Saturday, April 09, 2005

Oh, Yeah, That's The Stuff

I am still moaning, slightly.

Charles have added another lovely semi-tradition to our lovely lives: Wine and Cheese Saturday Dinner. I am still recovering from the pleasure, removing the last bits from my teeth.

You see, it all started, like most things, completely innocently. We checked out the new shop, next door to the bakery where we can be found of a Saturday morning, eating breakfast while we contemplate our marketing. Yes, yes, we shop in Madison. You would too, if you lived here. We love pretty much every aspect of the country except the shopping. So, we drive 30 minutes to grocery shop, run errands, and remind ourselves what it is like to be in a city. A small city, but one with actual freeways and merging and on ramps and such. We also live in fear of becoming like the bumpkins, avoiding any metropolitan area as they just can not fathom driving in more than 2 lanes of traffic, one of which is the tractor passing lane. Yes, these people exist, and in large numbers, including where we work. We will not, NOT, become one of them.

And, so, off to the city for Saturday mornings. The little shop opened sometime in December, but it took a few weeks for us to wander in. Didn't want to be too hasty. Jack and Linda welcomed us in. They are most recently transplanted from New York, and have lived and traveled fairly extensively. They decided to open a wine, cheese, chocolate, and related foodstuff shop, for fun and profit. They are evil. Evil in the oh, so warm, genuine, welcoming, remember you and your kids, have a nice little play area for your kids, and actually tape the drawings your kids drew for them up on the display case, EVIL. We have fallen under their spell. We step through the door, and it is like an episode of Cheers. They insist we sample each new item. We buy. We eat. We moan. We are plotting to get them to adopt us. Jack makes the amazing bread and the fresh mozzarella and the tarts. He would surely share his recipes and secrets with his adopted daughter, right?

So, her I am, stuffed full of baguette, Gloucester with chives, fresh mozzarella, Basque sheep's milk cheese, and 2 types of brie, one with blue cheese blended in, one without. Also some particularly lovely paper-thin sliced salami. And some champagne, for good measure. I swear I am a better person because of it.

Sadly, I am no longer able to eat the grocery store version of brie.

I told you they were evil.

PS: Adored parents, this adoption thing, I will share the recipes. You know that, don't you. It's just that it is so good. We will take you there when you visit. Then, you can be adopted, too. The bread alone is worth it.



Blogger The Lioness said...

Er, I need parents across the ocean as well! Especially when they come w cheese, loads of cheese, heaps of cheese, good God my brain is still in shock! Lucky you, that's what I want to have in a few years, life in the country - or as countrified as possible - and easy access to the city. And you, YOU, probably also have 2nd hand bookstores right? RIGHT? Shameful really. Oh such an exciting Saturday, I do hope it turns into a tradition!

4:17 AM  
Blogger Diana said...

L- Dahling, I am sure they would love a Portie adopted daughter as well. Oh, yeah, that's Wisconsin: America's Dairyland. Says so right on the license plates. Madison must have 2nd hand bookstores, it is a university town for heaven sake. Monroe, a bit to the south, does. Sadly, we moved from the largest 2nd hand book store, Powell's City of books. It's in Portland, takes up an entire city block. You can spend days there, especially after they added the cafe several years ago. Half my book collection is from Powell's. (sniff) I miss them so...

9:58 AM  
Blogger Rozanne said...

Wine and cheese. One of (two of?) my favorite things.

That sounds like an absolutely wonderful cheese shop.

I think B and I are going to have to steal your idea and institute a semiregular wine and cheese night. What a great idea.

11:52 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Comment to lioness, et. al. re: bookstores.

If you have a dirth of s/h bookstores, may I suggest the periodic library book sale? Here in River City and environs, they are real "happenings". Get there before the doors open, elbow some blue-haired old bat, and complete your collection of Stephen King before lunch. Usually a school gym is taken over for the weekend. I have even been know to be late for my teaching job to get the good choices--fortunately these were non-instruction days.


2:08 PM  
Blogger The Lioness said...

RF, I'd love to, that's a brill idea but I am in Portugal, we got nothing. The English Sections are rather dismal (in the Libraty near me there are abt 20 books in English altogether). I ocasionally find English books in a charity shop but far and few between and mostly Rosamundpilcherish. I could - and do - buy them at the regular shops but there's no thrill, no unexpected joy. New books just aren't the same at all.

BUT. I've recently been to Canada - did you know one can get books for 30 cents in the Salvation Army shop??? CENTS! - and I bought 115 books. Then I had to buy an army duffel bag at the Army Surplus thingy to carry them back (that and the fleece jumpers, oy, warm, soft and cheap, who knew the combo existed?). But now they're here, so I am a bit less miserable. Also, my Anglo visitors always go foraging w the request list I send them.

D., sorry, I'll shut up now - it's the subject, see. Books. Can't help myself. I'mk trying very hard to forget the "entire city block" bit or I'll NEVER sleep again.

6:18 PM  
Blogger Diana said...

Rozanne- Absolutely! Add a wine and cheese dinner every week or 2. My only recommendation is that you each choose something you've either always wanted to try or just looked interesting, not just the old favs, although also good to mix them in, too. We seem to do it every other week and then nosh on the leftovers on the following days. Would also be fun to do with a couple of good friends. Sadly, here, in the land of dairy, cheese curds seem to be everyone's end all. 5 years here and I still don't see the appeal of the almighty cheese curd.

Dad, good info on the used book gorge-fest provided by the public libraries. You have done good helping to build my library with your donations, too. Keep up the good work!

L- I wonder what the shipping would be to Portugal from, say Powell's (I believe they are at or via (which also has used books and links you to other used book distributors, which I have used in a pinch with good results). And, can I say, WOW!, how ever did you lift 115 books? Please talk books, they are one of my passions. When the kids are grown and don't need the play room, it is becoming a library with floor-to-ceiling bookshelves. And some really comfy chairs. Shhh. Charles doesn't know yet....

9:40 AM  

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