, especially in vegetable rolls.

Chupieandj’s mama,

Oh gosh, I don’t know what to say to this one. I can tell you — every word of it is true.

Michelle Ann,

Me too. He’s always surprising me.

Slacker Mom,

Thank you for recognizing that. I adore the way he takes care of me too. And I take care of him, as well.

I’m not Carrie Bradshaw,

It was so wonderful to meet you at the restaurant! Did you enjoy the pork belly? I hope that your entire family had a great time.


I’m with you!


Thank you. They just pour out of me. It’s near to impossible to stop.


Thank you, my dear. I loved this photograph, so I love that you noticed.


He is! In fact, I was up before him this morning, and I read your comment, so I whispered this in his ear as he was waking up. He liked that.

At 10:15 AM, Blogger Ron and Cathy said...

I know that this is a very old post, but I am a relatively new reader here, and have been reliving your archive posts for about a month now. I am just hoping that it isn't to late to pose this question. Do you have a great recipe for a champagne vinaigrette? I've tried a few things, and have never got it quite right. I'd be forever in your debt if you and the chef would give me the gift of an amazing recipe!


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