Fussing for the Two of Us
A special day. A special dinner. A little fuss. Last night's dinner à deux. A host of memories on the table alone - a pale blue damask linen table cloth given to Tim's parents on their wedding day more than 60 years ago. White linen napkins from the same era. China salad plates and later, for dessert, tea cups from the set started by my mother when I was 16. Flatware given by my parents for our first wedding anniversary. Crystal water goblets chosen for our wedding (I only have 6 for they ceased production soon after.) The table itself, built by Tim in Ecuador 28 years ago. How many people have sat here, lingering, laughing, talking?
Candlelight on a summer evening. White flowers and greenery gathered from the garden. All this fuss for just the two of us. You know, it didn't take long to pull together. I started cooking and table setting at 3:00 and all the prep was done by 5:00, except for the last minute cooking after he arrived home.
I use to save "special' for company. During our years in Ecuador there were always the special treats brought down from Canada or the USA. I would hoard them in the freezer and use them rarely, then only for company. One day I read or heard, "Use the things you love on the people you love." Well, of course.
My children remind me occasionally of the time I tried to grow raspberries in Ecuador. Our crop was very very small. I used these same china salad plates, one for each of us, and in the center of each plate I placed one single raspberry. That was dessert. How we laughed.
First course, Watermelon with Feta Cheese and basil. Simple. Juicy.
Main course: Shrimp with Garlic, Parsley and Lemon, Roasted Asparagus, Sauteed Mushrooms, and an Onion Carbonara from a cookbook by Patricia Wells (The French Kitchen Cookbook) that will be going into my regular repertoire of recipes. He had a glass of Malbec, I had Riesling.
We like to wait a little for dessert. Tim had an exhausting day so he took a little rest on the couch while I cleared away the food and dishes. Very 1950s. Then dessert - a Flourless Chocolate Cake with Whipped Cream and Raspberries. Earl Grey tea. The cake is from Laura Calder's book, French Taste. Dark intense chocolate flavour.
I let the candles burn down even after dessert was done. We watched an episode of The Good Wife on Netflix. My sister called to wish us Happy Anniversary and we Skyped with our youngest daughter and her husband in Vancouver. There are cards on the mantel.
And so another year is marked. Today I'll be watching two little grand-people while their mother goes to an appointment. Good times ahead, always.