One of my favorite ways is to celebrate is by experimenting by making new cheese. I've come up with some really fun cheese. But another thing I love to do is make cheeseboards. I'm often asked how to make a good cheeseboard. So, I've come up with a few hints--specific to fall.
Selecting the cheeseI like to select two or three cheeses of varying types:
- Crackers or bread. I prefer artisanal crackers. The are easier and less filling--so you can have more cheese!
- . During the fall season, choose pears, figs, apples, grapes.
- Kalamata olives work well with the meat and cheese.
- . Walnuts, hazelnuts, pistachios, Marcona almonds, even candied nuts. Pumpkin seeds would also make a nice accompaniment.
- . Honey pairs perfectly with fresh cheese. Try it with pungent blue cheese.
- . As a special touch for autumn, I'd add a homemade apple butter. It'd be the perfect way to tie in the flavors that just call out “fall” to me – Cinnamon, nutmeg and allspice
Garnish for the Season
Grab a big board or platter and start arranging. I place my cheeses first, then gather greenery like sage or rosemary. Slice up some of the fruit and arrange them on your platter along with the charcuterie, small dishes of olives, and honey and apple butter spread. Make sure to have separate serving utensils for each of the cheeses and spreads, as well as a small dish for olive pits.
Choose two or three different types of wine, based on the number of cheeses you choose. Some of my favorite wines for pairing with cheese are Cabernet Sauvignon, Zinfandel, Pinot Noir, Merlot, Chardonnay and Sauvignon Blanc.
One of the key benefits to serving a cheese plate is that all your work can be done ahead of time, so you can spend time with your guests.
What a great way to celebrate National Cheese Month, Halloween, um, or ANYTHING!
Mollie Cox Bryan is the author of the Cora Crafts Mysteries and the Cumberland Creek Mysteries. Her books have been selected as finalists for an Agatha Award and a Daphne du Maurier Award and as a Top 10 Beach Reads by Woman's World. She has also been short-listed for the Virginia Library People's Choice Award. She lives in Waynesboro, Va.