For Berkeley software engineer Anthony Kosky, cheese is a recurring theme in life. Without cheese, he might not be married. Without a wife, he wouldn’t have two young daughters. And without the daughters, he wouldn’t have written The Mouse and the Moon, an adorable new children’s book starring cheese.
“If left to myself, I will just eat bread and cheese for dinner,” admits Kosky, a London-born computer scientist who favors Cheddar, Comté and Vermont Creamery’s Bonne Bouche. So perhaps it’s not surprising that his online dating profile specified “appreciation for fine cheese” as a quality he sought in a partner. Sara Coburn, the San Francisco Opera Chorus soprano who responded 12 years ago, is now his wife.
One evening earlier this year, Kosky was searching for a bedtime story to interest their 3-year-old daughter, Sophie. “She was saying no to everything, so I started making up titles,” recalls Kosky. The Mouse Who Stole the Moon got her attention. “She said, ‘Let’s read that,’ and I said, ‘I’ll have to write it.’”
Over a couple of months, Kosky wrote and illustrated his whimsical tale of a mouse who tries to learn what sort of cheese the moon is made of. I won’t reveal any more details of this page-turner, but it’s charming and would make a sweet stocking stuffer for a youngster. Kosky says he wrote it with his 6-year-old, Rose, in mind. But when a friend asked Rose about the target age group, she replied, “kindergarten through college.”
Rose is not only an astute marketer; she’s a born editor. When Kosky sought her input on the work-in-progress, she replied, “Use spaces, use punctuation and stay on topic.”
The Mouse and the Moon is self-published and available on Amazon.
Another Stocking Stuffer
For cheese lovers on your holiday list, please consider a signed and personalized copy of The Cheese Course, my most popular recipe collection. (Cheese & Wine is my top seller.) Click on the cover to place your order. Shipping is free.
Baby Greens with Persimmons, Hazelnuts and Blue Cheese
Fuyu persimmons won’t be around much longer, so seize the moment. Adapted from The Cheese Course by Janet Fletcher (Chronicle Books).
- 4 tablespoons hazelnut or walnut oil
- 1 tablespoon plus 1 teaspoon sherry vinegar
- 1 large shallot, minced
- Kosher or sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
- 3/4 cup hazelnuts
- 1 large or 2 small Fuyu persimmons
- 1 large Belgian endive
- 1/3 pound mixed baby greens
- 1/4 pound blue cheese
In a small bowl, whisk together the oil, vinegar, shallot, and salt and pepper to taste. Let stand 30 minutes to allow the shallot flavor to mellow. Taste and adjust the balance as needed.
Preheat the oven to 350°F. Toast the hazelnuts on a rimmed baking sheet until lightly browned and fragrant, about 15 minutes. Set aside to cool, then chop coarsely.
Peel persimmons (that’s optional) and quarter. Cut each quarter into thin slices.
Halve the endive lengthwise and core, then cut crosswise into thin half-rings.
In a large bowl, combine the greens, endive and persimmons. Add just enough dressing to coat the leaves lightly; you may not need it all. Toss well. Taste and adjust the seasoning. Divide the salad among 6 plates. Crumble some of the cheese over each serving. Top with some of the hazelnuts.