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shortlist no. 13 / october 15, 2010

October 17, 2010

Ah, the crazed shortlist.

You can see the crazy in my cross marks, my question marks, my drip marks.

Though I’m currently lounging in my sun-drenched garden, drink in hand, dog at feet, it wasn’t always this calm over at The Shortlists. Let me tell you that nothing’s crazier than having eight craaaazy academics, fresh out of a daylong conference, come over to your house for dinner when your house, cozy as it may be, comfortably fits no more than 3 people and a dog. (Not that that’s ever stopped us from having dinner parties before, but EIGHT people. Our entire downstairs, bathroom included, is like 30 square meters people. Don’t do metric? Our dining room table, when extended, nearly touches the walls on both sides. Mkay?)

Oh wait. There is something crazier. And that’s the amount of cheese in my refrigerator.

Want proof? I think, for your own sake, I’ll spare you a photo of the inside of our tiny fridge, so here’s a list (which may induce lactose intolerance):

fresh ricotta

pecorino romano


grana padano


brie (three kinds)


ricotta salata


gorgonzola dolce

ash blue


goat’s milk blue (which REALLY stinks)



sour cream

cream cheese (two kinds)

St. Agur bleu

yogurt (two kinds)

OH MY GOD. No matter how many times I look at the list, which I wrote down yesterday if only for the fact that OH MY GOD WE HAVE SO MUCH CHEESE, it still amazes me. And the even crazier part is there are some unidentifiable cheese pieces floating around in there. I think I may carry the list around with me from now on just in case I ever feel like complaining about anything (or buying more cheese). Because if I have NINETEEN distinct kinds of cheese in my just barely bigger than minibar-sized fridge, then I’m obviously not wanting for anything (that or I’m severely lacking the ability to not buy cheese).

Oh but I do love cheese. I’m so excited for many reasons (wedding! clam chowder! Mummy! Martha’s Vineyard! Kitkat!) to go home to Boston in November and one of them is the cheese. No, New England is not exactly the cheese capital of the world, but it’s really easy to get really good cheese, from Vermont cheddar to La Tur to Delice de Bourgogne (be still my beating heart), at a really good price. And the price is always right when I go shopping in my parents’ refrigerator.

At first glance it may seem like the cheese and the eight imminent academics have nothing to do with each other. But then! It makes sense. Feed the cheese to the academics!

So while two crazies  do not usually make a sane, in this case the cheese saved the day, fed the guests and, in the process, made the fridge marginally easier to navigate. And without that crazed shortlist? I’d still be staring at my cheese list and wondering where to begin.

zucchini tart (with mozzarella and ricotta, obivously)

Cheesy dinner for 8 (thanks go to the neighbors for loaning us 3 chairs)


fresh bread with rosemary & oregano

pita chips and labne with za’atar

cheese platter with fig jam & grapes


torta di verdure (you thought I threw this away didn’t you?)

zucchini ricotta tart

vegetable caponata and mozzarella bourekas


spinach, bacon & onion quiche (served room temp ’cause I like it that way)

bacon & onion quiche (served hot)

potato salad with horseradish, yogurt & cress

3 bean salad


chocolate zucchini fudgy cake with orange glaze

strawberries dipped in chocolate ( rolled in coconut &/or peanuts)

homemade truffles

whipped cream


torta di verdure: not as bad as I thought







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