Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Is That Goat Cheese? Let’s Poke It And Find Out.

Awhile back when hubby and I were at a restaurant, he poked at a piece of food with his fork and said jokingly “Is this the goat cheese?”

Well, that triggered hearty snickers and giggles and snorts and chuckles as it brought to mind a restaurant experience from years ago.

The story goes like this...

Years ago (we were living in the big city of Montreal at the time) we treated ourselves to an outing at an upscale, authentic French restaurant (that my sister-in-law recommended) for our first wedding anniversary. Needless to say that the place was frightfully expensive. And that it was our first and last visit there.

Both hubby and I were completely out of our element in that fancy and luxurious restaurant. It is the sort of environment that is unfamiliar to us; the sort of environment that we typically never venture to, and couldn’t afford to even if we wanted to. And the sort of environment where we stick out like a sore thumb. We look like we don’t belong there.

Anyway, the description of the meals on the menu was extravagant. I’m sure the flowery language is meant to seduce, but it just left me confused as I tried to decipher it. The table setting was overloaded with dishware, glassware and silverware, and I’m sure each item served a specific purpose. But for a girl who grew up in a working class family and was content to have enough to eat, never mind a dozen utensils to eat with, you can well imagine how overwhelmed I was in this chic place with its tons of social rules that are foreign to me. And the wine list? Let’s not even go there. I wouldn’t know a good wine if it hit me over the head. Pour me a glass and if it tastes good, that’s the one for me.



I’m not sure what we settled on, but we did manage to finally order something. And in that something there was an addition of goat cheese, which sounded very tasty. So after the wine and the soup and the salad and whatever else was due before the main course, the waiter showed up with a plate of something creamy and delicious-looking and artistically-shaped. We thanked the waiter, waited until he was gone, stared at each other for a moment and then leaned over to take a closer look at this unrecognizable food item. We scratched our heads and wondered what it was and what we were supposed to do with it. It looked like cheese. And had the colour of cheese. Could it be the cheese? And if it was, how were we supposed to eat it? Spread it on bread? Wait for our meal to arrive and add small portions of it to our plates? What was the acceptable social strategy here?

But, wait, we still weren’t sure that it was cheese.

“Is this the goat cheese?” My husband asked.

“How does goat cheese look?”

“I don’t know. But this looks like cheese, doesn’t it?”

“I guess.”

“What should we do?”

“Let’s poke it.” I said.

”Poke it? What for?”

“To feel the texture.”

So he poked it. And said it felt soft. But it still didn’t answer the question of whether this was the goat cheese or not. Or any cheese for that matter. Then I poked it. Still unsure.

“Let’s taste it.”

“Really?” He asked.

“Sure. We’ll cut a tiny bit with our knife and try it.”

“Should we eat it with some bread?”

“Nah. Let’s just cut a sliver with our fork and eat it straight.” I looked around. “Come on. No one is looking.”

So we did it. We each cut a tiny sliver. And tried it.

And then...we burst out laughing. Hard. So hard that we started to draw attention to ourselves. So we stifled the noise but continued to laugh. Quietly. But with gusto. You know what I’m talking about. The kind of laughter where you’re making no sound but your whole body is shaking uncontrollably.

We were laughing like a couple of crazy people because, dear blog visitors, that unrecognizable food item was...BUTTER! Fancy and artistically-shaped, whipped butter. Oh, I don’t remember what shape it was...swans...flowers...the damn Eiffel Tower...who knows... But it was just plain old butter.

Till this day we still laugh about our first and last visit to that upscale restaurant. And our ridiculous and comical handling of something as simple as butter. So if you ever see a couple poking at food and laughing hysterically when one of them says “Is this the goat cheese?” you’ll know it’s us. Laughing at ourselves.


16 comments:

  1. That's hilarious Martha! My favourite kind of restaurant is the good old rustic kind where there's no need for ceremony. I've been to a couple of Michelin-starred places and while the food has been lovely, the atmosphere has been stifling and "oh so serious".Then I remind myself that it's just a bloody plate of food and not a religious service! I'll think of you now every time I see a butter sculpture on my table.

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    1. Good old rustic works great for me, too. If I can't kick back and relax while enjoying my food, it's not the right place for me. I cannot stand being in a place where there are so many social rules, and everybody is so uptight!

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  2. I love this story! And I know so much about trying not to laugh when you can't stop yourself!
    Love Sulky Kitten's comment above and agree with it so much. I feel the same about so many of these cooking shows. It's just food people, we shouldn't worship it!

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    1. Ha ha ha...yes, it's just food! I come from a family where where eating is more of a social gathering than anything else. We get together to laugh and enjoy each other's company -- not to worry about what fork to use!

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  3. That is so funny! It just goes to show you how many upscale restaurants I've been to, I've never seen something like that. A lasting loving memory of your first anniversary though so I'd say it was worth it.

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    1. Oh yes, it is definitely a lasting and loving memory. So many years later and we're still laughing about it!

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  4. What a great story! And a perfect little "in-joke" between your hubby and you to mark any special occasion!

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    1. One of our best "in-jokes"! I don't think we'll ever stop being amused about it.

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  5. Thank you, Martha, for making me laugh and bringing a smile to my face. Perfect timing as I'd allowed someone else to put a blight on my day. Thank you and enjoy your goat cheese. (snicker)

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    1. Ha ha...yes, and I really like goat cheese, too. I'm glad I put a smile on your face. There are people who dampen our day, so the rest of us happy people have to stick together!

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  6. ROFL!!! Thank you for the laugh this afternoon. :D That was a great story.

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    1. I'm glad you enjoyed, Bird. And I'm so happy to see you here. I hope you are dealing much better!

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  7. Lol, thanks for the good laugh! I am about as hopeless as you in an upscale restaurant - it's always great when you are with other people who can take charge. I actually really like goat cheese - I'm allergic to it but eat it occasionally anyways.

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    1. Most of the people I know are just as hopeless as I am at these places, so when there are more of us together, it only gets more comical! I also really like goat cheese. It's very tasty.

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  8. Lol great story. I am with you. I am completely out of place when it comes to fine dining. (Looks at the menu... Is there burger and fries on here anywhere?)

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    1. Ha ha ha! Yes, I like a simple menu, too. Fancy, flowery language just frustrates me!

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