Last night we had Keely’s back-to-school night, which meant I didn’t have a lot of time to make dinner. I had some leftover cheese from my weekend’s housewarming, so I got out the more kid-friendly types—in this case, smoked cheddar and muenster, threw on some fruit, melba toast and nuts, and voilà! We turned this fast and easy dinner into a night-before-school celebration.
Other than substituting a juice for the wine (we used tangerine) and pre-slicing the cheese, you can really do everything you would do for an ordinary tasting. Add in any fruit that’s in your fridge—pears, figs, apples and olives are traditional choices.
This is also a good time to introduce new foods, as kids, at least in my experience, are typically more willing to try them if it’s in a fun or party setting, or if they feel like they’re being treated like grown-ups. Cheeses are also an easy food to start identifying subtle differences in texture (even Amia announced that the muenster was softer than the cheddar) and flavor, to help children start really appreciating what they’re putting in their mouth.