Tag Archives: schnitzel

Schnitzel visits Cypress Grove

Between having a bad cold that I just could not kick and he craziness of the cheese season (wonderful local writer Bucky Sinister coined it “Cheeseon” when I was talking about it on facebook the other day) I have been ignoring you here. Sorry.

schnitzel at cypress grove

I will make up for it by posting this picture of a desk at Cypress Grove Chevre. That is a picture my dog eating a copy of my book. I sent these out as thank you postcards to folks who donated cheese and held readings for me. I had almost forgotten about it when Bob sent me this. His desk is much cleaner than mine.

Anyways, back to the cheese mines…

River’s Edge Chevre

So, I kinda promised Laurie this would be a no-cheese vacation, beyond what I brought for us to eat, of course.* However, when I realized we were very close to River’s Edge Chevre, I took a day off working on my new book proposal and went for a visit.

River’s Edge is absolutely one of my favorite American cheese makers. Not many folks are making ripened goat cheese of this quality in the U.S. Plus, they are a tiny, family-run, farmstead cheese operation. What is not to love?

Here are some lovely, young Humbug Mountains. We love these, though the “Up in Smoke” (fresh chevre wrapped in a bourbon-spritzed maple leaf) is the River’s Edge cheese we sell the most.
humbug mountain

Pat and her daughter Astraea were super accommodating to let me visit with basically no notice. Pat showed me around, Astraea made us fried-egg sandwiches, and then we ate a bunch of cheese. Without buying direct, my selection has been limited, but every single one of the cheeses were incredible in their own way. The St. Olga and the Astraea – neither of which I had tried for a long time – were tremendous harder, washed-rind cheeses that, honestly, I had forgotten all about.

I was in cheese heaven and they didn’t even have the Mayor of Nye Beach, which is – I think – one of the best 2 or 3 washed rind goat cheeses in the country.

You know what they did have though? A schnauzer.
Chevre-oriented Schnauzer

He was so cute and hairy that I wasn’t 100% sure, so I had to ask. I don’t remember Pat’s exact words, so I am going to make up a quote. “We don’t pretty up our Schnauzers out here in the country. Those foofy haircuts are for soft-pawed, city dogs.”**

Of course, they also had goats, some of the most beautiful milkers this soft-pawed, city boy has ever seen. They are a mature ad well-loved little herd.
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We hung out for a while talking about tsunamis, floods, goats, organic dairy, dairy inspectors, and the cheese biz. There was so much good cheese I didn’t want to leave! Still, finally I started my wet drive back to our coastal rental.*** When I got back I discovered something very interesting.

It seems that all schnauzers like River’s Edge Chevre.
uh ohs!

*Pt Reyes Toma, French Comte, Australian Cheddar (aged 3 years), Beehive Barely Buzzed, Australian marinated Feta, and a wheel of P’tit Basque.
** Pat totally did not say this. I’m hoping she finds it amusing though.
***Favorite fun-fact of the day. The area we were staying in used to be known as the “Pat Boone Estates” because he was an original developer.
**** For a video of Pat making cheese, check out Cooking Up a Story.

Schnitzel takes a swim

This should be a cheese entry. On Sunday Laurie and I went to Marin. We did a number of good-West Marin things: saw the ocean, talked to bikers, got car sick etc. Then, in search of a nice place to walk the Schnitz, we headed to the Nicasio Valley Reservoir. I hadn’t been there since I was a teen beer drinker, but I figured we’d walk the dog and then visit the farmstead organic cheese nearby (Nicasio Valley Cheese Company)

Alas, it was not to be.

The reservoir was pretty enough. And we had it all to ourselves. Look at the blue water!
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Schnitzel was happy. This is Schnitzel’s happy look:
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The water was calm and, for the most part, very shallow by the road. We walked to the end, then walked back. About halfway back to the car, both Laurie and I looked to our right and realized that the water was actually really deep on that side. Schnitzie noticed us noticing and either 1. Went to check out what we were looking at or 2. Went to protect Laurie from getting too close to the edge.

Then he fell in.

Like the way he does most new things, he fell in enthusiastically and aggressively. By the time I got to the edge he was already out of reach. He was, well, doggie paddling furiously but getting farther from the road. Schnitzie had never been swimming before and was visibly freaked out.* I managed to get him closer by splashing the water towards me until I could grab him, but I was about 15 seconds from jumping in. If his little head went under I was ready to dive.

Of course about 30 seconds from getting back on land he was looking like he wanted to jump back in. We leashed him.

But by then I was too dirty and wet to go to the cheese company. They make really good organic cheese. The Loma Alta and the Nicasio Valley Square are my favorites.

Here’s me all wet and Schnitzie chasing moths.
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*not to mention that he got neutered last week and wasn’t even supposed to bathe for ten days!