This past weekend, we were able to travel home to Wisconsin...yes, I am a cheese head. And yes, we do like to eat cheese as a snack...get over it already! Anyway... My parent's place, and the home I grew up in, is not too far from Madison, which is a great city, if you've never been. My Mom and I had the opportunity to spend some good quality time together on Saturday. It was the Badger's first game of the season, so McDreamy and my Dad devoted their Saturday to cheering them on. That left me and Mom to head to Madison. We took in a farmer's market where we browsed breads, veggies, and some delicious local cheese. We walked away with a bag of fresh garden veggies, and some yummy 'Tuscan Dream' cheese. I think one of the coolest things about that little trip was that my mom grew up with the cheese maker. They talked small talk, he told stories of my grandfather, and he was able to refer me to some great local cheese makers up where we live. If I remember correctly, his name was Greg. So...thanks Greg!
After the farmer's market, my mom took me to Penzeys Spices. I'm assuming there are those of you that have already heard of it. And surprisingly, there is a store right where I live. Anyway...Penzeys Spices is a cornucopia of incredible spices and herbs from around the world. There are samples of everything in their store. Spicy Indian curries, smokey Hungarian Paprikas, fragrant Saffron from Spain, heavenly Dutch cocoa and on and on and on. And, the best part of it all, is that it's not over-the-top-take-your-breath-away expensive! Thanks Penzeys!
Finally, Mom introduced me to Vom Fass. Never heard of it? There is only one in the United States, and it's in Madison, Wisconsin. It originated in Germany, and they also have a store in England. Vom Fass translates literally as 'from the cask' and this is the core concept of the brand. Often described as an Aladdin's Cave for food and drink lovers or a Sweet Shop for Grown-ups, Vom Fass stores house a fine selection of fruit vinegars, exquisite oils, selected wines, exclusive liqueurs and a wide choice of spirits, all bought from the cask. I walked into the store, and just stopped. The casks are organized by content, and beautifully arranged. You are introduced to the store by one of the many professional chefs they have on staff. They take you from cask to cask to sample any and everything they have to offer. If you decide you'd like to purchase something, you choose from 50ML all the way up to 500 ML. Then you choose from a plethora of uniquely designed bottles. They fill the bottle, and an artist on staff writes the name of the contents on the bottle. It's extravagant and a bit pricey, but well worth it. I walked away with a flask of Avocado Oil (if you've never heard of it...look it up and be amazed at how versatile it is!) and a bottle of 25 year aged Balsamic Vinegar. The whole experience was just so unique, and special since I was able to share it with my mom.
As I get older, I expected that the age difference between myself and Mom would grow more noticeable. However, it's quite the opposite. I feel that gap less and less. Instead, we seem to be growing closer and closer together. She's one of my closest friends, and I'm so blessed to also call her Mom. Mom, if you're reading this...thanks for the girly fun this weekend. I look forward to the next time...and the next time...and the next time...you get the picture...
With that, it's time to say goodnight. So, goodnight.