There was a cheese commercial a few years back where the little girl left Santa cheese and they got a house full of presents. Her father says “Those must have been some cookies you left Santa.” She replies with a big grin “I didn’t leave him cookies, I left him CHEESE!” This “Behold the power of cheese” commercial is one of our all time favorites. Oh believe me, I know all too well just how powerful cheese can be.
My family is pretty much obsessed with cheese. It’s a hot commodity in our house. I’m lactose intolerant, therefore I don’t consume as much as others do here. But since I am a former vegetarian and still not a huge lover of meat, I consume more than I should in order to get some protein and calcium in my body. It’s the only thing my kids will consistently eat. It’s also one of my husband’s favorite things. According to him, you can never put too much cheese on anything. We have cheese arguments. I will put the necessary amount of cheese in a recipe. He will open the bag and dump what’s left into the dish. Before I married him, I had never tried Velveeta. He has tried to convert me. I admit it’s good for some things, but to me it’s not real cheese!
I admit, with the grocery budget being very small these days, I hoard certain things. I can buy stuff that my husband claims he does not like but I DO like in hopes that he will eat his own stuff and not mine. Instead he not only consumes his, but then proceeds to eat mine. Like dark chocolate with almonds. He says he does not like nuts in his chocolate. Or dark chocolate. Yet as soon as the stuff I get him disappears, I’ll find him eating mine with a weird look on his face. He’ll even tell me “You know I don’t like dark chocolate with nuts. Why did you buy this?” Yeah, it’s all about you honey. Really.
One thing I definitely have to hide from Evil Genius are blocks of cheese. The Professor needs at least some of this cheese. He doesn’t eat much, not does he eat very fast. In the mornings he has his little routine. First a bowl of Cheerios (Generic Fareway Cheerios, because they don’t get soggy in milk.) Then an English muffin with colby jack cheese melted on the top in the microwave. Finally, if he has time, a big glass of milk. This is ample sustenance to get him through until he gets home in the afternoon, because he never eats lunch. This is VERY important to him. We don’t make him special meals, but at breakfast I try to give him healthy choices that I know he’ll eat. Often he’ll eat cheese and crackers after school too, yet another cheesy opportunity.
Sometimes Evil Genius will find the hidden cheese, to him it’s like a little dairy jackpot. And then he will consume the entire thing. Once I had cheese already sliced and ready in a container, and he ate it within a day or two. When I confronted him about the cheese mystery, he simply said “You have to hide that stuff from me!” So this time I bought the cheese and hid it. Several days later he starts rummaging in the fridge. First he finds the 1/3 of a block that is left. I tell him cautiously, “Ok you can eat that one, but we have to stretch the rest until payday.” He eats the cheese. Five minutes later he is back in the refrigerator and comes out with the other full block of cheese, and evil grin on his face. Then he acts angry at me for hiding it. I can’t win this argument. “Just leave some for the rest of us.” I say defeatedly. He takes a few slivers off of it, and then must have felt some cheese remorse because he put back most of the block. Then he swiped some of my dark chocolate M&Ms just to be ornery.
I understand this scenario doesn’t happen in other people’s houses. My Mom and Dad have a hard time going through their cheese fast enough before it goes bad. I don’t think cheese has ever had a chance to get comfortable, let alone go bad in our fridge. Due to this frequent consumption, you can guess that a good chunk of my grocery bill is taken up by the dairy food group. Milk, shredded cheese, block cheese, yogurt. I’m thinking they need to have some sort of club for us “Frequent Cheesers”.
One last little cheesy tale before I go. When Princess Tantrum was born, The Professor got to move to a bigger and much cooler bedroom downstairs. While this arrangement worked quite well, our cheese supply started diminishing rapidly. American Cheese, String cheese, you name it-if it was a form of cheese it was vanishing from the refrigerator. We finally found out what was happening. Somehow he was sneaking out and taking cheese from the fridge. Unfortunately, he wasn’t very good about hiding the evidence, nor was he very good about finishing what he stole. We were tipped off by the half eaten pieces of cheese that kept appearing around the house, and then the cheese wrappers that lay on his bed. Busted!
Ironically this subject was not brought up by the upswing in the mouse population here in our house. They don’t get much access to our cheese. Though not too long after we moved in a little mouse got very brave, and tried to steal the cheese that was on my stand next to where I sat. Thief!