My brother and I rented a cottage at the same complex where we stayed as kids, skipping rocks down by the shore and chasing lightening bugs. A little sentimentality is appropriate at times like this. Unlike when we were kids, however, we were able to stop at the grocery store to pick up a six pack of beer, a bottle of decent Pinot Grigot and, of course, some cheese and crackers! As you know, I'm always a little leery of grocery store cheese, but with a little snooping, I found something fun. Seal Cove Farm herbed chevre from Lamoine, Maine. Local and tasty! Good thing too, because our cottage turned into the afterparty spot after dinner on Thursday night for the cousins and a few aunts and uncles. Serious props to my brother for getting the fire going in the stove. You warded off the chill and made things just a little more cozy.
It was a little tough to open the package with the giant ginsu knife that we found in the drawer at the cabin, but once it was open, almost everyone was nibbling. This cheese, from Seal Cove Farm near Bar Harbor, which comes from the 125 goats that happily grazing on the rocky coast was perfect for the party. It is flavored with herbes de provence, and while it tastes like there is garlic in the mix, there isn't. The little bit of tang from the goat's milk combined with the herbs just bring out this great blend of flavors. It's not a really complicated cheese, but since most of the relatives aren't really aware of my serious obsession with the curd, it's probably better that I didn't have a cheese soapbox to lecture from during the party. What a drag that would have been. Instead, we just had some laughs, and shared some great stories, and got to know each other again with a little cheese and wine to lubricate the love.
By the time everyone left and my brother and I were alone with our jet lag and a serious game of Crazy Eights, almost all the cheese was gone. We took care of that pretty well.
The next day we gathered at the hillside cemetery to say goodbye to Gram, with the sun shining down and the wildflowers blooming across the way. It was a beautiful service, and we all came together with love for her and for each other. I think she would have approved.