Ampersand Magazine: The Graduation Issue

Page 14


“What are your plans after graduation?” is a question that every soon-to-be college graduate encounters at some time or another. While some have an internship or big-kid job squared away, many are not able to give a concrete answer. Truth is, jumping into the “real world” can be difficult and a great source of anxiety. Whether or not you know exactly what’s in store for you, show how much of an “adult” you’ve become by mastering the art of the fancy cheese plate. In just a few simple steps, you can be gourmet-by-graduation. 1. Keep It Simple: There’s no need to buy half a dozen cheeses. Three cheeses are plenty. This number can help keep costs down, but still allows for a variety of tastes and texture. 2. Mix It Up: To make sure there’s a good variety on your plate, try to get a firm, semi-firm and soft cheese. Bonus points if you have a goat cheese, sheep cheese and cow cheese. 3. 1/4 Pound Per Person: A good rule of thumb is a 1/4 pound of cheese per person. You can find the amount of cheese in a package listed on the label by weight. 4. Serve with Bread or Crackers: If the following meal will be lite or significantly later, serve with slices of crusty bread, such as French bread. It is more filling than crackers. If the cheese plate is served as an appetizer right before the meal, go with a mild cracker. 5. Garnish with Fruit- Grapes are the easiest. Coat apples slices in lemon to keep them fresh. Dried fruit such as apricots and jams like fig work well too. 6. Have a Savory Taste- Place roasted and salted nuts or olives on the plate as a savory garnish option. Almonds, walnuts and pecans work well. Avoid canned olives, and warn guests if they are pitted or not. Also note guests with nut allergies. 7. Drizzle With Honey- Make honey available for guests to serve with fragrant cheeses. It’s a sweet touch that can’t be beat.