The Cheese Club of America
On the 16th we paid tribute to our old friend Cheddar, of which Americans consume 9.1 pounds a year. There was speculation as to whether or not the Cheese Club brought this avergae up or down because we sample such a variety of cheese. Stuff to know and learn:
-original Cheddar still made in some parts of the UK
-As Opposed to most American Cheddar cured in plastic, this Cheddar is ripened in cloth so it can breathe. it is also aged at a higher termperature. Some exceptions to the generally 2nd rate american cheese are vermont cheddar, oregon cheddar, and some California Cheddar
-Cheddar is named after the town cheddar even though they dont make it there
-We observed our Great Brittain Cheese poster for a minute
-Most american cheddar is organically dyed orange with vegetable die stuff.
We had 4 cheddars:
-canadian Smoked Cheddar
-White vermont Cheddar
-White many many year aged Welsh Cheddar
-and some other American Sharp Cheddar
Aviva and Sam got prizes for ebing jeopardy dingers.
On the 23rd we took pictures for the year book and circulated string cheese and mini french cheeses like so:
Then Lizzy and I went to meet with the RLU aboot selling nachos. We will sell on Thursdays and Fridays, about 3 people at once. RLU and cheese will alternate weeks. if they give us the small trays to sell in they will be $1, if they give us the large trays to sell, they will be $2. We might have to provide the chips. We hope to put the profits toward scholarships. The RLU is putting them towards schools for Chiapas. We will split all profits evenly.
The lack of cheese club minutes is actually a manifestation of our busiest time yet. An overview:
Tour of Spanish Cheeses
We had 4 Spanish sheep's cheeses. We reviewed how unique spanish cheeses are to their climate, the grasses that grow in the area (and that sheep eat) and the sheep's milk itself.
We had Manchego (the staple of spanish cheese) and the one cured in a basket so it has weave marks on the rind. Steven Jenkins in his book Cheese Primer
describes it as "sheepy".
The most popular of these four cheeses was a cave-aged artisan sheep's cheese from trader joes that was a lot like that bright orange goudha, minus the bright orange.
All School Picnic
This year we sold both quesadillas (on a makeshift waffle-iron. highly effective, actually) and grilled cheese and shirts. We made $75, $20 more than last year. We could have made more if Thomas hadn't forgotten bread, if we had the same central location as last year, or if ther weren't so many other clubs selling. It was fun nonetheless. We now have about $350.
The Real Mac and Cheese
Amanda's grandma made an impressive portion of real mac and cheese with cheddar and jack (large quantities of which were melted on top) and some other petty ingredients. We ate it all...on trendy pumpkin plates. If you are interested in a recipe, please bother amanda's grandmother.
The gouda ghouls won by 2 points. There were questions about chevre, spanish cheese, mac and cheese, fake cheese, club officers, the cheese-making process, how many billions of dollars in the california cheese industry (it's 8) etc. Fun and educational. Especially considering that it was a nice big guessing game.
Plans are in premature stages, but the cheese club may be collaborating with the RLU to bring nachos back to woodside and partake in the profits from sharing cheese with our school. If we participated we might gain the money necessay to go someplace with our cheese scholarship. Money is coming in steadily from shirts too. I think it's because I look so good in mine.
Today we reviewed the process for making cheese. Lizzy presented. I wont review the review.
Then we talked business.
-all school picnic reminder
-new cheese farm in PESCADERO. Lizzy has their card. I forget what it's called but they have goats and make goat cheese and they're close. I'll fill you in with more later.
-then I talked a bit about the process for critiquing and reviewing cheese and passed out a cheese grading table that the head cheesemaker at the cheese factory in Tenessee gave me and some pics of the factory.
-we sampled two really different cheeses so that we could see how the same general cheese-making process could produce polar oppostites. We had one Chevre and a 5-year aged cheddar from Wisconsin (not that that means anything because CA now produces more better quality cheese. it was only a matter of time)
-People scored the cheeses each on a separate sheet for categories like fruitiness, consistancy, and whether or not it was rancid. (hopefully if it was rancid, the contestant wouldn't be submitting their cheese for review... but you never know). They also had the option to comment. Among the comments were "it was crumbly" (the cheddar, perhaps because the longer aged cheeses retain less moisture) and "I'm horny." I guess some people really love
Next is a tour of Spanish cheeses.
Today was a lesson on what not to do. We had a sampling, or at least a visual sampling for those who refused to eat any of it, of fake cheese. Aviva presented and provided us with Cheese-its, cheetos, cheese whiz, velveeta, kraft singles, spongebob mac and cheese, blues clues mac and cheese (blue), green squiggles mac and cheese, and squeeze cheese.
rules for cheese:
-it cant have more than 40% moisture content (excepting cream cheese)
-it requires certain enzymes
clues to fake cheese:
-color (fluorescent orange is not a good sign)
-if cheese is spelled with a Z
-if somehwere on the package it says "cheese food," "cheese food product," "cheese flavored," or "cheese product"
We were also provided with a selection of anti-fake cheese literature including a short storyThe velveeta rabbit
An articleWhat's that stuff
and a lovely sample from the journal of someone who goes by the name "fish" who can be quoted saying,
"there are an alarming number of people , however that select those blocks of floppy, orange-yellow sheets of synthetic material from the dairy aisle to take home as playthings. I picture these sad people flinging that nasty material into their frigerators only to dress up and use simulated social situatuions for hours and hours of fun. lesson number one? Kraft singles are not cheese. They are barely food. They are playthings--like Silly Putty, only Silly Putty is kind enough yto have an advisiory against eating their product."
-All school picnic October 29
-grilled cheese $1.50
-sold 3 more cheese shirts...that's 7 (cries)
-4 cheese shirts sold last Tuesday
-we now have $260 in our account (not including compensation for cheese shirts)
-There is an all school picnic in the quad on Oct. 29th. We will be selling grilled cheese and quesadillas.
-We have recieved a $20 donation from our favorite sponsor Carol Eaton
(Mr. Eaton's aunt) to be used for a tour of Spain cheese parade.
Tuesday was the greatest goat cheese extravaganza ever.
There were 7 cheeses:
-plain montechevre crottin
-3 pepper montechevre crottin
-garlic herb montechevre crottin
-some other less generic brand of plain chevre
-drunken goat cheese as an example of ripe goat cheese, not creamy but still made w/ goat's milk and soaked in cabernet. Possibly a ripoff of purple moon cheese, but I'm not sure if purple moon is goat's milk cheese or which one came first.
-Chevre has a large uncut curd for maximum spreadability/squishiness
-Goat cheese comes ripe and unripened (hard and soft)
-the cheese club can consume unusual ammounts of goat cheese
-most chevres (especially french) are known for their shapes and come in a variety of unique forms. Among the most interesting are 4 leaf clover, horse turd, round hockey puck, hexagonal paving stone, little bell, skewered lumps, beads on a string, gems, etc.
-I will do a business post soon
I've said it once and I'll say it again. quiche.
yes. On tuesday we ate quiche with cheese in it, cheese with quich in it, cheese without quiche in it, quiche without cheese in it, provolone spinach spirals, and crackers.
We learned some interesting things about the largest quiche ever made, the origin of quiche and of it's name, the sorts of cheeses used in quiche, etc, all while lizzy vigorously microwaved 40 mini quiches and 3 medium sized ones and thawed the quiche spirals. Then we sampled some of the quiche cheeses like provalone, jack, and pepperjack. No one ate any of the quiche.
ahh ha, jsut kidding.
We have some very enthusiastic new members, one of whom was wearing his shirt. yay. I need to replace old signs and hand out more forms.
You thought I forgot about cheese club minutes. No, you were hoping there wasn't a cheese club meeting at all this week.
Our first meeting was a success despite setbacks including the school taking down our signs, reading the announcement as Thursday instead of Tuesday, reading the announcement only once over a 5 day period, and competing clubs starting on Tuesdays. I dont know exactly how many people there were since lizzy collected the papers from everyone. It's always a good sign of a membership when all the cheese dissappears:
one block smoked ghouda
One block pepper brie (mmmmm)
one thing of crackers (Lizzy ate the pita chips)
Our agenda was as follows:
Fill out paper thingy
The Cheese club legacy
-those that want copies of the chronicle article get one
New for this year
-More presentations from members besides presidents
-More things with cheese in them/recipes (ie. cheese bread, brie/artichoke heart scones, which cheese is better grated over pasta/salad, etc.)
-some redundancies (raise your hand if you think doing fondue again is a bad idea)
-We have $250, mostly from community after our publicity
-We also depend on support from shirts, school picnics, and drinks
-I sold 5-6 drinks for a dollar so we got some mu-la already, 2 sirt orders
-lewis and clarke chapter as an inspiration
-KGO this year?
All I can say for next Tuesday is... QUICHE.
-Kat and Lizzy
WHS Cheese Club Extraordinaire
On Tuesday, September 7, 2004, Lewis and Clark College approved the charter for a Cheese Club USA chapter. We began with around 22 members.
Today, two days later, we have 192 members.
We are the single largest club on campus.
So ladies and gentlemen, as we shake off the dust from this somewhat dilapidated livejournal community, I would like to assure everyone that the future is glowing bright, rife with opportunity and hope.
The structure is this: We are all now part of what we call Cheese Club USA. It is a national organization that spans state borders. Woodside High School and Lewis and Clark College both host chapters. The next targets, right now, are Foothill Junior College and Biola University. Perhaps I can convince some of my old East Coast buddies to start things up. ALSO--If you know anyone who would like to start one, let me know and I will send them a start-up packet (a neat little PACKET filled with GOODIES on how to start a club, how to stay connected with the national organization, and so on).
Meeting days for the LC Chapter are still being figured out. I will let everyone know as things become clearer.
I wish you all a wonderful year in cheese.
LC Cheese Club President
Cheese Club USA Co-President/Co-Founder
It's been a while. You didn't really think the cheese club had dissappeared did you?
The first meeting at the WHS chapter will occur on tuesday sept 14 in b-11 at lunch. We hope to see you there. Look for minutes from meetings here almost weekly.
In other news, former co-presidents Nate and Brandon have been looking into starting cheese club chapters at their respective colleges. It's looking good.
ps. I hope I dont let anyone down since I am not nearly as dedicated to this club as nate and brandon were and I could never outdo them, nor would I try. Regardless, this year is going to be good and there is basically no way to mess up a cheese club anyway, luckily for me.