Cheese is Good

Yes, the wonders of curdled milk have impressed me once again. Yesterday, feeling a little pissed off at the world in general (specifically, the mildly irritating sophomores in my English class; the Haverford College Business Office/Federal Government; my thesis; my theses; the Spanish Film Series; my lost paycheck; my alarm clock), I decided to make an impromptu trip to Genuardi’s in search of 1. the cheesecloth that I needed to make paneer, which I’d forgotten the last three trips to the grocery store, and 2. a really great loaf of bread.

My journey was supremely successful, and when I arrived at home (aftre snacking on the sourdough in the car) I set to work on Madhur Jaffrey’s recipe for Saag Paneer. 20 minutes later, I had freshly made Indian cheese draining in my sink, the creamy whole milk having turned from warm rich goodness to sickly green water with white chunks floating around, finally to a round firm delicious cylinder of cheese. I made cheese in my apartment. Isn’t that cool to anyone else? So in spite of the tutorial that was to begin in an hour, I started on the saag part of dinner. I should know better by now than to rush Indian cooking, it never works. Good think that shit is so good that even at sub-par, eaten in a rush while running off to the library was divine. So simple, just some carefully selected spices in spinach plus the secret ingredient (cornmeal: who knew?), and you have a steamy cumin-ey mash of yumminess. Also a good thing that it makes great leftovers, as I’ve discovered this evening.

But wait, there’s more cheese! I know, how could it get any better than homemade paneer, right? Aah, just hold your, uh, tounges? This afternoon, in my 30 free minutes of Tuesday, I made the best sandwich I’ve had in a long time. Probably since that white cheddar on fresh bread in New Hampshire, but enough of that. THIS sandwich was on my sliced sourdough, half toasted under the broiler with smoked mozzarella bubbling down the sides, the other half drizzled wtih balsamic vinegar and loaded with fresh mixed greens. As I ate it in solitude in front of my computer reading over my nascent thesis, suddenly I didn’t feel as though the days were tumbling by, dragging me with them. I know I’ve got a lot of work to do between now and April 16th and 27th, but I’m going to drive my self crazy if I’m so stressed that I can’t think clearly enough to work on things.

I understand that my profession at the moment is a student, but contrary to some of my peers’ perceptions of said occupation, I refuse to subsume my humanity to my student-like activities. Yes, writing a thesis or two is a large endeavor, but please don’t freak the fuck out of my by saying that “tiene que estar en su mente desde ahora hasta abril.” It must be constantly on your mind from now until April. Fuck, that’s like 2 months from now, and getting closer every day. The calendar seems to collapse on itself just like my melting mozzarella, but not nearly as tastily nor gratifyingly.

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