Tuesday, June 24, 2008

This Is What Happens When I "Just Stop in for a Look"

The usual way I go home from my Saturday walks with Bob takes me right past Pastoral. I'm usually tired and ready to put my feet up so it is relatively easy to resist the temptation to duck in. But a couple of weeks ago we didn't walk as far as we normally do and we weren't out as late, so my feet did not protest when I thought to myself, "Maybe I should go in today, just to look around and see what's new."

And walked out with three cheeses, two different kinds of olives, cornichons, and a bag of toast rounds. A later trip to Treasure Island rounded it out with another kind of olive and those beautiful pear tomatoes.

One of the cheeses I bought was a sharp goat cheddar that had to come home with me once I had tasted it. And then I needed something to spread onto the toast rounds that had somehow found their way into my basket. I asked for suggestions and the woman who was helping me pointed out another goat cheese, this one super soft and spreadable. Unfortunately, she did not put the names of any of the cheeses on the labels (I'll have to remember to ask them to in the future), so I do not know what either of them are. But they were both delicious - the spreadable one here and the goat cheddar is now the standard white cheese for my pimiento cheese. The third cheese I bought was some Parmigiana Reggiano for pasta.

One kind of olives I bought at Pastoral was a spicy herbed French type - sharp and full of flavor. The other one was in a crock marked Lemon Olives. I'd never seen them before so I tasted one. It's one of those things where the minute you pop it into your mouth and you get that first hint of how it's going to taste, you know it was meant to be. It's lemon-infused olive oil times quadrillion zillion. A somewhat obscene amount of those came home with me. The cornichons were sharp and a little sour and were a nice foil for the cheese.

And then later, when I was at Treasure Island, I finally bought the almond-stuffed olives I've been ogling for a while. Those were a little disappointing, though. They weren't bad; they just suffered in comparison with the others.

And the tomatoes were firm and had just the right of sweetness to counterbalance the sourness of the olives. All in all a lovely, light supper for a warm summery day.

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