Monday, January 5, 2009

2008--pretty bad, but not all bad

Since I tend to focus on somewhat depressing things on this blog (I like to think of them as challenging), I decided to give a concession to that very human need for optimism and satisfaction that we all have, some of us more than others. I myself often get bogged down by reading all the (wonderful) conscientious blogs out there (blog bog...haha), and every now and again I have to hop over to 3bt to remind myself that beautiful things really do exist. So here it is, folks: meg's lighthearted reflection on 2008.

1.) Spring semester 2008 I had the privilege to lead the Feminist Collective at UNC Asheville. It was a trying time, I lost waaay too much sleep, and then it had its wonderful moments too. We pulled off a Love Your Body Week that was really something special. The nude art show was my favorite. After the semester ended, I decided I had become a post-feminist, not because I no longer espouse feminist ideals or because I think women's rights have all been achieved, but because I'm beginning to see identity politics as a move away from equality and real change. What do you know--worldview change for meg in 2008.

2.) Wouldn't you know it, I seem to have completely recovered from my long, painful eating disorder once and for all--no relapses. I have good days and bad days but nothing catastrophic.

3.) Went to New Orleans and had a life-changing experience working with Habitat for Humanity. I was really angry about all the horrific neglect and apathy with regard to NOLA, and I am still angered by the ordeal, but I have come to see it as one more learning experience, this time in favor of community action.

4.) This past summer was the best summer of my life thus far. I worked like a beast and loved it whole-heartedly. I found my calling. I made cheese, sold cheese, smelled like cheese, ate cheese, stepped in cheese (not intentionally--it just has a way of getting everywhere when you're in the heat of the on-season), cleaned up cheese...

5.) Met lots of amazing farmers this year. Bottomless wells of information, I tell you. I think if everyone made a couple farmer friends the world would be a better place.

There's lots more, I'm sure, but my memory can't gather everything at once. But these are some pretty great things, I think. Oh, and we can't forget the 12 months of cheese:

1--Feta (this is possibly the most versatile cheese, and our aged feta is enough to make your hair curl--feta also happens to be the easiest hard cheese to make in my book, and it's really hard to mess up--trust me, the first time I made it I made 150 gal. of it by my lonesome and it was mighty fine)

2--Gouda (not my favorite, but a crowd-pleaser; kind of a pain to make because you have to cook the curd by adding hot water to the vat)

3--Bleu (lovelovelovelove)

4--Liesel (it's like Swiss but better--a peppery bite on the back of the tongue)

5--Tomme (mild alpine cheese with a lovely brown rind)

6--Cheddar (why does this have to be everyone's favorite? It's a bear to make and people expect you to sell it cheap since "it's cheddar"--screw that)

7--Wensleydale (cheese, Gromit!)

8--Chevre (try this for a really tasty sandwich--spread hearty bread with chevre--whatever flavor you like-- and top with spinach leaves, tuna, broccoli sprouts, pickle relish or chowchow, and a good grind of black pepper)

9--Camembert (need I say more--this sucker is the queen of the cheese-world)

10--Crottin (literally translated from the French, this means "horse apple," owing to the shape of the cheese and not the flavor--this is why I love the French--they're so good at being provocative, even with cheese)

11--Buche (the u should have a circonflexe accent over it--meaning "log"--ours was studded with green peppercorns, and a lovelier thing seldom enters your mouth than this beauty)

12--Stackhouse (our signature cheese--brie-type with a layer of organic apple-wood ash in the center and around the sides; tastes like a dream)

Happy cheese-eating in 2009!

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