Monthly Archives: July 2011

Life: Say Cheese!

Ahhh…the wonders of cheese. On a recent trip to NYC, my superstar sister signed us up for a Mozzarella cheese making class at Murray’s Cheese Shop (pictured below), which has got to be the closest thing to cheese heaven on this earth.

In case you were wondering what cheese heaven on this earth looks like…it looks like this:

Being a class, I thought that this would be a serious intellectual, but hands-on, pursuit. We’d learn the history of Mozzarella. We’d learn about its different types, textures. We’d learn about the essential ingredients, and we’d learn how to make Mozzarella ourselves. True—we did learn a bit about all of these things, but we also arrived at the Murray’s kitchen classroom to find that this was also a cheese tasting, complete with bottomless bottles of red wine, sparkly, and rosé. So, way more fun than expected.

After a bit of tasting, we all got our own stock of Mozzarella cheese curds, from which we fashioned the finished product.

My sister (pictured above) was really excited about this process, as you can see. We poured hot water over the square-shaped curds and then started pressing them together into a fist-sized cheese ball.

We added some salt and then started stretching the cheese so that the curds would become stitched together. Think of this as the String Cheese Incident portion of the class.

Finally, we rolled the cheese into a ball and tucked in the edges. Honestly? Making Mozzarella from the provided cheese curds was not a very difficult thing to do. You need the curds, for starters, and then you only need water, salt, and little bit of gumption to pull it off.

If you’re a cheese-lover, Murray’s Cheese Shop is definitely the place in NYC to fuel your passion. Murray’s offers an array of classes at their “Murray’s Cheese U” such as “Cheese 101” and “Off the Beaten Path: Pairing Kimchi and Cheese.” They also have a three-day “Boot Camp,” which involves all things cheese-related; participants can take a Boot Camp final exam to earn a Certificate of Achievement. The Boot Camp sounds more serious than the Mozzarella class we took, but I’m sure it’s just as much fun, too.

Check it out:
Murray’s Cheese Shop

Landscape: I’ll Fly Away

I’ve been digging the art in airports thing, and on a recent whirlwind trip visiting friends and family, I saw something at Denver International Airport that really struck me: Brianna Martray’s “Shadow Happy” exhibit. First of all, this exhibit involves folded cranes—something I nursed an obsession with while at McMurdo Station, Antarctica earlier this year. And Martray’s 7,000 folded cranes happen to be made out of an abandoned book manuscript…something else I understand.

Martray’s exhibit is installed in DIA’s terminal A, so as you’re gliding by it on a moving sidewalk, the cranes cast shadows on the walls to which they’re pinned. They’ve been arranged in beautiful waves and flight patterns.

After Martray folded her abandoned book manuscript into the cranes, her computer and back up hard drive were stolen, so now all that exists of her novel is in these cranes, “the shadow of thousands of hours of work, the history of [her] creative journey, remnants of a former self.” Amazing, huh?

To see some gorgeous photos of this exhibit and more information about it on Brianna Martry’s website, click here.