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Anniversary Dinner

Yesterday was the four year anniversary of my first date with Jeff. We’re married now, so I guess we have a new anniversary, but it seems weird to not acknowledge the years before our wedding date. I spent some extra time in the kitchen making dinner last night, with pretty great results.

First course was jicama salad with blood orange, cilantro, napa cabbage, and peanuts. Adapted from this Serious Eats recipe, my version had blood orange instead of pomelos, as that’s what I already had on hand.

Next up was gnocchi with spinach, roasted carrots, dill, and turmeric broth, adapted from this The First Mess recipe. Their version has wild rice and sprouts. I couldn’t find sprouts at the grocery store, and decided to make gnocchi instead of rice, as it’s much quicker. I added dill and spinach in place of the sprouts. This was a definite hit with Jeff. Next time, I’ll strain the broth and make more of it. I actually really loved it with the gnocchi and will probably keep making it that way.

Finally, I made Lemon Meringue pie. I’ve been vegan for 15 years but recently started eating eggs only if I’ve met the chickens and they’re 100% free range backyard chickens. Living out in the country I see a lot of happy chickens and families selling off a dozen extra eggs here and there. It’s something I decided I was okay with. I still won’t eat eggs at restaurants or buy them from the grocery store, but I will buy eggs from the chickens at the salvage/ antique shop who were happily roaming through 7 acres (see photo from previous post). Anyway, this means I am slowly expanding my cooking and baking to new recipes that are pretty impossible to make vegan. I’ve made lemon pies before, but meringue is something that can only be made with eggs (whipped coconut cream is not quite the same). I was doing really great up until the very end when I put the pie just a little too close to the broiler.

“Jeff, my pie is on fire and I don’t know what to do!” I cried. Luckily the fire went out pretty quickly, but the top of the pie was completely scorched. The recipe had called for a lot of meringue though, so I just scraped off most of the burned parts and put it back in the oven (this time much further away). We ended up with one perfect slice and several only slightly burned slices. It was delicious.