How can I explain this? Kenyan cuisine features zero kinds of cheese. So, when we go back the the US or South Africa to visit family, I look forward to cheese binging almost as much as seeing loved ones.
On a recent visit to a South Africa Colin and I went to a grocery store to stock up on things we can’t get here in Kenya. At some point Colin realized I was no longer next to him, looked back and found me completely transfixed, no comatose, by the cheese section. I stood there ogling the whole array - the soft, the hard, the smokey, the stinky, the three, THREE!, kinds of brie, the cheddar cheese older than my children, the whimsical cheese stuffed with things like mango and ginger, etc… You know the scene, Whole Foods goers.
Colin slowly walked up to me, bowed his head, placed a hand tenderly on my shoulder and asked if I’d like a moment. Maybe a chair? Some smelling salts?
“There are Just. So. Many.” I managed, practically wiping a tear from my eye.
“I know.” he whispered with the kind of reverence you’d give a devotee at a shrine, which was not, I should add, inappropriate.
Actually consuming said cheese is a whole different scene. The kind of scene that might end in someone telling me and the mozzerella to go “get a room.”
|Come to mama...|
I think you all are getting the picture.
In Busia, the small town where we used to live, the largest grocery store, carried one kind of cheese and only sometimes. Picture the cheese that the government provides to elementary schools in economically depressed areas and prisons. It was a nearly florescent orange cheddar that managed to sweat even in the plastic and smell like old socks after a few days. But it was all we had so I would melt it on everything we ate.
Now that we live in a relatively larger town, I can get a lot more variety. There’s usually gouda, cheddar, paneer, mozzeralla and sometimes cottage cheese. We’re still not in France here, so sometimes the gouda tastes like a cheap cheddar and the cottage cheese tastes like cow farts, but it’s a vast improvement in choice over Busia. So, good news there.
Better news yet: We’re planning a trip to the states where I had planned a bacchanal of cheese consumption.
Now, here’s the rub: I just had a baby – cherub of a little guy – who for the most part behaves unimpeachably. You know, sleeps a lot, smiles, poops not all that frequently. But he does not let me consume milk products. You heard right. No more cheese for me.
He’s damn cute so it’s hard to hold it against him.
|For the love of all that is holy, woman. Please stop eating dairy products.|
I nursed my first for over 2 years (didn’t plan it, it just happened) and I don’t really have a firm plan on when I’ll quit nursing this one. But if the cheddar cheese withdrawal gets too bad, I might have to throw in the towel. I’m kind of kidding here. But only kind of.
Does anyone have any words of wisdom or advice? Will someone please tell me he’s going to outgrow this relatively soon or recommend a cheese substitute that won’t make me gag. Recipes are also welcome…