This is no surprise to anyone who reads this blog. But here’s further evidence why the Antonelli’s Cheese Shop rocks my socks off. I’ve spent many hours in the hospital with my dad following surgery the last week. Prior to his injury, I had agreed to host the monthly Austin Food Journal a/k/a Bola Pizza night at my house. It was time to give AFJ headquarters a break, and besides, the wine glasses we trade back and forth were already at my house. So, I didn’t cancel. However, things being as they are, I didn’t have time to do much planning. I emailed Kendall the night before the party and asked if it was enough notice to do a cheese tray, and gave her my budget. She said “no problem”. When I showed up earlier than I was supposed to yesterday to pick it up there were two and they were stunningly gorgeous.
Each plate came with a descriptive page, with cute stickers detailing whether the cheeses were cow, goat, sheep, or buffalo. They thoughtfully included some of my very favorite cheeses, which are not local, so I had been deprived during my No Grocery Store Year. (I had made the decision to also just eat local cheese for that year.)
One plate included an amazing Quadrello di Bufala, a washed rind Water Buffalo Milk cheese from Italy, along with my favorite Carr Valley Menage, which is cow, goat and sheep milk cheese from Wisconsin as well as Pleasant Ridge Reserve from Uplands Cheese Company in Wisconsin. The other plate included the last of the Hopelessly Blue from Pure Luck Dairy which is local. The goats stop producing milk until around March or April, so this was a wonderful addition. My all time favorite Clothbound Cheddar was also on this plate with more delicious cheeses, Proscuitto and Crespone.
One plate was accompanied by Confituras Apple Preserves, the other with Kocurek Mustard. The Plates came with 2 loaves of Barrie Cullinan’s fabulous bread. The plates were devoured in no time, and everyone was happy.
So, the story doesn’t end here. Toward the end of the evening, John and Kendall announced that they had something for me in the car. They had meant to help me celebrate the end of my No Grocery Store Year on New Year’s, but my dad was in the hospital. So they brought in this:
Yes they did. I haven’t even begun to dig in. I’m thinking of a cheese of the day blog series to celebrate this amazing gift. For now, I just keep looking at it in awe and with an amazing amount of gratitude.