Of Cheeseboards and Thanks

International trade has made the world a smaller, more accessible place–a concept reflected wonderfully in a cheeseboard. Marcona almonds from Spain, mission figs from California, apricots from Turkey, and cheese, oh the cheese from all over: Italian parmesan, French Brie, Swiss Gruyere, and of course wine soaked toscano. Food globalization is a wonderful thing.

For Shanta’s first birthday (re: party to celebrate her whilst drinking wine and eating cheese while she rolls around in the grass), I attempted my first ever “fancy” cheese board (re: make it insta-pretty). Since I picked up my passion for cooking interesting things I can put in my belly as a way to unwind and express myself, I’ve been following a few bloggers, one of them being What’s Gaby Cooking. Her food is always. so. pretty. and making a cheeseboard following her cues has been on my food bucket list.


She makes it pretty straight forward, so I’d honestly just look at the video she has on her blog if you want to make one, but what we’ve got going on up here is pretty nice:

Dried Fruits: apricots, candied lemons, dried figs

Cheeses: Brie round, smoked gouda, port salut in the middle, and log of goat cheese

Fruits: Persimmon slices, grapes, and pomegranate seeds

Nuts: Smoked almonds and marcona almonds


Then of course to accompany it, we had a veggie plate with a variety of dips (hummus, caramelized onion dip, roasted eggplant dip, and tzatziki), and then chips and crackers a plenty!

Please ignore the Monster drink in the photo — Tyler had to caffeinate up. All this fed about 26 people pretty well.

It was a fun party and reminded me of all the thanks I have to give. The year passed…so fast. The days each felt long, and at times I was counting down the days until I was off a particularly challenging rotation, hours-wise and emotionally, but the taken as a whole, it went by so fast. I started the year off with a little lump of love that was in her “fourth trimester,” and I’m entering the end of the year with a little lump of love that stands up, walks two steps and topples, and loves blueberries more than anything. How did that happen? I’m not sure.

I’m not going to talk about the alarming domestic issues we are facing and the human rights violations of immigrant detention, or the international crises that are all but ignored by the media in favor the latest ludicrous tweet from our President. That’s for another time. All together though, in reflection — it makes me thankful for what I have. The ability to eat cheeses from different countries without a worry, drinking wine and watching my baby girl roll around with a bow on her head. That’s lucky. It is a gift to be surrounded by family and friends that love me, love her, and love Tyler. I am thankful for that.

I am thankful for the gift of being able to practice medicine, and provide guidance in trying times. I am thankful for the ability and means to be able to get adequate health care for myself and the knowledge to advocate for myself, and my patients. I’m thankful for the ability to vote, and the ability to be able to use my money to support causes and candidates that better reflect the America I want for my daughter, for myself.

This season as you are thankful for what you have, if you are able, consider donating to an organization or cause you believe in. I’m giving my money this year to Planned Parenthood to support a woman’s right to make her own health and reproductive decisions, to Rosies Place to help support poor and homeless women in Boston, and to Physicians for Social Responsibility to help create a healthier world. Find what works for you, give what feels right to you — Happy Thanksgiving.

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