Happy Bastille Day, everyone! And happy anniversary to me and to Dan, if I may self-celebrate for a moment.
As of today, I've been married for 8 enormous years to someone pretty great, whom I've known for a gigantic 17 years. This year, we celebrated with sausages, wine, braised cabbage, crusty bread, and homemade strawberry shortcake (above). I used Nigella Lawson's recipe in How to Be a Domestic Goddess, but added coconut because my mouth wanted coconut. Love that woman.
Then, at some point, because it is Poetry Tuesday, after all, I thought of the poem I wrote the summer Dan and I started dating (1994. eeeeeee). The occasion was his getting his braces off, which is perhaps less of a special day than an 8-year wedding anniversary, but it sure has improved his snacking. Here, wait. Let me share.
ODE TO ORTHODONTICS
Flitter-flutter through the night...
What's that?! A bright and numbing light.
Announcing a bar or a mud-wrestling fight?
No, sir: 'tis the tooth-glow of young Daniel's bite.
Whither wanders he in the gloom?
Why, thither - hear: he sings a tune
and whistles lovely songs of doom
with sparkling teeth (at a jealous moon).
Behold the boy with teeth aglow.
He wanders hither, to and fro,
bedazzling dentists like a pro,
exhaling toothpaste with each blow.
But hasn't he a mouth of tin?
Oh, nay - no more! But once his grin
could metal-shiny contests win.
A new day dawns above his chin.
So sing the song of our brave lad
who battled monsters myriad
to make his friends and loved ones glad
to view what great clean teeth he had.
Food-related memories with Dan over the past 17 years include:
- The time I drank straight pickle juice out of the jar just to gross him out. It worked.
- When Matt and Dan and I played some sort of game involving piling couch cushions on top of each other and then sitting on the person at the bottom -- and both of them called me "couch taco" for a few months.
- Trips to Mr. Bulky's in the Manhattan Town Center (mall), where I would usually get chocolate "bridge mix" and Dan would get something gummi.
- Purchasing 64-oz slushies in refillable cups at the ShopQwik, covering the cups with grip tape, and keeping them in my car to use for dirt-cheap, enormous refills for at least a year. I think we were a large part of the reason this size was discontinued.
- The morning we made pancakes at my parents' house and Dan thought it would be interesting to add instant pink lemonade powder to the batter. It might have been interesting, but it wasn't delicious.
- Grilling pizzas with Dan's dad in their backyard. Now those were delicious.
- All the double-Thanksgiving and -Christmas meals I got during the years our parents lived in the same town (miss that!)
- Raiding my scholarship hall's "24 hour open kitchen" together when Dan would come to visit me on my side of campus (mmm...frozen cookie dough hockey pucks!). Eating extra bagged lunches (from his cafeteria) in his dorm room in front of the TV (Tekken on the Playstation) other nights.
- Midnight-or-later doughnut runs in Lawrence, KS -- to Joe's or that other place. What was that other place called? Anyway, Dan likes apple fritters. La-di-da. I like actual, working-class doughnuts. Okay, I like the froofy ones with cream inside, too.
- Sun tea, sun tea, sun tea! And grilled cheese. And carrot cakes.
- Holding our annual "Welcome Summer; Goodbye School" BBQ (now on hiatus) and Holiday Cookie Party (still going strong) for almost as long as we've been together. No one cleans a bathroom while you (meaning "I") freak out about when the guests are going to arrive like Dan.
- Making 5 gallons of gazpacho together the night before our wedding in 2001. Plus a small batch without cilantro for Vincent.
- Enjoying turkey reubens and kettle chips from Hana Foods late-night on our current living room floor.
p.s. I wanted to post the photo of us (taken in 1995 or 1996 at Laura Z's party) in which we are sitting on a couch and I'm eating cheese out of a spray can (by spraying it on my finger, which I guess seemed more sanitary), but in deference to Dan's potential embarrassment (at changing hair/jewelry styles) I've refrained. Still, anyone who comes over to our house should take a look at it on our fridge. It's pretty amusing. And boy, do we look young.
(photo by Dan)