Childhood Memories & Memorable Meals
Sometimes, they can be a bit romanticized. And yet sometimes, when we revisit something from our past, it’s just as memorable as we thought it was. Since I started dating John in 2003, he’s often told me of summers in his youth spent in the Adirondack mountains and around Lake George. (And although Texas is a big state with diverse ecosystems, John really misses the tall trees of the Northeast. I hear about those trees all.the.time.) Well, last week, I finally got a taste of those summers as we took a family trip to see our New York family and adventured around Lake George. We visited John’s old stomping grounds - including the local “black hole” where our children retraced John’s steps as they jumped from the rock cliffs into the river below (while I held my breath - a clear sign for me of aging or maturation...not sure which!).

Just before the jumping commenced, we threw together a picnic on the rocks over the river. We scarfed the random food we’d been able to get from the only nearby place that was open - one Thai pasta salad, one roast beef sandwich, one caprese sandwich, and one pesto pasta. It was literally the only food they had left and available, so we just took it all to be shared amongst 4 adults and 5 kids. While the food itself left something to be desired, I also knew it was just one of those meals we’d never forget. And that’s just it. When I think back on my favorite meals, it often isn’t about the food itself. Sure, that Michelin Star restaurant was amazing, and those street tacos were unforgettable (past experiences) but my truly favorite meals are often the ones half-hazardly thrown together, like an impromptu picnic on the rocks with family hearing about John’s youth while our own children listened to their voices echo through the cliffs, the rain drizzled down on us, and we slurped up noodles. What are the top meals you’ve ever had? I’d venture to say that some of them were really about the company and ambiance. I love that a meal can bring us together but it’s the people and place that I’ll always remember.

Nettle Meadow Farm
Ironically, John’s grandmother had an Adirondack house just 15 minutes away from Nettle Meadow Farm & Animal Sanctuary. So of course, we had to visit the makers of Kunik, which has been one of our top-selling cheeses this past handful of years. Partners in life and business, Lorraine Lamibiase and Sheila Flanagan run the farm with the help from Sheila's mom Joan. They founded their cheesemaking operation in 1990; however, the farm has been around since the 1700s and is still home to a barn built in 1903. In years past, we would’ve called them a farmstead operation, since they had 300 goats they milked. Now, nearby partners take care of the goats and milk is trekked daily to their creamery for cheesemaking and aging, since most of the property is dedicated to retired and injured animals - from goats to sheep to horses, pigs, and more. They take superior care of their animals, starting with their diets - feeding them only organic hay and grains, along with wild herbs, garlic, raspberry leaf, and kelp for the utmost balanced diet. A true partnership, both Sheila and Lorraine were quick to point out the operation depended on the other. Sheila gets up at 1:30am daily to start making cheese; Lorraine takes teh evening shift. In mutual respect and admiration, both said they couldn’t do what the other does. We think they’re both pretty amazing. They showed us so much hospitality, and I remember one line that Lorraine poignantly said in regards to the increased costs of caring for animals with extra needs: “We just want to show the world there’s a different way of doing this.” Then she excitedly herded our (human) kids to go introduce them to each of the rescued animals.

Called "the sexiest cheese in the U.S.A." by Esquire, the name "Kunik" comes from the traditional Inuit greeting commonly called an "Eskimo kiss." Made with goat milk and enriched with Jersey cow cream, Kunik is a decadently buttery triple crème with nuances of the wildflowers and herbs the animals feast upon. Enjoy it with bubbles, chocolate, or fruit preserves!

National Wine & Cheese Day
What are you doing this Sunday, July 25th? Because it turns out it’s National Wine & Cheese Day, according to someone, somewhere. ( we need a reason to celebrate!) So we figured there’s no better time to launch our very own TikTok account, than with a giveaway! Since it’s also National Picnic Month, we decided to combine the two for a giveaway of our Ready-To-Go Picnic Basket. Valued at $75, it comes with 3 cheeses, 2 meats, nuts, olives, dried fruit, jam, crackers, chocolate, and a bottle of wine, as well as plates, utensils, and napkins - all in a reusable Antonelli’s cooler bag. You just bring the glasses. (Yes, we can sub for allergies and dietary needs.)

So, want a chance at this GIVEAWAY? Just make sure you’re following us and following StuffToDoAustin on TikTok and you’re entered for a chance to win. They’ll announce the winner on Friday. Check out their original giveaway post. (If you’re not into TikTok, don’t forget you can come into the shop daily 11-7 for complimentary samples!)

In Person AND Virtual Cheese Tasting Events
Whether you want to book your own private tasting event or you’re just craving experiences outside your house and want to attend one of our in person public classes, we’re happy to oblige! Click here for the full schedule of events or for more info.

Fri, July 23: Non Alcoholic Beer & Cheese Pairing feat. Athletic Brewing
Tue, July 27: Cheese & Gelato feat. Dolce Neve
Wed, July 28: Prosciutto, Salami, and Cheese...Oh My!
Fri, July 30: An Antonelli’s Date Night
Sun, Aug 1: Preserves & Cheese Pairing
Tue, Aug 3: Cheese & Gelato feat. Dolce Neve
Thu, Aug 5: Chocolate & Cheese Pairing
Fri, Aug 6: An Antonelli’s Date Night
Sun, Aug 8: Prosciutto, Salami, and Cheese...Oh My!
Tue, Aug 10: Soft Cheeses: Rich, Gooey, Delicious
Tue, Aug 10: Balsamic Vinegars & Cheese Pairing AT Con Olio (Bee Cave)
Wed, Aug 11: Rose Wine & Cheese Pairing with the Wine & Food Foundation
Thu, Aug 12: Taste of France
Sat, Aug 14: Bubbles & Brunch AT Bee Tree Farm
Sat, Aug 14: An Antonelli’s Date Night (late night seating at 8PM)
Mon, Aug 16: Cheese & Wine Dinner AT Juliet Italian Kitchen (Arboretum)
Tue, Aug 17: Prosciutto, Salami, and Cheese...Oh My!
Wed, Aug 18: Chocolate & Cheese Pairing
Fri, Aug 20: Conservas (tinned seafood) & Cheese Pairing
Sun, Aug 22: Honey & Cheese Pairing
Fri, Aug 27: Pickles & Cheese Pairing
Sun, Aug 29: A Cheese-y Kids’ Class
Mon, Aug 30: Cheese 101: The Seven Styles of CheeseCheese 101: The Seven Styles of Cheese

If you’re still in need or want of virtual experiences, we’ve got you covered! Virtual event ticket details are here. You’ll pick up your plate via curbside or have it delivered. (If you’re outside of Austin, consider our Cheese Class in a Box on demand tasting experience that we can ship nationwide!).

Our Cheese Around Town

They’re back open! Small Victory, the classic cocktail bar with speakeasy vibes on E 7th St takes its drinks very seriously. And if you need something yummy to nosh on while enjoying the mixed drink of your dreams, order a cheese and charcuterie board! Previous bartender’s-choice boards have included Green Hill from Sweet Grass Dairy (GA), Toma from Pt. Reyes Cheese (CA), Ewephoria from Cheeseland (Holland), and Landrauschinken cured meat from Olympia Provisions (OR).

Stay Cheese - y!

John & Kendall
And Your Awesome Cheesemonger Team.