In an effort to help our friends at the Discovery Museum in their annual fundraiser, Hank has kindly offered a short demo/presentation on the science of cheese, cheesy science, ask a cheese doctor, or any other clever puns inserted here. Now, being that we find out about this rather last minute, the current budget crisis in California and resource creativity, Hank gives me the hat called “figure this thing out”.
First on the list – find cheese.
Considering the state of the economy and the economy of our state I get this brilliant idea to get cheese from a local dairy and cheese company. Doing some research and phoning around I get in touch with Tim Pedrozo, the kind owner of Pedrozo Dairy&Cheese Co, and pretty much explain to him that I need cheese for science. He is tickled enough by the idea of the event, or the fact that I was potentially way more enthusiastic about cheese than he’s heard a customer be in a while, but he kindly donates and sells us some cheese at a great price for this event.
Next on the list – get the cheese in my possession.
The farm is located near Chico, but he brings the cheese to a Sacramento farmers market every Sunday, which is where he is sending two cheese wheels with his sister, Mary. I like cheese enough and I like science enough, that I am not opposed to picking up wheels of cheese on my day of rest. I had a prior engagement that morning, and planned on going straight there at 11:20am. The farmers market goes until noon.
11:23- My sister and I are running out to my car ready to get some cheese. Let me insert here, there are multiple farmers markets in Sacramento, and I was told the one on Q Street. I found an address thanks to Google for a Q St. farmers market so I was good to go. As we near the address I see a park, perfect place for a farmers market, except it’s quite empty. I spend 10 minutes driving down Q St. looking for farmers.
11:45- I pull over in this little parking lot where I force my sister to get out and ask the security guard talking on his cell phone where this market is. He gives her directions to a local yard sale* and she remembers to ask where Broadway is, since we’re looking for the Broadway side of Q St. (Later come to realize there is no such place.)
11:54 - We see an alley across from some park on the way to Broadway where a bunch of people are buying things from stands. I'm almost certain this must be an obscure farmers market. We park and rush over to find that it’s a church fundraiser and people eating churros and watermelon look at us pitifully as we run through the stands looking for cheese. Their concern for us was obvious. I'm also pretty sure someone called me a 'poor soul' in Spanish, though with my rusty vocabulary they may have just been complimenting my hat.
11:59 I am angry**. A little bit in denial, kind of in disbelief, but mostly just still stubbornly looking for this farmers market.
(Sidenote: Mr. Pedrozo’s voice mailbox is full and I cannot leave a message, I have called him numerous times, as well as every Sacramento native friend I have in my phone book, who all first want to know what the heck is so urgent about this cheese.)
I drive around to every place I can think of where a farmers market may be set up, while my sister explains to all her friends why we are in desperate need of finding this place.
12:10 I see people, I see fruit, I see cars, under a freeway overpass, might I add. I pull over in the middle of the crowded street, throw money at my sister and instruct her to get out and find that cheese!
“What was her name again?” sister asks.
“Mary!” and I drive off to find parking.
Now you may be thinking I’m over dramatizing this story, but if you knew my sister, or me, and could witness this situation you would know that this was handled in genuine Mission: Impossible style, minus snipers, drop down cables and rolling over the hood of the car, though my sister is, hands down, better looking than Tom Cruise.
12:11 “Are you Mary?!” my sister begins assaulting many strangers with this question where I find her at one of the cheese stands. When people say no, she feels compelled to tell them the story thus far (including the accidental church run by) and continues on her search. She has found a friend from college, a goat cheese stand and a nice British man who was genuinely interested in this story. Eventually we come across a table and just as my sister is about to ask if they know where to find this cheese, I look down and see the sign “Pedrozo Dairy&Cheese”.
I looked at the woman and said, “Thank God, you must be Mary!”
We are all so excited, relieved, etc., etc., you’d think the Scooby Doo mystery was just solved. All’s well that ends well, or something like that. I didn't even mind that I forgot where I parked and hauled cheese around the perimeter for a few hot minutes.
1:00p.m. - My house smells like delicious cheese and I have the two large wheels in my fridge - one may or may not have a tiny hole burrowed in it. It would be rather difficult for Hank to prove or disprove the hole’s existence before coming into my possession.
Countdown to Science of Cheese and Fine Wines – 2 days.
*I think he was confused and thought we were just trying to find a nice way to spend a Sunday afternoon. He also had to stop and turn in a complete circle, stand for a minute, and answer with his back to her in order to explain where Broadway is.
**My apologies to the girl who plays the role of my sister for the undue stress she had to experience, which will inevitably add to her belly fat.