Friday, November 30, 2007

Twenty Four and Counting...

Milestones. We've seen a few of them over the past few years. Making our last cross-country move. Buying our home. Bug's first steps here. Starting schooling. Our homebirth with Princess' precipitate arrival...good thing we'd planned a homebirth! Each dietary diagnosis. Each food taken out. The foods we've been able to add back in. And now Tool Guy and I celebrating our twenty-fourth wedding anniversary. Next year, the big one.

Several months back, our Party Planner offered, out of the blue, to take care of the Hobbits for Tool Guy and I to go off for a weekend. Days away seemed overly ambitious to me...stretching the umbilical cord a bit further than my comfort zone allowed, but we were definitely ready for a night out. So I watched the movie releases and waited for something relatively interesting and decent to come out. This took longer than even I had anticipated, Hollywood's creative vacuum being what it is, so it happened that the night we settled on was close enough to our anniversary to call it a celebratory date. Sweet. Dinner and a movie.

In our area, the safest place to eat out for anyone who is only gluten-free and not Everything Free is Outback. So we dressed to the nines...well, as ninish as one can get and not over-do it for an AMC Loews theatre, you know...and headed out for our date. I'm trying to remember the last time I've eaten out. Probably four years. Yeah, Outback isn't haute cuisine nor any of the other culinary ideals like eating local and all of that, but it's someone else's cooking. It's hard to be critical of something that is at least half way decent and I didn't know intimately from start to finish. If nothing else, the mystique is appetizing. We arrived hungry and were seated immediately, which is another indicator of how long it has been since we've eaten out together. We've never been seated that quickly at an Outback in our entire marriage. Yeah, that 24 year thing. Hey, I'll take my milestones where I can get them.

It was so refreshing to have a relaxing meal, refreshing conversation, and idle ease with a minimum of fuss. Our server did attempt to bring us a loaf of bread, but that was the only bobble. We each had our favorite picks and finished it all off with the brownie. It's probably an indicator of all the tweaking and testing that I've done that I was unconsciously evaluating the dessert as I dove in. My mind was weighing the crumb, the texture, the taste...all that stuff. Given that it's just cocoa powder, eggs, and stuff that just adds flavor, like a bunch of terrific crunchy walnuts. It did crumble apart rather mystery about why. But a massive mountain of ice cream, whipped cream, and shaved chocolate goes a long way toward holding that brownie together and I'm not about to quibble with such a surfeit of sugar, right?

I suppose the first indicator that there would be a change of direction in our evening plans was when we stopped off at the bank's ATM to get cash for the festivities. Tool Guy had recently received a newly PINned card, which had worked the last time he'd used it. Not tonight. Not at the bank's ATM. Not at another nearby ATM. And, unfortunately, not at the restaurant. And equally unfortunately, my purse with the checkbook and perfectly functional ATM card were at home. They were gracious about the glitch and we headed home to get more reliable coverage of our dinner tab. Scratch the movie. Fall back ten and punt. Sighing over the necessity, we drove back and continued the threads of the things we'd discussed over dinner, enjoying the night sky and joking about finding some spot to go parking. Hey, twenty-four years isn't that long, you know.

It's nice to be able to enjoy such food without worrying about reactions. Well, Tool Guy did have a minor reaction, but in a public place, cross-contamination is probably inevitable. I didn't even have any kinds of kick-backs from all of that sugar. The meal was grainless (except for the corn that has to be in there somewhere)...even the that was right up my alley. Someday, I need to go into the kitchen for some cooking dangerously and figure out how they do that flourless brownie. Meanwhile, I'm contenting myself with grainless pancakes. They're pretty light and fluffy and actually rather delicious. Well, not as delicious as brownies, but they do fill the hole and when slathered with ghee, they'll do. Until I hammer down that brownie thing.

Grain-free Pancakes

1 cup eggs
1/2 cup coconut milk
1/2 cup coconut flour
1/2 t guar gum
1/2 t salt
1/2 t baking soda

Blend up eggs and coconut milk before adding remaining ingredients and mixing. Be ready to add more milk...the coconut flour thickens as it absorbs moisture and it is very absorbent. Dole out onto heated griddle over medium low heat, turning when the top bubbles and loses its shine. Serve with ghee and maple syrup.

I had to smile when we walked in the door to see a totally darkened living room, populated with Hobbits on the floor, munching faux popcorn and shoestring fries. All of the faces were turned up toward the TV screen with 3D glasses perched on each nose. It looked like a flashback from the '50's. Trust Party Planner to come up with something that would make a simple DVD and a dark room a festive event. No one was missing us. Heh. Grabbing the stuff we'd come for, we dashed back out with just some quick explanations to resume the rest of our evening. No movie. Just lots of talking about plans and ideas for the next twenty four years. Good food and good company is all that counts.


Anonymous said...

Happy Anniversary!!! Love....

Renée said...

So how many eggs is a cup of eggs? Do you just keep cracking the eggs until you have a cup of them?

Loztnausten said...

Renee, that's pretty much how I do it, given that our eggs come in quite disparate sizes. :)