Maya, how many years have you been eating Tillamook?
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Fall Into This Warm Cheesiness
With the Loaf Love Tour being in San Francisco, sometimes I feel like I’m in another country. Between the brightly colored apartments lined up along city hills and the water almost always in sight, the only thing reminding me that I’m close to home is the weather! The foggy mornings and chilly nights particularly reminds me that fall is on its way. When I think of fall time, I think of a few of my very favorite things about growing up in the Northwest…. back-to-school supplies (usually things with glitter), cozy socks inside my rainboots, a new lunchbox with sticky notes from mom inside of it (and if I was lucky, a Tilla-Moo!), and insulated horseback-riding gloves.
However, the best and tastiest part of fall was the yummy gooey grilled cheese sandwiches and tomato soup that were always waiting for me at home after a blustery day at the horse stables! By the end of the day with my horsey friends, my fingers ached in the cold. Once home, I could barely muster the will-power to wash my hands before scooping up the first half of my grilled cheese sandwich. The first thing to touch my fingers was salted Tillamook butter, generously slathered on the outsides of my sandwich, turning the bread a crunchy crispy golden brown. Licking my fingers to test the butter, the first bite made it into my mouth. Ooey gooey and just hot enough, Tillamook Cheese strings all over my chin, the sandwich was always exactly the way I imagined it all the way home in the car. The second bite was accompanied by a dip in my tomato soup, and before I knew it, it was all in my belly and I was warm head to toe!
Grilled cheese sandwiches are the ultimate comfort food and always a great way to end a day of being outdoors in the cool fall weather. One of Tillamook’s partner restaurants, The American Grilled Cheese Kitchen is known for having the very best, most perfect grilled cheese sandwiches EVER. I personally cannot wait to get some of that deliciousness into my belly! I already know exactly what I’m going to order, too. The Mousetrap is their classic grilled cheese sandwich with two of those nice thick Tillamook slices that we all love. Add some bacon and an order of their smoky tomato soup and I’ve got the perfect meal to keep me looking forward to fall and many grilled cheese meals to come! Don’t live in San Francisco? No worries! You can see how to make your own Mousetrap grilled cheese sandwich in the Tillamook Kitchen!
Bon apetit, stay warm, and stay cheesy!
Ice Cream Surprise!
On the Loaf Love Tour, there’s always enough cheese around to keep our cheddar cravings at bay. However, until now, our taste buds have really been missing that delicious creaminess that only Tillamook Ice Cream can satisfy. As July quickly approached (man, time flies when you’re on the road!) our mouths were watering more day by day, in anticipation of our arrival to Salt Lake City…otherwise known as The First City On Tour That Has Tillamook Ice Cream!!! Oh, the pride and joy I felt when we arrived at our very first Utah store and I saw Harmons’ fully-stocked freezer with all of my favorite flavors. They even had all three vanillas! “Yes,” I said to my partner, Noelle, “Utah will be just fine!”
In an effort to kick off Utah with a sweet and creamy celebration, I decided to surprise the crew with a carton of our ever-anticipated ice cream. All throughout the afternoon I agonized over the best way to get the ice cream safely from the store to our new hotel (nearly an hour away) in the sweltering heat. With some master ice-maneuvering, I was confident I could get the sweet spoonfuls of deliciousness safely into my fellow brand ambassadors mouths. Though we all have our own favorite flavor for our own special reason, I eventually decided to take Marrionberry Pie home. Marrionberry Pie is known to be Cheddar Coy’s all-time favorite, so I knew that he would be especially thrilled by the surprise!
As I checked into the hotel room that I would call home for the next three weeks, I realized something horrible: NO FREEZER!!! I frantically sent out a mass text to the crew to come to my room ASAP for a special surprise. Whether they saw me carrying the carton into the hotel or smelled the pie chunks through my text message, there was a knock on my door within seconds of pressing “send.” After no time at all, the entire carton of our precious Tillamook Ice Cream was gone. Plastic spoons were strewn about my room, melty drips of ice cream had made it onto my bed, and every one of us had sticky hands, smiling faces, and happy tummies! My surprise was a success. I can only hope that Tillamook Ice Cream for dinner becomes a regular thing on tour. Which flavor shall we dine on next week?!
Until next time!
Cheesy Birthday Wishes
Ever since I was a little girl, my birthday has been the most special day of the year. I was that kid who, when asked what my favorite holiday was, would reply: “My birthday!” From unicorn themed birthday parties, to roller skating rink bashes, to limo rides in downtown Portland, each year just seems to get better and better! I was worried that turning another year older on the road would be the beginning of my less-fun birthday bonanzas, but my cheesy adventures brought along a wonderful day that only the Loaf Love Tour could!
It started with our final store day in Texas, a gigantic San Antonio HEB with its very own frozen yogurt shop inside. “I know what I’m having for lunch!” I immediately thought. As if a fro-yo lunch on a sunny afternoon didn’t already make my day, during my break I walked outside to find what else but….a gathering of puppies!!!! If you’ve met me even once, you’ll know that I’m borderline obsessed (okay, I’m full-fledged obsessed) with my Staffordshire Terrier, T-Bone, and therefore have a soft spot for all dogs-especially puppies! As it so happened, the puppies were all lined up to receive their summer vaccinations. I rewarded the pups’ owners for their patience and good dog ownership by handing out some Medium Cheddar Cheese samples. Some of the owners were even nice enough to let me feed their canine companions a cheesy snack! Did this store know it was my birthday, or did Jammin’ Jason do some expert scheduling as my birthday gift?!
When we got back to the hotel and were ready to head out and celebrate my coming of age (though I was reminded multiple times that I’ll always be the tour baby), I told Tillatastic Ash and Dandy Andy that this would be the first year I was celebrating a birthday sans-tiara. Of course they made fun of me at first, but as we went to collect the rest of the crew from Peppercorny Pakou’s room, I was surprised with a birthday cake, presents, and…a birthday crown!!! I couldn’t believe my good luck. Even without an oven, Pakou made me a delicious mud pie birthday cake, complete with gummy worms, pink flowers, and trick candles! Every year my birthday just gets better and better, and being on the road with my new Tillamook Cheese family only made it that much more memorable. I just hope that those trick candles didn’t keep my wish from coming true!
See you on the road!
Mac ‘n Cheese to the Rescue!
As touring brand ambassadors, we experience lots of things for the very first time. On our last day in Plano, TX we witnessed our first tornado. It was exciting and frightening all at the same time when the news reporters started broadcasting warnings around noon. Naturally, we frantically gathered all of our leftover bags of Tillamook Cheese and prepared for an afternoon huddled around the TV.
As we watched the tornadoes brewing in the dark sky, saw the rain coming down in gallon-sized rain drops, and listened to the sound of emergency sirens outside, the center of our tornado party was none other than…. Tillamook Cheese!!! We pooled together a mix of spare crackers, but Noelle quickly realized that what we really needed was comfort food. What we needed was macaroni and cheese. But after the news showed a parking lot full of huge semi-trucks and trailers (much like our Daddy Loafs) getting thrown through the air like toys, we decided that a “quick trip” to the grocery store was not an option.
So, we quickly strategized how to get the needed ingredients. Our biggest obstacle was two tablespoons of flour, and we had to get creative. One of the best parts of this particular hotel was the Texas-shaped waffles served every morning. What’s the main ingredient in waffle mix? Flour! The concierge at the front desk helped us get what we needed, and she was quite impressed with our crafty recipe tweak. It was really a team effort – April supplied the noodles, Alyssa donated her Tillamook Sharp Cheddar cubes, I contributed some broccoli, and Noelle went to work in the kitchen!
As the tornado sirens blared from neighboring buildings, we sat together on the couch, on the floor and in doorways enjoying our deliciously cheesy snacks. In the end, the tornado missed us by just six miles. The Daddy Loaf trucks and stayed firmly on the ground, all five Baby Loaf buses sound asleep in the trailers. When the announcement came on television that it was safe to leave our hotel, we were incredibly relieved. The only thing that would have made our celebration sweeter would have been some Tillamook Ice Cream. Because when it comes to surviving your first tornado, there’s nothing you want more than a big bowl of Tillamook Mudslide.
See you safely on the ground!
Found! More Tillamook-Lovin’ People
No less than 42 days ago was I on a job hunt as a fresh college graduate. Today, I pack up my suitcases once again for a full nine months on the road. Though I’ve been agonizing for days over how many pairs of jeans to bring and which shoes to leave behind, there’s one thing that I know I’ll never be short on: cheese. Over the next nine months I’ll be traveling city to city on the Loaf Love Tour. With many of my favorite meals consisting largely of Tillamook Cheese and bread (pizza, grilled cheese sandwiches, quesadillas, and so much more!) I’m certainly not worried about a lack of food on the road. What’s really got me worried is how in the world I’m going to fit nine months worth of outfits into two suitcases. Since I sadly must leave behind my trusty four-legged friends, I’ll at least be bringing along my six-stringed pal, otherwise known as my guitar. Factoring this extra piece of luggage into the complicated equation of “how many things can I carry in one armload,” I’m now limited to just one big suitcase and one big backpack. Trust me! It’s harder than it sounds.
Packing anxiety aside, I can’t wait to get on the road. I’ve never been in a car for longer than six hours straight, and rumor has it our longest drive is a good 23 hours. In anticipation of becoming very restless very quickly, I’ve compiled a mental list of things to do (other than playing ‘the license plate game’ and ‘I spy’). The list includes knitting, which I haven’t done in years, reading—first on the list is Girl With the Dragon Tattoo—Mad Libs, to keep the car in good spirits, and sleeping, because maybe I’ll dream up more activities.
I’ve had a chance to meet the entire team and I couldn’t be more excited about the life-long friends that come as a bonus with this job. I’m sure you’ll be reading all about our adventures over the next 9 months so stay tuned because the only people that just might love Tillamook as much as I do are Coy, Drew, Jason, Noelle, Ashley and Susan!
As I’m getting ready to zip my suitcase closed—with no boots inside and only one pair of heels—my Loaf Love adventure finally starts to seem like a reality. If I was excited about landing the job a couple of weeks ago, now I’m really excited. Time to start getting my beloved Tillamook Cheese into the rest of the country’s mouths.
Until our next stop,
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Beer and Cheese Pairings Sat, December 14
Pelican Pub will be at The Cheese Factory from 12-4pm sampling seasonal ales!
Pictures with Santa at the Cheese Factory Sat and Sun, December 14 -15
Santa is stopping by with his elves from 11am til 2pm to meet you & find out if you have been naughty or nice this year!