Tony and I are getting married—ha cha!—and hosting a celebratory dinner on May 5, the sixth anniversary of our first date,1 at Margaux, a restaurant inside the Marlton Hotel where we had a couple of wonderful meals last year: for Valentine's Day and Tony's birthday.
In a group e-mail that also included Stacy, Hal asked us who proposed to whom. I replied: "We’ve been talking about possibly getting married for a while. I was more enthused about it happening than Tony. He recently became more accepting of the idea and asked me if I’d thought about where I’d want to get married. That was basically his proposal. I reckon he’ll have a different story to tell, no doubt involving a cat that smokes cigarettes and drinks vodka gimlets."
Tony replied: "It involves a raccoon wearing a nicotine patch and drinking a gin martini, dry, three olives, hold the pimentos."
Stacy said she'd take photos, and Eugene has agreed to be our officiant. We're still sorting out some of the other particulars, such as whether we'll get rings (we don't generally wear jewelry, and it's so heteronormative, don't-ya-think?) and what exactly the ceremony will entail.
I made an announcement on Facebook on Thursday, and my favorite comment came from Andy, our Broadway-fanatic (or should I say theater-maniac?) friend: "You two are fun and joy personified." How wonderful is it to be thought of that way? *gives Andy a hug and a kiss*
Tony and I didn't go out to dinner for Valentine's Day this year. We stayed in and cooked and drank the bottle of Bordeaux—from the commune of Margaux—I'd given my guy for Christmas:
Tony loved its velvety smoothness, and I enjoyed it, too—a perk of gifting wine to your snookums.
Tony cooked steaks and an oniony and spicy rice dish; I roasted a butternut squash and made a (not pictured) salad that featured pear and kohlrabi on top of microgreens:
Tony gave me bird feeders and birdseed for my V Day present. One feeder contains sunflower seeds, and the other, thistle seed, which attracts finches. We've been getting a lot of titmouses (hee hee) and chickadees (who call chickadee-dee-dee). My favorite birds at the moment are the white-breasted nuthatches, because I love watching them climb down tree trunks upside-down.
The first day I put the feeders up, I saw two goldfinches land on the pole that holds them up, but they didn't eat anything. I told Dad they were females because they weren't bright gold. He reminded me—because I'm sure I knew at one point, because when I was a kid, I knew everything about animals—that both males and females are less fabulously colored in winter and that it's only in spring that the males get their beautiful plumage. I've since seen goldfinches eating from—WTF?—the sunflower feeder but not from the thistle one. Something is eating from that feeder because the thistle seed is going down, slowly. I've had to refill the sunflower seed just about every other day.
We've gotten a cardinal or two but not as many I'd hoped for, because, like my Granny, I love those birds. And I've seen some dark-eyed juncos, which, like cardinals and Grady, tend to eat seeds that have fallen to the ground.
Dad drove up two Saturdays ago, and he and I had lunch at Market Pizza. He said MP's margherita was the best pizza ever:
And that was a correct assertion. :-) Like me, Dad thought the tomato sauce was the best part of an epic eating experience.
So you don't have to click on the link to be reminded/find out what Gerbstock is, I'll write that it's a musical fundraiser Tracey and David put on annually for Children's Aid and Family Services that usually involves a heavy metal performer. (The 2014 Gerbstock, which I couldn't attend because Tony and I were in London, featured Darryl McDaniels, of Run DMC.) This year's funds will be targeted at sending children in foster care to summer camp. And this year's special musical guest was Joe Lynn Turner, a former lead singer for Rainbow and Deep Purple.
Turner performed with Loose as a Goose, which I have no link for, as his backup band. And David joined in on guitar on the Jimi Hendrix Experience's "Purple Haze" and Deep Purple's "Smoke on the Water" and "Highway Star":
Before the special event, I took the usual series of Selfies With MollyTM, the best of which is here:
<3 that girl!
Last Monday, I spotted these crocuses in our yard:
I've made the Pear Oat Scones twice since Christmas, once with half cardamom and half ginger and, just last week, with all ginger.
Tony and I usually do the dogs' "maintenance" together, because Grady is such a pain in the ass about getting his ears cleaned inside (with a special cleaner for dog ear canals) and out (with mild soap and water) and his teeth brushed. Because Tony was very busy last Tuesday, I did the maintenance by myself and took these pics. Grady hid his head in a valiant but fruitless attempt at dodging the ear-cleaning process:
Missy loves getting her teeth cleaned because the corgi in her adores anything that mimics eating and the toothpaste we use tastes like chicken:
Matt and Mike visited us this past weekend. They drove down (Mike) and back (Matt) on their own.
On Friday evening, with the 'phews' help, I made my red bell pepper–and-tomato sauce (without the meat this time) over penne and Caeser-ish Salad for dinner. And for dessert, we had two frozen treats I'll describe below:
Then we watched a movie I had on disc from Netflix: Out of Sight. M&M were in various states of wakefulness throughout it, and Tony stopped watching after a short time, but I thought it was pretty darn good, with great performances from JLo and Clooney.
The next morning, the four of us played Muggins ...
... and Foodie Fight. (Tony was the questioner, not a player, for the latter, just like last time.)
Then I took the guys to the Stockton Market so I could pick up some provisions and so they, like their Pop Pop, could enjoy Market Pizza's delicious pies. Mike said his pepperoni pizza was the best of that particular kind he'd ever had. Matt had a specialty pie, Black Forest, with prosciutto and arugula, that he said wasn't easily comparable to more conventional pizzas, but he thought it was mighty tasty.
Here's Mike taking a pic of his pizza, no doubt for the Instachat or Snapgram. ;-p I love the expression on the girl behind him. Our butcher, Manny, is also in the background:
And here's Matt taking a pic of his pizza, with our fish peeps and the barbeque joint in the background:
I'm wrapping up this post with the two kinds of frozen dessert excitement:
Early this month, Tony's friend Nancie, whom I haven't met in person yet but have enjoyed following on Facebook, sent Tony this recipe for Blood Orange and Bittersweet Chocolate Sorbet, asking us (well, me) to make it and saying that if it was good, it would give her an incentive to buy an ice cream maker.
This sorbet was fantastic, thanks in no small part to the Campari, which gave it an extra air of sophistication. Tony and I debated whether the chocolate was really necessary. My final decision is that it's a fine addition but I'm sure it would also be scrumptious without it:
I substituted brown rice syrup for the corn syrup because I try to avoid the corn-industrial complex as much as possible. And I used bittersweet chocolate chips rather than go through the process of melting bittersweet chocolate, freezing it, and breaking it into pieces because that seemed too much like busywork when I had perfectly good chips in the fridge.
I've also continued to work on my vegan ice cream base, and I finally nailed it last week:
I added lecithin to make it more cohesive and scoopable, and as you can see from that photo of the Mint Chocolate Chip I made last Tuesday, it worked like a charm. I used lecithin derived from organic soy (so it's not GMO), because that's all I could find locally. But in the interest of avoiding the soy-industrial complex altogether, I'll most likely switch to sunflower lecithin for my business. And doing so would be reassuring to customers who can't eat soy, even though the lecithin is supposed to retain no trace of the soy properties that would be problematic to those who are sensitive to that legume.
1The restaurant where we ate on that first date, L'Annam, has long since closed.
2The Gerbers have also held a Gerbsteak fundraiser, in the summer of 2013.