Let's be honest; the turkey you planned to serve by 3 p.m. on Thanksgiving will probably not be done until the sun sets. To keep hungry guests from dipping into the side dishes or from imbibing too many mimosas predinner, you must make the ultimate cheese plate. Here's what you need to remember when buying and serving the cheese and its accompaniments.
- Pick a variety: When going to a cheesemonger, explain how many people you are serving, so he can help you with portioning. Ask for a variety of cheeses (cow, goat, and sheep) with different textures. Soft, crumbly goat cheese; oozy brie; semisoft manchego (sheep's milk); aged dutch gouda; and hard parmesan reggiano are mild, crowd-winning options. Consider buying at least one pungent and strong cheese, too, like a blue cheese, for serious cheese-lovers.
- Choose accompaniments: Consult the cheesemonger for recommended cheese pairings. Toasted walnuts, honey, figs, fruit