It’s a rainy morning, cool, the smell of damp earth in the air. It reminds me of my recent trip to New York state, to visit the farm of my friends Heather and Jesse. When I went for a walk one morning in my pajamas, there was frost on the grass, and the air smelled of sweet hay. In the distance, I could see deer nibbling the high weeds, and there was fog, a beautiful fog, rolling across the valley below Heather and Jesse’s house.
I’m reminded of that morning whenever I open the crisper and see the red package of Lively Run feta I brought home from that trip. The taste of that feta is still amazing to me – it’s crisp, almost bracing, and the flavor palate runs from grassy to lemony. It’s like a morning meadow inside a cheese. Yes, you can taste fog. I feel like I can even taste frost on the grass.
It’s a cheese that the poet Basho would have appreciated. I can almost imagine the haiku he would have written in his journal:
Feta for breakfast:
the deer chase fog
through my first breath.
What to do with that last hunk of New York feta? I’m defrosting some pesto this minute, and I’m envisioning a Lively Run Goat Cheese pizza – there’s a recipe posted on the Lively Run web site.
I’ll admit, I like a creamier goat cheese; this one is dry, not ideal for a salad, in my opinion, but I think on a pizza it will lend just the right murmur of dew to spring my pesto to life. When I sit down to supper, I will think of my friends Heather and Jesse, who made a courageous move across the country from Wisconsin to New York, arriving Joad-family style, with a trailer full of chickens.
Their beautiful farm is my reminder that, while city life is grand, the greatest pleasures come from observing nature: a shaft of sunlight seeping through a barn window, an orange cat sleeping in a barrel of hay, a brood of chickens clucking to themselves all day long – as if reciting short, quick poems.