Tuesday, June 24, 2008

Not In My Back Yard!

I was shocked when my best bud and his wife sent me this story: http://cbs2.com/local/corona.illegally.processed.2.754318.html . It is about (and I can’t believe I’m even going to type this) a recent bust of people making illegal cheese in (and this is where it hurts even more) my current hometown of Corona, California! It’s shocking and it’s appalling. It’s shappaling, actually. These people are casually making cheese and as the story says, it was unsanitary and impure cheese. They were soiling the good name of cheese and the cheese itself. Well ok, soiling might be a bit extreme, but my hometown doesn’t need this type of press. Surely there must be robberies or prostitution rings or a local political scandal dealing with corruption or robberies or prostitution rings to write about instead.

And to make matters worse, and I know you are finding that possibility to be as impossible as I do, they also had 13 undocumented heads of cattle. Now that’s just sick! Who wants to carry severed cattle heads around and why would you want to in the first place. What do you gain from doing that? No wonder the cheese is unsafe. Mutilated cows aren’t really the cleanest things. Oh wait, I’ve just been informed that ‘heads of cattle’ is just how they COUNT the WHOLE cattle body. Well, I guess that’s not so bad. Just get them documented. Documenting cattle? I guess that makes the 13 heads (and bodies) illegal aliens of the bovine world? Seriously, these are the jokes…though isn’t that a song by The Police?

It’s all just too horrible to comment on. Although, if the authorities only seized the cheese and left the cattle and cheese making equipment, it must still be at the house where the arrest was made. And if I know where that house is located…I’m just sayin’. After all, at the end of this week, I will be at a real cheese factory taking a real cheese factory tour (and eating real cheese and ice cream samples, which really has nothing to do with this story but I just wanted to mention it again) and theoretically will learn the basics of how cheese is made. I’m sure I can fill any gaps in my knowledge after the tour by Googling ‘how to make cheese,’ since I’m sure there will be plenty of gaps in my knowledge because even though it’s a tour of a cheese factory, I still have the attention span of a gnat that has been successfully swatted at a few too many times.

Now I know what you’re thinking: gheesh that guy’s a big hypochondriac. Wait, no, that’s not right, is it? Ok, you’re thinking I’m a big hypocrite as I sit here and rail against the cheese crooks even though I’m planning on taking their equipment and cattle (I do have a big backyard) and making my own cheese. There are differences in this case though. I’m going to apply for all the correct licenses and all that and then start making my cheese. If my applications are denied, at least I TRIED to get a license and let’s be honest; that’s one step further than the guys that got arrested.

Also on my side (and you may not have realized this) is the fact that I have a passion for cheese, so I wouldn’t be doing it for the money. I’d be doing it for the love of the substance that is sure to take a good number of years off the tail end of my life. Don’t get me wrong, if I can sell it, I will. But the money is just the icing on the cake that is the homemade cheese I will make. Hmmm, I’m not so sure that really worded out the way I wanted it to, but it kinda rhymed so I’m keeping it in. Long story short, if cheese can be made at home, what am I doing going to my cubicle every day? I can’t make cheese in there. It’s not like this writing thing is getting me anywhere, so cheese is where it’s at.

I have to drive a lot for my job and one of the places I regularly go is flooded with dairies. And a little tip: if it stinks the first time you drive by the dairies, it’s going to stink the 2nd, 3rd, 4th and yes, 5th time too. I tell you this so that you remember to turn off the outside air before you get to them, unlike me who had to drive by them every week for 2 months before I remembered to shut off all outside air. But enough of that. This story is about making cheese, not cutting it (sorry, but you knew a cutting cheese reference was inevitable). Lo the many times I have driven by those dairies and fantasized about working the cattle and making my own milk. Does that sound dirty to you? It did a little bit to me. Just a skosh. Let me retry it. Lo the many times I’ve driven by and wondered how cool it would be to have cows and be able to produce dairy products, and stuff. There, that’s better. Do they call them milk farmers or dairy farmers or maybe even cheese farmers? I’m partial to Cheesist.

At this point, I can really only tell you that there’s no real point to this post. It just provided me with a good excuse to talk about cheese for a while. But which do you think is better – Craig’s List or Ebay for slightly used cheese producing equipment? You gotta admit, it would be fun. And producing cheese in house will be a necessary first step for the fast food fondue place I want to open someday. You know, I think I can actually feel my arteries hardening and clogging already. There goes another one…

***This will probably be the last daily post for the next week as I get my first vacation, well non-hospital vacation, in over a year. I might try to set up one or two things that will post while I’m gone, but if not, have a great week and see you a few days before the 4th!!


citizen of the world said...

Believe it or not, my Mom sent us a cheese-making kit! I'm planning to start production soon as I get back in town in a couple of weeks. I'll let you know how it goes.

In the meantime, have a great vacation!

Eva said...

I had a hard time reading your post what with the big PILE OF CHEESE at the beginning!

Have a GREAT vacation, Mike. We'll miss you! :)

CassJustCurious said...

Thank the goodness that it is Wednesday for your introducing me to the concept of 'shappaling' I plan on being shappaled all day about this cheese thing and a myriad of other things that will shappal me at will.

Linda ~ said...

Hey there. Hope you have a cheesalicious vacation!


Odat said...

Geeze, cheese! Again? LOL.

Have a wonderful vacation. Enjoy. It's like what I'm on (permantly! hehe).


chefmom said...

I like the term "Cheesist". It makes me think of "Nudist". I do think that you should take on the title of "Cheeseologist". NOW I understand that the cops wanted to stop them because of salmonella, but seriously fellas, do you not have anything else to do?
Have a fantastic vacation! I'll be gone next week too!

Mel Heth said...

I feel sorry for the illegal cheese makers. If they were just making it for themselves, what's the harm if it's not 100% sanitary? I ate a plum off my parents' fruitless(!) plum tree recently without washing it (!!) and no one came to arrest me.

Can't wait to hear all about the cheesecation...I mean havarti holiday...gouda getaway...hope it's fetatastic.

On a limb with Claudia said...

When my prejudice Uncle talked about those "undocumented cows", do you think he meant these guys? Probably. Right?

Sizzle said...

Have a GREAT time on your vacation! Eat the squeaky cheese. :)

Patti said...

Dang! Mel stole my word: Cheesecation. I guess great bloggers think alike ;-)

I Swiss you a great time as you tour the factory du fromage.

I don't want to go out on a limberger, but I hope you have lots of fun.

(I had to think of something to compete with those who commented before me.)

I'll also miss you and your posts.

maleesha said...

All cheese is wonderful. Legal cheese, illegal cheese, feta cheese. I love visiting my family in Wisconsin, and I do agree with you that cheese factories are really stinky. But cheese is good. Illegal cheese probably tastes even better, what with the risk factor involved. Mmmm.

Janna said...

I will think of you every time I cut the cheese.

magickat said...

Oh my god this post is hilarious. Oh jeez! I really love the 2nd to last paragraph. I don't even know what skosh is but it's the perfect word in your argument there.

And I like Cheesist, too. It sounds like a certified position.

meleah rebeccah said...

But which do you think is better – Craig’s List or Ebay for slightly used cheese producing equipment?

Geez. That's a tough call!

Um. gunna say....Craig's List?