Visit My Etsy Store!

Monday, October 5, 2009

dueling anniversaries

this day last year was the first anniversary of the day rob and i met. the one-whole-year mark was a big deal, and naturally we wanted to do something nice to celebrate together. however, we, uh, lacked funds. okay fine, we were pockets-turned-out broke. thankfully, i have quite a bit of experience in this area. you don't work for non-profit salaries for a decade without learning a few tricks for gracefully getting through frequent periods of pennilessness.

so, we scrapped our dreams of heading to ashland for the weekend and prepared for a nice dinner at home. we thawed some pork chops i'd squirreled away a few months earlier, picked up a couple of pieces of produce, and had a wonderful dinner of pork chops with plum and ginger sauce, roasted butternut squash, brussels sprouts, and french onion soup. we opened a bottle of wine from steppe cellars we'd purchased on a trip to yakima valley that summer. rob lit a candle and folded the napkins all fancy-like. together we enjoyed our anniversary dinner in his 3rd floor condo overlooking the changing leaves on the edge of portland's pearl district. it was perfect, and i would not have changed a thing.

a few days ago i decided to recreate that meal. not only was it a delicious nod to our upcoming two-whole-years milestone, this meal is also a way to get reacquainted with fall flavors.

i followed a recipe from gourmet magazine (which i just learned today is shutting down after 70 years! nooo!) for the pork chops, and a recipe from bon appetit for the soup. the squash was just cubed and roasted in olive oil, salt and pepper, and since brussels sprouts aren't available just yet, i made some simple sauteed green beans with toasted pecans.

pork chops with gingered plum sauce, gourmet 1997 (note-- the recipe gives a cooking time of 50 minutes which is about twice as long as they need!)

french onion soup, bon appetit may 1991 (great recipe, but i think i'm going to shop around for another. though really, you can't go wrong with french onion soup...)

green beans with toasted pecans
(serves 2)

2 handfuls skinny green beans, washed and trimmed
1/4 cup pecan pieces
unsalted butter
olive oil
balsamic vinegar
salt and pepper

saute the beans in olive oil and butter over medium heat for 5-7 minutes, until still bright green and crisp but beginning to cook through. add chopped pecans to pan and continue cooking just a few minutes, allowing the nuts to toast. add a splash of balsamic vinegar and cook 30 seconds longer. season with salt and pepper, and serve warm or room temperature.

mmmm... pork chops simmered in fruit makes me so happy...

tonight we will celebrate our two years together, and a future of not going out with jerks and losers anymore, by having what promises to be an unreasonably amazing dinner at a celebrated seattle restaurant called canlis. i'm trying not to spend my day just reading their menu in anticipation, but it's hard. i can't wait to see what they do with some of the same ingredients i bring home from the saturday and sunday farmers markets! we're excited. rob's wearing a suit. and, check it out-- i'm gonna wear makeup. it's going to be amazing, but i have to admit that pork chops from the freezer and fancy folded napkins will always have top billing for me in our cast of memories. there's no way to improve upon a celebration stripped of glamor and glitter, down to what's important.

No comments:

Post a Comment