Would you like cheese with that?
I knew I was in trouble when I started pronouncing car with an ah sound at the end.Spending a week in New England can have that effect.In life, theres always a first time for everything. So it was with a little nervousness and much fervor I traveled to Vermont last week to visit my boyfriends childhood home.Think Meet the Parents. Without the overbearing ex-CIA agent potential father-in-law and tongue-in-cheek name jokes.Clark just doesnt have a ring to it like Focker.Within the first 24 hours of our visit, I was introduced to the miracle that is Cabot cheddar.Or is it pronounced cheddah?This creamy goodness has been ranked as the Best Cheddar in the World at the World Championship Cheese Contest. I would give my favorite pair of Isaac Mizrahi heeled slides to judge that one.My waist line just growled at me. Or was that my stomach?I dont think Ive ever eaten so much cheese in my life. The thought frightens some people about my digestive track. But no worries, this stuff is 100 percent gluten and lactose free. Without providing too much information, I actually feel like a million dollars.Looking good in a bikini is a different story.Along with super-sharp cheddar cheese, I also consumed exorbitant amounts of maple syrup, Ben & Jerrys ice cream and home-brewed hoppy beers. Maybe thats why I morphed into a smorgasbord for the swarm of bugs I attracted. Out East they call them no-see-ums.Seemingly invisible, these suckers sure know how to leave their mark.And no, that big red spot on my neck is not a Russ bite.Unfortunately Im not as resistant to bug bites as the Fiskes.Mind over matter, Russ would say, nonchalantly.Ill show you mind over matter, Id sarcastically respond as I smacked the bugs away from my ripe bare skin.Like being the only girl bellied up to the bar at Docs, the big black biting flies couldnt get enough of me. I apparently never tasted so good.It had to be the cheese.The next time I visit Vermont in June, Im wearing an insect repellent collar. Ill start a new trend. I could market them in the latest fashion colors.Maybe even throw on some rhinestones for fun.Russ stepmom Kathy would love it. Shes my kind of lady and is partially responsible for me pronouncing New Hampshire in a whole new fashion. A Massachusetts native from a large Italian family, Kathy was more fun than a Boston pub crawl.Oh, did we talk.Perfect for a nosey girl like me. And I didnt even have to ask that many questions to find out the scoop. Thatll put the fear in any boyfriend.Meeting the parents explained a lot. Now I know how Russ became what I best describe as the Plant Whisperer. The kid who grew up with fresh fruits and veggies from his parents garden can grow anything. Im more prone to plant homicide.African violets, be afraid. Be very afraid.I also see where he learned his way around the kitchen, an added bonus. Kathy, with her Italian roots, cooks up a mean ziti. And Russ dad, Steve, has mastered the fine art of sugaring Vermont speak for making maple syrup to serve the best pancakes his side of the Mississippi. And dont forget Russ best friend Nicko, who made the best rhubarb cobbler Ive ever tasted.If you are what you eat, then Im like the lyrics of my favorite Def Leppard song.Hot, sticky sweet. From my head to my feet.Yeah.April E. Clark brought back 10 pounds of cheddar from Vermont and is loving every minute of it. She can be reached at email@example.com.
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