Ok, for the past couple of months you’ve heard enough from me about my surgery, house remodeling and the hurricanes. I thought this would be the time to make a change and give you something to think about.

You know, I told you last year I was going back to college and get my degree. I missed a lot of things when I was in high school and junior college. My mind wasn’t on the courses at hand and I admit I wasn’t much of a student. So, here I am quite a bit older and looking to improve my mind and make up for lost time. I think we all should do the same. In my travels I’ve talked to a lot of folks who tell me that they missed a lot of classes on some of life’s more important points. I can’t remember any classes telling me how to balance a checkbook or what kinds of insurance I’d need to buy as an adult. I would have liked to learn how to cook. I certainly could use that information much better than what I learned while taking geometry and Latin. How many pints make a quart is more important to me today than calculating the volume of a sphere.

As you know I think of this column as my ability to enlighten and inform the folks who read my stuff. For example, this morning I’m reading a very lengthy article that is telling me about how I have abused my cheese all of my life.

Yes, dear reader, I was never taught about the proper methods of cheese handling. I have failed cheese. I am so ashamed.

For example, cheeses should be stored in temperature and humidity controlled environments. You can’t just shove them into the old refrigerator along with the eggs and milk. Various cheeses have to be stored at different temperatures and humidity levels. In fact, one of the newest kitchen appliances (about $300) is a countertop cheese machine. It’s expected to become a standard item along with your toaster and microwave.

There is a guy in California (where else’) who is adding on a 300 square foot cheese room to his wine cellar at the cost of an additional $50,000. I can’t find my wine cellar, and my wife thinks I’ve lost my mind when I asked her what happened to ours.

For your information, those of you who might have missed that day in high school when proper cheese handling methods were discussed, cheeses should be stored as follows: cheeses should be kept in parchment paper or waxed paper. Never, ever keep your cheeses in plastic, since plastic apparently ‘suffocates the cheese’. Also if a cheese it too cold, it will dry out and too warm it will ripen too quickly.

My heart was broken when I read this. Since I’ll be the first to admit that I have been suffocating cheeses all of my life. I never knew, no one taught me, I was underprivileged, I was ignorant’.yes, I was a cheese jerk. Until I read this article I never knew I was a cheese abuser. I’ll try to do better in the next few years. I promise.

Yes, I promise to unwrap all of those little cheese slices that Kraft puts in plastic so they will age naturally and not ‘suffocate’. I unwrapped a few a couple of minutes ago and thought I could hear a sigh of relief. Might have been my imagination. I feel better about doing this.

For your information, Gouda, cheddar and parmesan can last for months if stored at 55 to 60 degrees and 80% humidity. Blue cheeses will do better at 45 degrees and 90% humidity since they ripen faster. If you like Camembert’s, you must remember you can only store them for a few weeks and that they must, I repeat, must be turned over every day to allow their moisture to be distributed properly. Your failure to do this will certainly result in a deterioration of the cheese, something you want to avoid at all cost.

Come to think of it, I wonder if Kraft knows how they’re abusing millions upon millions of cheese singles by putting them in those little plastic wrappers. Just choking those little suckers to death and I’ll be they don’t even know it. I might send them a copy of this article to inform them.

I might also see if I can contact the person who wrote the article I was reading. I have no idea what the proper temperature and humidity is for rattrap chesses’ and I need to find out the proper methods of storing my Velveeta. Till next week.

By the way, I forgot to mention that Velveeta and rattrap cheeses go best with wines such as Thunderbird or Ripple’..July was a good month for both.