This is a scene from Friday's tasting at the home of Sue Miller, maker of some of the finest raw milk cheese in Pennsylvania. I've bought Sue's cheese for several years -- her Birchrun Blue and Red Cat are household favorites. Usually, I eat them at my dining room table. What a treat it was to eat at Sue's table, in the meadow behind her pasture.
Her house in Chester County is the kind of place that makes you want to abandon your laptop and curl up with a book on her porch. Or in the swing across the road.
I wanted to do just that, but I had cheese to eat. And candied bacon. Paul Lawler of Fair Food Philly (right) and Sue Miller (left) know how to plan wicked schemes.
Plus, Jean Broillet IV was on the scene, pouring something called Blood Root.
It was a great pairing, alongside Sue's cheeses. Then someone pulled out a jar of brandied cherries. You know how I have a thing for cherries and blue.
I don't think I have ever been to a more convivial gathering. Or a prettier one. Just before solstice. With Holsteins grazing at sunset. And cheese lovers carrying on like children who have just discovered fireflies.
Many thanks to Sue and her family for so much hard work. For the milking. For the planning. For walking through the mud to make good cheese happen.