Wednesday, November 5, 2008

Anniversary Album: Matthew and Sharon

Wow! Did I ever get derailed! Not that this is a new or novel experience for me- derailment- is one of my solid strengths! But I was on a roll! I'd loaded the pictures for this blog, And then suddenly there was the election, And of course now I have lots of time since I'm not on the Internet checking and rechecking the news, the polls, And then rechecking the news, the polls. Now with not so very much to do I've had a work stoppage. And so I try to find my place, my train of thought, because after all- Matthew and Sharon have been safely back in NYC for two weeks. So let's see if I can conjure up the memories. Well, I'll give it a try.

First, it was SO MUCH FUN to spend the actual day of the FIRST ANNIVERSARY with Matthew and Sharon- especially given that we didn't spend THE actual WEDDING DAY with them- elopement rather interrupted that. Now I did suggest to Don that perhaps it would be more fitting if we just sent Matthew and Sharon off to a romantic dinner alone for their anniversary- and he looked at me like I was OUT OF MY MIND- why, he said. Why would we even consider that- when we wanted to spend the evening with them- why would we even give them the option. He had a point- and we didn't give them the option. And it was romantic- in fact I think probably now everyone that reads this will rush to celebrate ALL ANNIVERSARIES with the parents and parents-in-law.
We went to a great restaurant called Absinthe- a great little restaurant here in San Francisco (which of course has no shortage of "great little restaurants").
We started with a champagne toast!

See I told you this was a romantic dinner! It started off terrific!

Don't the BRIDE AND GROOM make some handsome couple?!

And the food was terrific!

And Matthew did try the absinthe (absinthe is said to have psychoactive properties and was banned in much of Europe and the United States in early 1900's. But it's making a come back- and is now widely available in Europe- the 1990's and now the US- 2007). The picture above reflects the way we were told by the waitress to made an absinthe cocktail. Absinthe is in the bottom of this glass. That's a sugar cube on top of a strainer over the absinthe. The method is to add water to the sugar cube which dissolves and drips into the absinthe. He was advised to add some sugar, taste it, and then add more sugar if desired. Apparently this stuff tastes pretty powerful and the sugar is added to make it palatable. I have to tell you though- it would be real difficult to evaluate for psychoactive properties using Matthew as the only subject in a trial. He acted the same before and after. Whether or not he was under some psychoactive influence is always hard to tell with Matthew. I couldn't tell if he liked it- or rather liked the novelty of it.

And there was of course chocolate at the end- what first anniversary would be complete without chocolate.

We cooked at home for breakfast the MORNING AFTER the FIRST ANNIVERSARY- And I do believe that Matthew and Sharon might be the only couple that we would dare fix "Poached Eggs on Brussel Sprouts" to start the day.

But Matthew and Sharon didn't bat an eye- in fact they pronounced it absolutely wonderful (Don won't go that far with this particular breakfast- but he was trying to impress Matthew and Sharon so he didn't forgo the Brussel sprouts for the usual fried potatoes on the side- usually it's NO SPROUTS FOR BREAKFAST- but not with Matthew and Sharon in town!)
But we did have homemade biscuits and preserves- just in case.

And then we were off for the day. In retrospect I think I operated much like a wedding photographer- albeit with much less equipment. I did make Sharon and Matthew stop and pose in front of every scenic pause during the next two days of seeing the sights of San Francisco- the bridge (of course), Berkeley Botanical Garden (of course for our resident arborist), Japanese Garden, and the just opened Academy of Science with it's Living Roof!


Now I know that some of you haven't been following the life and career of one Alice Waters- and the revolution she started in food/restaurants. But Alice Waters is the absolute ULTIMATE of the EAT LOCAL AND ORGANIC AND HUMANE AND SUSTAINABLE movement- she did SLOW FOOD before there was SLOW FOOD. And she does know presentation, presentation, presentation!

This display- with the apple tart for the evening sat on the bar between the kitchen and the dining room as we walked to our table! WOW!

I don't think I could have talked Don into this little adventure if it hadn't been for Sharon- or maybe he would have gone with me and then scowled the whole time. But with Sharon and Matthew. Don had a great time! He was the most adventuresome in his selection. How about those squid?
I'm certain those squid were sustainable, local (from the bay?) and certainly organic. Those little squid were certainly not treated with any of those awful chemicals. And I'll bet they were happy squid just before they got thrown in the boiling water.

And before this dining experience I'd never even heard of "Wild Nettles" much less had "Wild Nettles Pizza"- though the oysters in the picture (farmed just north of San Francisco) are always a favorite of Sharon, Matthew and me- Don won't touch them! And I'll bet those "wild nettles" were organic and totally unaware that they were being grown just to be put on a pizza. I believe most farmers spray the wild nettles to keep them out of their pasture. We got a pizza.

And of course there was wine!

And beer!

And of course enjoying our special company!

And dessert!

We tried 4 different deserts! As you might guess from all of this, organic, natural, sustainable, or slow doesn't necessarily mean inexpensive. I know for a fact that Alice was very proud of this food and consequently, was reluctant to give it up without a price to match.

And Sharon and I left with copies- autographed copies- of Alice Waters' most recent book.

I think we might become Alice Waters' groupies!


Nurse Horrible said...

Absinthe really was wonderful. The restaurant (by the same name) was pretty good too. I was not as happy with the adding of the sugar, but I really do like that fennel flavor and how the solution precipitates when it comes into contact with dihydrogen monoxide.

It's really this dihydrogen monoxide that makes everyone so psychoactive. And, yes, it did really affect me. My brain waves have slowly evolved over the last few weeks and now I permanently have an ability to detect auras and read palms. So I've decided to use this skill for the betterment of humankind. Please send referrals my way. I'm setting up a system of kickbacks.

Beyond The Strip said...

Concur with the blog, it is impossible to determine if Matthew is psycoactive or not, therefor absynthe will have to be tested on a different subject. Great looking couple, I'm glad everyone had a fabulous time!

fiddleheads said...

i now love brussel sprouts for breakfast! this weekend i'm reinacting that breakast again but substituting the biscuits for polenta to save some calories...
i also really like the photos you took of matthew and i. you can really see what a great time we were having in them.
thanks again for an amazing time celebrating our first anniversary with us. it was an honor to have you with us on that special day.

The Life and Times of Poose and Hawk said...

Just wanted to let you all know that Shelby started a pretty impressive blog-

The Life and Times of Poose and Hawk said...

Also, the chef from Absinthe is on Top Chef this season-just started last night (a challenge show about 16 chefs who battle for title "top chef"). It's one of E's and my favorites-on Bravo.

Shelbyroo said...

i love the pictures! they are so fun. looks like everyone is happy and doing well....and um...that dessert looks great. =]