Gouda Music II – Happy March

February flew by, and on its way out demonstrated a variety of seasons over the course of only a few days. I was able to break into and out of my spring wardrobe in a hat tip to  Kansas’ haphazard weather patterns and global warming.


This blog’s been relatively stagnant lately, which I do apologize for. Especially because stagnancy is something I so strive to avoid when I can. That said, there’s plenty in the works. We have camping trips scheduled, weddings to attend in new places, and I’m currently curing an oak barrel to season some large-batch cocktails. There’s always cheese plates to review in this town, as well. Naturally, we plan on dragging you along as we take these things on, and we appreciate your continued support of the Gouda Life.

So, in the spirit of improved consistency, here’s another edition of something we’d like to continue sharing – Gouda Music. I didn’t have anything particular planned as far as a theme is concerned, so I just added a few and rode the feeling. A few are some favorites, others come with a heavy dose of nostalgia for me, particularly the Paper Kite’s A Maker of My Time, to name one. My brother introduced me to this song back in 2012 when I had moved back from Dallas, TX. We covered a plethora of topics as we got acclimated to physically frequenting each other’s lives again, and this song, for one reason or another, evokes a near-tangible feeling from that time. Not to mention, it’s a reminder that our time here is exceedingly short, so make of it what you will.

And I do hope you make this March one to remember.



Gouda Music I

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Elements of a successful cheese plate:

  1. Cheese
  2. Wine
  3. Good company
  4. Nice jams

Today and moving forward, we’ll be providing you with a playlist that’s accompanying our cheesy happenings. There’s no real criteria outside of the fact it’s what we’re listening to right now. One thing to note, too, is that this playlist isn’t only applicable for cheese plates. In fact, here’s a few other examples of situations this playlist could enhance for the better:

  • Sitting, pondering, and visualizing victory in your favorite chair
  • A mid-week bath bomb relaxation sesh
  • Dinner accompaniment
  • Reminiscing and over-analyzing your life’s most paralyzingly embarrassing moments
  • Running off the last cheese plate you consumed
  • Car rides lasting 10 minutes or longer
  • Being overly critical of yourself while staring into the mirror

And that’s just scratching the surface, folks.

The music is embedded below, or you can click here to open it in Spotify.

Let us know what you think. Enjoy Episode 1.

6 Steps to an Impressive Cheese Platter

Now this is a story all about cheese
A platter of course, it was such a breeze.
I’d like to take a minute, just sit right there
We have some cheese tips, that we’d like to share.

With all the cheese plates I’ve created, both big and small, I realized to some people, a cheese plate may be intimidating. The great thing about fromage is that you CAN’T mess it up, seriously. Well, only if you forget the cheese, then yes, you can royally mess it up. Since it was the two of us, I’ll stick with tips for a smaller cheese platter. For a larger plate, just multiply the goodness!

Step 1: Pick Your Cheeses

My go-to cheese pickin’ strategy: Something hard, something soft, and something funky.

We chose Prairie Breeze cheddar, Italian fontina, and Le Roule.

Prairie Breeze: Straight out of Milton Creamery in Iowa, this cheddar is dry yet creamy to taste. It is aged for at least 9 months, but tastes like its been aged MUCH longer than that. It gets you in the ‘cheddar spot’ as I like to call it (back of your lower jaw, it’s my scientific way of rating cheddars).

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Prairie [cool] Breeeeeezeeee

Italian Fontina: Can’t go wrong with a fontina. It is, to this day, the best cheese for grilled cheese in the entire galaxy. Soft, creamy, and delectable.

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Italian Fontinuhhhhh

Le Roule: First off, you sound fancy as HAIL when you tell your guests what they are about to experience. Let me help you, “LAY- ROO-LAY.” Yes, it is French. It is a soft, spreadable cheese (once you get it to room temperature) full of garlic and herbs. Believe you me, this is one pretty cheese on ANY cheese plate. This cheese is a real crowd cheeser… pleaser.

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Le Roule ay ay ay

Step 2: Pick the Platter

Lay out your cheese on the platter or plate BEFORE you open them up. This will eliminate more dirty dishes and less handling of the käse. Just lay your cheese out on a platter, leaving enough room for your other adornments to fill in the gaps.

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Be prepared.

Step 3: Prep the Plate

Be sure to let your cheese sit out about 30-45 minutes before guests come so they are at room temperature. This will allow all of the flavors to come out of the cheese so you can enjoy them at their fullest capacity.

Take off any wrappers that may be on the cheese. Rinds are different, rinds are the outer layer of the cheese. Most rinds are edible, except for wax, cloth, or bark. Rinds add more flavor to the cheese.

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Pro Tip: Don’t eat paper.

Step 4: Select Your Accessories

This is completely up to you and your taste. I am a pretty basic bitch when it comes to my cheese accompaniments. I’ll go for grapes, berries, apples, some meats, and of course, crackers. If you wanna get wild, spring for soaked dates, or some finely cut prosciutto.

If you have more extreme, strong cheeses, try to get a bland cracker as to not take away from the cheese flavor. I’m a sucker for anything that says “crisps” on it, I love a little crunch with my käse.

Step 5: Get Your Tools

Depending on your type of cheeses, be sure to get the correct cheese knives and/or spreader. If you don’t have cheese tools, don’t fret. A knife will do JUST fine.

Step 6: ENJOY

Pour yourself a glass of wine, turn on some Marian Hill, and enjoy yourself!

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You earned this.