What makes a crazy day better? Marinated cheese.

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By: Rachel Shenk

Rachel Shenk

It’s early morning. The sound of the rain falling and a distant train whistle break the silence. Stella, the dog, lies cuddled by my side, breathing in and out. I’m done sleeping for the night, but my day has not quite started. It’s that time of limbo when I can gather my thoughts before digging into a full work schedule. Yesterday’s events still linger on the edges of my mind as I move into today.

Have you ever had one of those days? After an invigorating walk with the dog and short bike ride to work, the first sound bite of the day sets a depressing tone. Violent conflicts abroad, as well as conflicts within my former church shove my idealistic self aside and put me in pessimist mode.

But then, at work, I run into old friends. Talking about Arches National Park reminds me that the natural world is beautiful despite our foibles. A delivery comes to the back door. The UPS man is at the front door. I knead the dough. I bake the bread and continue to absorb what this day might bring.

More old friends. Parents-in-law who have just moved to our town. I think I just gave up my lunchtime…I roll out the croissant dough. I finally have lunch! I shape the chocolate croissants. I form the sourdough bread. I see I have a message on my phone. It looks like I’ll have to make a trip to the emergency room with a family member. The hospital staff do their job and the outcome is good. I missed my supper hour also.

When all is said and done, I go for a last walk with Jim and the dog, just as dusk is falling. A fresh loaf of bread (made by yours truly through that crazy day) and some fresh vegetables, including the first batch of green beans from the farmer’s market, make a great supper. I also can’t resist a bowl of marinated cheese…

But back to today! As the rain continues to sing its song, I’m happy to take on the tasks before me, knowing that the only way to go is with the flow. And I will be given the strength to accept those things I cannot change. In the meantime, you just might want to have a bowl of marinated cheese around to snack on! It’s also tasty with a tapas meal.

Marinated cheese

  • 1/3 lb. Manchego cheese
  • 6 T. olive oil
  • 1 T. white wine vinegar
  • 1 t. black peppercorns
  • 1/2 t. dried tarragon or generous T. fresh
  • 1/2 t. dried thyme or generous T. fresh
  • Parsley to garnish

Cut cheese into bite-sized pieces and put in a bowl. Combine all ingredients and pour over cheese. Cover and chill for at least two hours.

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