What The Lady doesn’t know is that I have been on probation for quite some time. The Brain thinks I’ve become too “personally involved” with The Lady and as a result, has threatened to re-assign me to the Mother Ship where I will await my next assignment.
“Personally” I think he’s jealous; I have achieved a small level of “fame” in the world of artisan cheese and he doesn’t like it. He can be so annoying… The Brain espouses anonymity among the troops; “stay under the radar” so that our secrets don’t get out… But once The Man stumbled onto who I was, I threw caution to the wind. My bad…
So before The Brain flexes his muscles and calls me home, I wanted to interview my favorite Cheesemonger, The Lady.
We met in SoCal where I traveled from neighborhood to neighborhood looking for food and female companionship… with the mild weather of that area, I found plenty of both… life was good. I wandered into a Burbank backyard that was filled with fruit trees, vegetables,waterfalls and bowls over-flowing with kibble on a patio filled with soft, comfortable furniture. I settled in and daily observation reports convinced The Brain that these two were worth further observation… much to my surprise, I learned that the Mighty Mike Tyson had previously observed them and to follow in his paw steps was quite a coup…
The lady and I became friends and eventually I warmed to The Man; not the easiest task. The Brain had warned me that observing The Lady had its good points; great food, lots of love, a warm bed 24/7 but it would have its bad points as well… eventually The Lady would remove my manhood because she didn’t get the “marking my territory” concept… This was also the day I warmed to The Man; he understood the gravity of keeping my manhood intact and tried to protect me… The Lady won the argument; I lost my balls but The Man and I formed an unbreakable bond.
After SoCal we headed north to the Pacific Northwest and one day The Lady came home with a triangle wedge of No Woman; a day that would change my life and give me new meaning in my post-testicle days… I had Cheese, Glorious Cheese to carry me through my long, cold nights… several hundred cheeses later; interviews with many Cheese Swells, recipes using cheese and visits to dairies all over the world… here is my interview with The Lady:
Spaulding: What is your Perfect cheese and “other food” pairing:
The Lady: My palate is simple. Give me a slice of Merlot Bellavitano on top of a slice of a Jazz apple with a dollop of fig jam and I’m in heaven.
Spaulding: Tell us about your “dream” cheese plate:
The Lady: I would start with a little Capri from Westfield Farm, followed by a creamy Camembert, maybe a slice of Kurtwood Farm’s Dinah. From there I would add a wedge of Beecher’s Flatiron; next I would serve Bellwether Farms’ San Andreas and end with Rogue River Blue, assuming I was creating this cheese plate in the fall. If not, then I would end with Cambozola Black Label. In the center of this plate, I would pile dried cherries, walnuts and dishes of fig spread and pepper jelly.
SG: Interesting, all 4 Paws Cheeses…
Spaulding: What’s your favorite grilled cheese?
The Lady: Easy, peasy; Tillamook’s Vintage White Sharp Cheddar with ham and a fried egg on top…
Spaulding: I believe the French call that a Croque Madame.
The Lady: Yes, they do. I call it a grilled ham and cheese with a fried egg on top… like I said… I’m a simple woman when it comes to food…
Spaulding: Do you have a non-cheesy fact you’d like to share with us?
The Lady: Back in the 90’s I jumped out of an airplane from 11,500 feet, which seriously pissed off The Man and in the 70’s I spent a summer traveling literally around the world… at the time, cheese was not part of my life and that I regret.
Spaulding: And since you have dinner with me every night, undoubtedly the most fascinating creature you have ever met… if you could have dinner with any person, alive or historical, who would it be and why?
The Lady: I would choose Rosa Parks, Irene Morgan and Sarah Louise Keyes. I grew up in the pre-integration South of the late 50s and early 60s. I went to segregated schools until I entered high school and had a front row seat to watch the South and the USA change. I think that what these three women did (and several others like them), refusing to give up their bus seats to whites, took more guts than most of us could ever dream of having. I would want to thank them and hear their stories, first hand.
SG: I want to thank The Lady for sitting down with me today; it is always a pleasure.
From The Lady: My thanks to all of you who have sent your thoughts and prayers following our loss. Rest in Peace, Spaulding Gray… you were special and will never be far from our hearts.