So yeah, I know I was saying that I was skimping a bit on dairy, but sometimes, you just have to jump in with both feet and treat yourself. However, I think it is important to remember that you don’t always deserve a treat, even though you do usually work really hard and generally try to be the best person you can be. By definition, a treat should be a once in a while thing.
So, when I was visiting our local Whole Foods, I decided to treat myself to cheese. Behold the result: The Ploughman’s Bento:
That is a sight, isn’t it? Maytag Blue Cheese and a well and basementy Tomme sit in their individual cellophane wrappers — it is a necessity, as they would stink-up each other and the rest of the meal. Some fresh-picked blueberries that a co-worker gave me, some of my homemade pickles, honey ham, a campari tomato, and a pretzel roll fill the box and create a pretty robust meal.
The Ploughman’s lunch is something I fell in love with on a visit to the Dunbar Tea Shop in Sandwich, Massachusetts. It is a simple, peasantry meal that can be as large or small as you’d like. You can dress it up with specialty ingredients, or you can just enjoy what is local, fresh, and good.
I tend to like my Ploughman’s lunch with Branston Pickle, but I have a hard time bringing myself to spend the money to buy it, since I won’t use the whole jar before three or more years have passed. I could make my own, but I’d rather just make straight-up slightly spicy pickles, rather than make a pickle jam.
On the day that I took this to work, it wasn’t too hot, so I went ahead and ate outside in a little picnic area that used to be for people who smoked. Since they banned smoking on premises, the area has gone largely unused. As such, it is pretty peaceful. I was able to enjoy my lunch in peace, pretending for just a moment that I had been working hard on my farm in the English countryside and taking a well deserved rest, enjoying the fruits of my labor.
That, my friends, is what it is to eat happily.