Gouda and Wax

The lobby of a church, a Sunday ceremony for the installation of a new pastor. The air filled with an excited murmur, the punch and cheese trays magnificent. By now most had drifted into the sanctuary, but a few hungry stragglers remained. That meant more cheese and crackers for me and not having to jostle others for the goodies.
The center of the cheese tray, as was common here and in other places, held a small wedge of Gouda cheese with the red wax still on it.
The cheese guard stood ready to assist and answer questions, and as I speared one Gouda and went for another, I tried to make conversation.
“Is that a local thing to have Gouda in the middle of a cheese tray, one piece of Gouda?”
He looked at me and affirmed what I said, “Yes, that’s Gouda in the middle.”
Wanting to restate my question, I asked him if Gouda in the middle is just something they do at the Rudolph cheese store.
“Yes,” he told me. “These cheese trays are from Rudolph.”

Almost losing my patience, I asked him a little more clearly: “Is it common to place Gouda in the middle of a cheese tray in other places where they make cheese trays?”
He had to have heard me on that one. But, no.
“I think Gouda was originally made in the Netherlands. It’s a Dutch cheese, I’m pretty sure.”
Ready to give up, but distracted by stabbing the 3rd chunk of Gouda cheese, I told him with a smile, in my friendliest Dutch accent:
“Ik heb het gevoel dat u was in uw oren, een heleboel kaarsvet.”
Pausing for a second or two, he figured I had to have said something positive and friendly, so he responded: “You betcha.”
With a bit of a smile and a realization that if I wanted to find out about the placement of Gouda in the middle of a cheese tray, I’d have to ask elsewhere.
And the words? Not really friendly at all, but delivered in a friendly manner:
“I’ve got a feeling that you have wax in your ears, a lot of wax.”




6 Replies to “Gouda and Wax”

  1. Joanne Sorenson says: Reply

    HA!!! Do you speak Dutch? One of the results of my living so long in the fine state of Wisconsin was a great appreciation of GOUDA. A wonderful experience is a trip to Mariecke’s place…..”Holland Cheese” in Thorp, Wisconsin (just look for the REALLY big cow south of Hwy 29). You can take a tour, learn (and taste) about the 20-plus types of gouda, watch it being made, and visit with the cows! Another interesting story is how Mariecke came to live in Thorp (from Holland). It is excellent cheese, and a good family story! (Nice look to the website by the way)

    1. Loren Elkin says: Reply

      Joanne, replying to your comment, first time for this. No, don’t speak Dutch. In fact I had to look that up on a special translation page. If you’ll notice the percent at the bottom of the story, I think it is 70%. Most of that happened, but the telling the guy he’s got wax in his ears was fictional. Will look the plant in Thorp, I often go past there on 29. Did not know there were so many Gouda cheeses. Interesting that I found the Gouda name comes from the city that it was most commonly shipped out of. Thanks for the idea. The pastoral installation was a lovely one though a little long, the new pastor at the Congregational Church in WI Rapids, and she recently married our Cong. pastor from Nekoosa, they knew each other for years. I hope you and your son had fun, and are you still ministering ? is that a term, on Sundays at Princeton?

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    1. Petra, I only could write one line in Dutch, and that I had to look up. The 70% at the bottom of some of my writings tells how factual it is.Where are you, thanks for writing. I’ll copy and paste your comment, you surprised me.

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