It’s taken a while but King Daddy and I are getting back to cocktail hour. And it kind of started with a trip to the Bloody Mary Festival a few months ago. Truth be told, the bloodies weren’t that good. But there was this cheese guy.
Which led to my total obsession with Cypress Grove goat cheese. Which led to cocktail hour. I’m not a huge dinner eater, but somehow cocktail hour always seems like a good idea. The goat cheese, for now, is the centerpiece. It comes in a bunch of different flavors including dill, lavender and fennel, and harissa. I had a momentary heart attack last week when my original stash diminished and I went back to Whole Foods to get more. There was no more. What, I asked the cheese monger, have you done with the Cypress Grove? He pretended like he had no idea. I think this is the Amazon effect. Whole Foods isn’t what it used to be.
However, my beloved Publix came through with more. This cheese is super creamy and rich. It’s perfect on homemade sesame toasts.
1 loaf thin-sliced white bread (such as Pepperidge Farm)
½ pound butter
4 tablespoons sesame seeds, mixed black and white
Preheat the oven to 300 degrees.
Cut the crusts off the bread and spread with butter. Sprinkle on the sesame seeds and top with a dash of garlic powder.
Cut each slice of bread into four triangles and bake on a sheet pan for 20 minutes or until the toasts start to brown around the edges.
So here was the spread for cocktail hour a few weeks ago when my friend, Elizabeth, came over. She and King Daddy are both from Appalachia and when the two are together I can barely understand what they’re saying. So I serve snacks.
There is a pimento cheese goat cheese (far left top) from Noble Springs. Very tasty. Then, counter clockwise, gourmet olives (because they’re from the olive bar at Whole Foods and not out of a jar — they taste just the same), Genoa salami, the beautiful Cypress Grove harissa goat cheese, Marcona almonds, and in the center Chattanooga Butter Co. sriracha, shallot and scallion butter to go with the radishes from the Franklin Farmer’s Market. Sesame toasts all around.
King Daddy and I don’t put on the feedbag like this every night. Usually it’s just the Cypress Grove and some sesame toasts, just enough to be a good nibble with a glass of wine and a wee bit of Famous Grouse. Just enough to be civilized.