For the birth of Baby Woww, my friend Caitlin got all old school on me and aged a wheel of cheddar cheese.
That’s right! She made Baby Woww a wheel of cheese basically out of thin air (which is what I call it when cheese appears in your kitchen without cellophane and a price-per-pound sticker).
Caitlin is amazing: She drew up plans and made a cheese press for apartment use. She experiments with mozzarella and camembert and all kinds of arcane varieties of the good stuff. She considers ricotta elementary.
Due to Caitlin’s cheese awesomeness I conveniently overlook the fact that she loves the University of Oregon (Boo! Booooo!! Go Beavs!!). Plus, before she became a Duck in grad school she was my undergrad roommate.
Given the choice, I would always rather live with Caitlin than alone. She’s that good. We’ll overlook a questionable goldfish suicide incident and just mention her awesomeness in the areas of literature, architecture, and fromage. Particularly fromage.
[Here are the contents of the box she sent for Baby Woww (ignore the duck).]
Caitlin discovered this Medieval-era tradition of making Groaning Cheese for pregnant women. Basically, this particular cheddar has the same gestation period as a baby. And after delivering her baby, an exhausted mother would be thrilled to have some food around to feed her guests (and herself!).
The cheese was eaten from the inside out to leave only the rind, which the baby would be passed through for good luck. Baby Woww was too big for that, but…
Baby Woww is now officially baptized by cheese (which is something I know a lot of my foodie friends will think is really freakin’ cool!).
Plus this cheese was good. Really, really good. We made it into part of some lovely antipastos, created delicious and melty dijon-grilled-cheese sandwiches, and even used it to add some class to beans and rice.