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Celebrate Earth Day with a DIY “Local Cheese Platter” & Wine

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Can you hear that sound?

It’s the Earth Day Bell, ringing, ringing, ringing.

Ringing for peace.

Ringing for love.

Ringing for this world of ours.

Imagine a world without the scent of gasoline, where people don’t use 5 paper towels after washing their hands, where we put as many resources back into our earth as we take out of it. And then imagine no one bickering, arguing, yelling, shoving – not when one a guy lets his girl down, not when she lets him down; not when we’re scared, hungry, tired.

It’s a hard thing to imagine.

But Earth day invites us to do exactly that – and imagining is the first step to realizing a new future.

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What is Earth Day?

In it’s most simple form: Earth Day is when people from nearly every country in the world spend one day a year honoring our beautiful Earth and the concept of peace. The Earth Day Bell was first heard in Japan, but now many countries include the ringing as part of their celebrations.

“Earth Day is the first holy day which transcends all national borders, yet preserves all geographical integrities, spans mountains and oceans and time belts, and yet brings people all over the world into one resonating accord, is devoted to the preservation of the harmony in nature and yet draws upon the triumphs of technology, the measurement of time, and instantaneous communication through space.

Earth Day draws on astronomical phenomena in a new way – which is also the most ancient way – by using the vernal Equinox, the time when the Sun crosses the equator making the length of night and day equal in all parts of the Earth. To this point in the annual calendar, EARTH DAY attaches no local or divisive set of symbols, no statement of the truth or superiority of one way of life over another. But the selection of the March Equinox makes planetary observance of a shared event possible, and a flag which shows the Earth, as seen from space, appropriate.”

(Margaret Mead, 1978)

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Eat Global, Shop Local.

The best way to celebrate our big, beautiful world, is to take a good look at the resources right in our own neck of the woods. For a long time I’ve used the tagline “Eat Global, Shop Local” – and today is the perfect day to embody that philosophy. By shopping local, we’re reducing our impact on the environment, as well as supporting the local economy. It’s a win-win.

How to Build a Local Cheese Platter

Cheese is an awesome way to experience global flavors on a local scale – right here  in the USA, we’re making cheddars and triple creams, goudas, and blues. It’s a panopoly of indulgence, right at our fingertips.

1. The Cheese

Find cheeses as close to home as possible – perhaps they’re made in your state, or perhaps you’ll want to expand your search to your home country.

Our cheese platter is made with exclusively American cheese, with a couple from right here, in Oklahoma.

Look for a soft, a hard, and a stinky cheese. Anything beyond that, have fun!

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2. A True Earth Day touch: adorn your cheese with flowers

Simply find a local goat cheese and press clean, edible flowers on the surface. You can use such beauties as peppery nasturtium or intoxicating lavender… or even rosemary flowers, or basil… Even better if the (edible!) flowers come from your garden – that’s the spirit of Earth Day.

(I ate the lavender flower in these pictures with a dab of the cheese and can attest it was ah-mazing).

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2. The Fruit

Every cheese platter needs fruit. This is spring and there’s no better time to feature berries. The blackberries are moody and sweet, while the strawberries are blood red and juicy. In a couple of months, both will be pale and watery – get ‘em while the gettin’s good!

You’ll love how the jammy fruit complements the salty pop of cheese.

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3. Local Wine

Chances are there’s a winery near you that produces some fun – if not decent – wines. I don’t trouble myself too much with what kind to buy – I’m mostly interested in getting to know what my community has to offer. Since this cheese platter is made for spring, I opted for sweet, fruity table wines that can be served chilled, on the patio.

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The red was majorly sweet. The white – while still sweet – was much lighter and crisper.

4. Enjoy!

Make sure there’s a knife for every cheese, some napkins, plates, and ice (if desired).  Enjoy outdoors, while ringing a bell, if at all possible.

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