Because She Loved Cheese

Tonight I made spaghetti for dinner. As I served up everyone, I asked Meredith if she wanted any parmesan cheese on top of hers. She looked at me and said, “No, I’m good.” I then asked if she wanted a different type of cheese. She laughed and said, “Mom, I’m not Emily or Eleanor. I don’t need cheese on everything.”

I chuckled because she was right: Emily loved cheese on pretty much anything.

A Girl Who Loved Cheese

Emily loved cheese. It didn’t matter what the time was or what kind of cheese, Emily would eat it. (Well, unless it was Swiss… Then it was a hard pass.)

She loved cheese so much that she’d buy it at Costco. There’s this multipack of 4 different kinds of sliced cheese, and she’d get one every time we went. She’d also buy the giant bags of shredded cheese there, and we sometimes got string cheese there too. There was never a shortage of cheese in our fridge, I’ll put it that way.

What’s more, her love of cheese only intensified with marijuana use. She often reminded me of Maggie in Season 14, Episode 20 of Grey’s Anatomy (the “weed cookie” episode) because she’d talk about her love of cheese while eating cheese while I’d just sit and laugh at her.

We often watched TV together after the kids went to bed, and sometimes we’d have snacks and wine or other alcohol. More than once when I asked her if she wanted a snack during our TV time, she said, “Oh, do we still have cheese? I want that!” I don’t know why it always made me look at her funny, but it was just so random.

However, I think my favorite story about Emily’s love of cheese came with her ridiculous double decker cheese snack. We were sitting on the couch, and out of nowhere, Emily asks me if we still have Cheez-Its. Then she says, “I wonder what it would be like to put cheese in between two Cheez-Its like a sandwich.” So, naturally, she tried it. Although she wasn’t overly impressed with the end result, we laughed about it for a while and I often mentioned it as a snack option going forward.

Cheese Makes Everything Better

Emily’s love of cheese wasn’t restricted to eating it by itself for a snack. She also used cheese as a secret ingredient in many things that I’d never tried cheese on before. And, I will say, most of them were very good!

For example, Emily added cheese into her deviled eggs. She’d mix shredded cheddar (and sometimes parmesan) into the “filling” for the eggs. It was a trick she learned from her dad, and it made her deviled eggs a hit anywhere we took them.

Emily also taught me to put cheese on my Sloppy Joes, on vegetables like broccoli and asparagus, and countless other things I can’t even think of at the moment. She loved when I’d add cheese to my mashed potatoes, and she’d really only eat scrambled eggs if I put cheese in them too.

Cheese Will Always Remind Me of Emily

As I drove through Wisconsin last week, I knew I needed to stop at at least one “cheesy” destination. The state is known for its cheese, so it only makes sense to sample some. However, for me, the cheese was more about adding a quintessential Emily thing into the itinerary.

As I stood in the shop and stared and hundreds of types of cheeses, I started to cry. I could just see Emily standing there next to me, reading the labels on the different options, asking me which ones I thought we should try. She also probably would have started quoting Maggie from the aforementioned Grey’s Anatomy episode or started texting her best friend Candace memes from that scene.

Because Emily loved cheese, I will always think about her as I stand in that aisle of the grocery store or encounter shops like the one in Wisconsin. And, although that means I may cry over Gouda for a while, it also means I’m going to spend the rest of my life laughing, too. Because, really, that woman’s love of cheese was quite comical.


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