Sunday, July 17, 2011

The Bumble Bee Tree of Love (And a Peek at Scrumptious Cheesetique Lunch)

Bumble Bee Tree of Love
We had a very old, strange looking rosebush in the front yard when we bought our 1930s townhouse in 2007 (the yard is more like a yardlet, or a yarditi, whatever is the diminutive for our beloved but postage stamp-sized front yard). One day I came home and the funky rosebush had magically turned into a pink dogwood (I love dogwood, but no comment on the rose-icide, DV and I have had this disagreement many times already). The pink dogwood hated the shade of our front yardlet and promptly committed suicide.  (That’ll show the DV for murdering the poor rosebush, she thought).  Days later, I came home and there was a Rose of Sharon tree where the dogwood had been.  The neighbors had very unkempt Rose of Sharon bushes which I did not like.  But the tree version looked good.  Pink, of course. 

The tree seemed to do little until the hottest part of the summer hit when it turned into a profusion of white and pink buds and flowers.  It is beautiful!  This is year three and it is well filled out, if a little misshapen -- something we both work on, with large garden shears like Edward Scissorhands.
This bush is honeybee party central.  I do not know where the bees live, but they love this bush.  At any time of day you can count at least 25 bees busying themselves, moving lazily among the buds to flowers.  They have no interest in us, or anything else in our yard, just the tree.
Saturday, after lunch with my girlfriend Holland (coolest name ever, huh? and check out pics of our awesome lunch below the bee shots), I tried out the new camera on the bee tree of love.  I was thrilled with what I caught! Rotund, fuzzy bumble bees careening from flower to flower with their tiny legs dangling during flight.  It was fun to be patient and follow them.  Here are my favorites. (First pic, above, you can see happy bee on heading straight into the flower on the left.  I had to wait him out as he went to the middle flower, then the one on the right, then the bud above, and another flower, all the way to the right, off camera.) Enjoy!  Hi Mom!

Mmmmm, flower number two, hello my sweet!

Fuzzy bumble bee bum sticking out of bud on upper right.

And one more flower ... buzzzzzoooooom. He kept moving, I went into the air conditioning!
And this was lunch (below) at Cheesetique.  Well, lunch is here every weekend.  I'm a barfly here.  A barfly at the cheese bar. Words cannot express my love for Cheesetique, it's food, atmosphere, and most of all the wonderful women and men who work there.  Thick, smooth, Carrera marble counters at the bar, a tall fresh brewed iced tea, carefully chosen cheeses, charcuterie, and tapenade, with breads. And of course, great company from the cool, young Cheesetique wait staff and a great girlfriend (Holland).
Our board:  Left to right front row, saucisson aux cepes (fantastic all naural dry cured french salami with porcinis), Iberico ham (essentiallythe  Spanish version of prosciutto that is velvety and strong and delicious), everyone's favorite triple creme classic, creamy St. Andre, another mellow favorite of Holland and me is the Bucheron goat cheese, and lastly to the right we tried a new cheese, Ossau Iraty, a stronger, slightly nutty sheep's milk which we loved.  (The stinkier the better for us)
Back row, left to right:  Cheesetique serves all boards with a cute little wooden bowl of sweet red seedless grapes, quince paste (fruity jam, yummy!), stone ground mustard, and mini pickles, we also ordered the olive tepenade and the delicious, very fresh, very garlicky artichoke and white bean tapenade (dip).

We caught a glimpse, and a photo, of someone else's burrata (yuuuuummmmy fresh mozzarella filled with mix of mozzarella and cream) with sun dried tomatoes, and drizzled with olive oil, on the other side of the waiting to go to it's table, making eyes at us. (Helllloooo, gorgeous! -- that would be us to the cheese. :)

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