More presents

This time from two of the three Burlingham sisters, Kathryn and Ann. Kathryn’s was probably not intended as a birthday present, but it arrived at the right time, and it was certainly a present. Ann sent a koala surf rescue birthday card (from the La La Land company in Australia) saying nice things about me, and then separately a package of three raw milk cheeses from the East Hill Creamery in Perry NY (Ann gets around).

Odds and ends from Kathryn. Kathryn sent a pop-up papercut card of a temple, from a shop in Hanoi. (Kathryn too gets around, in part because of her twin sister Gillian, whose wife Sarita is Thai.)  Inside the card was an assortment of “papery things” that Kathryn’s aunt Terry Glenn (hereafter, Aunt T) had accumulated, which included this photo of me weeding my garden in Columbus OH:


The background. For some years, Jacques and I shared the Columbus house with Ann, who lived in a basement apartment and shared our lives. At one point Aunt T came from Chicago to visit Ann and spent a day with us. Either Ann or Aunt T took the photo above, but Aunt T took the photo back to Chicago with her, and then to Portland, when she moved into Kathryn’s house there. And now, from Kathryn, it comes back to me. (The photo gets around too.)

Koala surf rescue. The actual birthday card from Ann (from the La La Land shop in Australia:


(I note than Ann gets to Australia, or at least used to, fairly often, because her husband Jason (though now a US citizen) is a native Australian.)

I pass over the details of the nice things Ann said to me for my birthday — noting, however, that when people are close friends for some extended period, each one changes the other, in ways large and small. Ann thanked me for changes I made in her; in turn, I got to tell her how she had changed me.

But then the cheeses. From East Hill Creamery. The company is small and truly niche. They do raw milk cheeses, and only three of them, fancifully named; their website makes me wish I could visit the place and meet the staff.

[Personal digression: my dad would totally have loved this. In the first of his many careers (he was a teenager when the Great Depression set in; like others of that generation, he quickly learned that you might have to transform yourself many times just to stay alive), he was a dairy guy, with an actual degree in dairy husbandry, and he never lost his keen interest in that world. As a kid, I visited a great many more dairy farms (with him) than your typical child, and I used to know a lot about stuff like brucellosis and the laws on the dairy fat content of ice cream.]

— Underpass Reserve: Rustic-Style Cheese


Aged in our caves to give it the right character and bite, this firm rustic cheese has a bold earthiness married with a toned salinity. Citrus and pineapple notes come through the late palate to create a drawn-out experience.

— Silver Lake: Alpine-Style Cheese


Named after our local lake, aged for at least one year, this French Alpine-style cheese has been created with the staunchly protected Comte in mind. Sweet, nutty, and savory flavors abound in this umami bomb staff favorite. [I would just like to appreciate umami bomb.]

— Happy Accident: Raclette-Style Cheese


As the name suggests, this is an unorthodox raclette aged for 3-4 months, with a unique taste. Still as creamy and luscious as you’d expect from a raclette, but with a distinctly tangy, fruity finish.


2 Responses to “More presents”

  1. Robert Coren Says:

    Alas, none of these interestingly-named cheeses are likely candidates for a current Facebook thread triggered by a quiz asking users to decide whether a given word or phrase was an opera title or the name of a cheese. Well, maybe “Happy Accident”.

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