…well, I’m not quite and eagle, I’m more like an overweight, lazy, park-grazing pigeon. It’s not important. What IS important is that I’ve found a new home! I have just completed my first week at Murray’s Cheeses where I will be organizing their classes and special events. I would have written sooner, but finally learning from all my past luck, I figured it was best to wait until the ink dried and I was actually there before letting it be known.
On top of my cautious announcement, I’m also holding back on the effusive elation, even though the job sounds like and has so far been pretty damn cool. Why? Well, I’ve learned that if you walk into a job with ridiculous expectations, you usually get spiked like a free-floating, unaware volleyball. So this time, I’m going in hoping for the best, excited for all the incredible things that come with the job, but extremely aware that this is, at the end of the day, still a job.
This path, the way of cautious optimism, allows me to experience every little benefit of my new Murray’s life as it happens, vs. trying to anticipate all of my enjoyment at once at the waaayyyyy beginning of the job the way I’ve done in the past. For example, the very first day I started work, my job was to taste 6 different cheeses, totaling about 1/2 lb, paired with 6 different wines. That was my JOB. I had to take a class about cheese for free – no, wait, I was PAID to take a class about cheese & wine. With every bite that I took, my mind frantically tried to wrap itself around the moment. It just couldn’t be. Someone was paying me to eat a 1/2 lb of cheese… It’s like all those times I wished upon a star didn’t fall on deaf ears.
And then the next day, when I ate another 1/2 lb of cheese and paired it with hard cider, which was even BETTER than being paired with wine, I considered that maybe this was all a cruel dream and I would wake up elsewhere… Here I was, tasting amazing American-made ciders that on their own were pretty damn good, but when paired with the right cheese, basically sang in your mouth (and not my karaoke singing). Could this really be happening or was I being punked?
The following day, when I ate an entire pound of cheese, I saw that there could potentially be some negative consequences to this job… I told myself that when sampling cheeses, I should only smell and nibble enough to understand the flavor, texture, and appreciate its pairing if it had one. Yes, this is what I told myself even as I devoured the last ounce of my 12th cheese of the day and happily washed it down with a glass full of Brooklyn Local 1 pale ale. At this point, I may still be dreaming, but who the hell cares, I’m going to live it up. Right now, I hope for but never expect an incredible day, which means that each day ends up being a little like a surprise Christmas morning, except there’s no tree, just lots and lots of cheese presents.
So, the next time you see me, I hope it’s at Murray’s where you’ve come to take a class! I plan on introducing some great hands-on classes taught by all of the great cooks I know who I’ve wanted to learn from and now have an excuse and venue to do so! And when you do see me, if I’m a little more solid, don’t blame the cheese… it could very well be the ridiculous Francois Pralus chocolate that my friend Taylor introduced me to on our way out of work last week. More on the dark chocolate Infernal Bar tomorrow.
(And if you’re still reading even though I’ve been delinquent with my blogging, thank you for your support!!! I will definitely be better in the future, and will most likely be posting shorter, more pointed posts given my lack of time… the new brevity will most likely make it a better blog anyway.)