Dispatches from the front (Pre-Release Report) - Riffing on @marmak3261


#1

Had the wedding of our other son yesterday. Actually he’s completely unrelated but he was my second son’s roommate for a year in college before he transferred to Brown. Being many miles from his Missouri home he came the first year to our house for Thanksgiving dinner because traveling home & back for just a day or two wasn’t in the cards.

Eleven years later he tells us he won’t be coming for Thanksgiving because he’s going to his fiance’s house :slight_smile:️ During the 10 years he came, he graduated Brown, got a law degree from Harvard and joined a law firm in Boston. Last year he moved to San Francisco to their offices there. Oh, and said fiance was there too :slight_smile:

Of course we took advantage of their online registry to get them something they wanted. But I wanted to give him something to remind him of those Thanksgivings and encourage him to start similar traditions now that he was starting a family.

I gave my son a cutting board for Christmas with his “Save the Date” announcement engraved on it for his own upcoming wedding, but rather than just duplicate that with Joe’s wedding invitation, I added a feature I have shamelessly stolen from @marmak3261. I turned the cutting board into a cheese board.

Joe and some of my kids spent the last 10 years leaving the carnivorous world behind and moving into various stages of vegetarianism and veganism. As a result, simple Thanksgiving dinner got more complex. Some of us got turkey, others did veggies and others did only soy based things that pretended to be meat or cheese.

As a result our cheese offerings expanded in prep for dinner in case what came out of tofu central didn’t cut it. The turkey came inside from either the wood fired oven or my smoker.

We started out as somewhat cheese naive. (I’m still a cheese troglodyte - I eat 2 kinds, mootz on pizza and cheese whiz on Phillies). Our cheese eating expanded over time and there were several occasions when someone would ask “what’s this?” when seeing a block of cheese on a cutting board.

@marmak3261 to the rescue.

And so a personal wedding gift was created. Taking the cheese names of those we learned (well, they learned) to love, I engraved the invitation on one side and the family cheeses on the other.


It wasn’t until it was wrapped and delivered (with a tube of Boos Block Cream which is pretty close to my own recipe for cutting board conditioner), cheese knives and Thanksgiving Poppers (you know a kid is good when he tolerates not-his-family customs involving tissue paper crowns and confetti :slight_smile:️ ) that I realized there was a typo.

Manchega is a breed of sheep. Manchego is the cheese made from their milk. Oh well, it’ll become part of the stories passed down to another generation.


#2

I love your story . I love what you made for them. So beautifully heart-centered.


#3

I’m sure with whatever else they get as presents this one will stand the test of time.

Congratulations on the marriage of your almost son! :slight_smile:


#4

Sometimes you touch people in unexpected way. It was never hard for us to have him over. But it made an outsized impact on his family - as we met people at the wedding there were a lot of “oh, you’re the Thanksgiving family”.

We’re assuming that was meant in a cool “so nice of you to make him feel welcome” kind of way and not “omigod those are the people who wore tissue paper crowns from Thanksgiving popper things” :grinning:

We’re always surprised when basic kindness seems like something extraordinary. The kids lived together in a small dorm room - they gotta be family :slight_smile:️ and who can leave a kid at college like Ebenezer waiting for Fan?


#5

Love the story and the sentiment…look at the bright side - their kids will probably revert to carnivores…the Manchega might be right! (wink!)


#6

Wife is vegetarian except eats bacon and occasionally seafood.

Oldest son is vegetarian and his girlfriend is vegan.

Next son is vegan and gluten free marrying a vegetarian who is a baker & gluten runs in her blood.

The other two are carnivorous like me but they also eat their vegetables unfiltered by cows (I tend to eat only vegetables that have been previously converted to steak :slight_smile:️ ).


#7

Awww, very nice! I got some of those cutting boards on your recommendation and have yet to do anything with them. Just waiting for the right occasion. You’ll have to let us know if you get any feedback.


#8

They’re off for a 2 week backpacking trek around Europe for their honeymoon.

Ahh, to be young and unencumbered :smile:


#9

I love it when there are stories behind gifts…and little tidbits like the mispell, which most will never know.
What a lovely gift!!


#10

Such a thoughtful and personal gift. I’m sure they’ll love it!


#11

Very nice board and great story. And I missed that error queso manchego! It’s masculine! Thanks for the correction.


#12

Love what you did…and the story about your ‘other’ son. The Manchego thing reminds me of hearing that Native American weavers (and most likely many other cultures, as well) put a small mismatched place in the weave as a reminder that all things, like all people, are flawed. I have an oddball little ceramic tile in my bathroom tile wall…sort of the same thing. So, you may as well celebrate and have fun with your ‘mistake’.


#13

At least you can fix your template now for any more that you make :slight_smile: The first ones will be collector editions like those stamps that get a misprint :smile:


#14

awww… i got tears in my eyes. Hooray for “family” however it starts.


#15

That’s kinda how we feel :slight_smile:

Looks like the tradition is going to continue - his brother is going to Brown for medical school and has now been invited to our house for Thanksgiving, taking his older brother’s place for the next 4 years :smile: He’s going for neuroscience which is cool because my daughter is going to Elon for bio & neurosciences herself & thinking of med school. Conversation fodder for post turkey satiation.


#16

I don’t know which I loved more - the story or that it was inspired so beautifully by someone else. Just amazing.