Saturday, June 26, 2010


To catch up on overdue posts, and to continue the theme of my last pre-anniversary post,  here's a little peek into the celebration of Anna+Justin one year later.

Although our official anniversary (of the ceremony day, June 14) was on Monday, both because I had to teach that day (the first day of my PEOPLE program class! about which I'll write more soon) and because we wanted to honor our whole wedding weekend as much as that one day, we did a lot of our celebrating on the Sunday before. The plans for the day mutated various times, and bike rides with friends and canoe trips were prevented by closed signs and rainy weather predictions.  So, we embraced the strawberry season that it was to take a trip to JenEhr Family Farm, the only certified organic strawberry farm in this part of Dane County (did you know that strawberries are #3 on the list of the "dirty dozen"--fruits/vegetables that are the most laden with pesticides when not organic?)

So, we traveled a few miles down the road to gather 18 pounds worth of delicious, local, organic strawberries. As we began picking, a little boy ran right by our row, screaming "STRAWBERRIES!" at the top of his lungs, face and shirt covered in pink-red stains. Exactly.

After a day of berry-picking, a picnic lunch, and a dinner at a yummy Vietnamese-Thai place in town, we gorged ourselves on cake and strawberries.  Since the Willy St. Co-op bakery had made our two wedding cakes (chocolate and carrot) last year, we decided to order a smaller version of the chocolate wedding cake to eat on our first anniversary. So, we had a lot of chocolate cake. So much cake. We ate it for several days on end, froze some of it, and took some of it to a potluck and Time's Up party.
The next day, on the actual anniversary, after I taught my first class, Justin met me for lunch at an Italian place downtown that our friends had been raving about for the last year or so. We had a eggplant panini with a really interesting carrot-white bean-dill soup and margherita pizza with really well-dressed greens.  The meal was not as outstanding as we might have hoped, but we enjoyed ourselves anyway (andthe company and conversation were unparalleled).
That night, we dined at an even nicer place: Casa Zeide-Horn, and enjoyed beautiful plates of Mexican salad and strawberry daiquiris Justin whipped up with our anniversary strawberries (which we continued eating and eating, and baking with, and freezing, and pureeing, and taking to our frisbee team for the rest of the week).
Finally, to conclude our festivities, we indulged in my favorite part of the anniversary, the reading of our one-year letters! At our wedding last year, we had a table with little slips of paper for people to write notes for us to open on our first anniversary. We savored each and every one, taking in the love and the humor and the wittiness of our friends, reliving the evening and the joy of our wedding and reception.  I wish we'd had everyone write us letters for our 2nd and 3rd and 4th and on and on anniversaries... (hint, hint)
To sink more deeply into nostalgia, we watched a video of our wedding ceremony, read our vows to one another, watched the videos of our wedding guests sharing their wishes for us, and looked through our wedding scrapbook. We also began a tradition of writing each other letters, which we hope to do every year on our anniversary, and then to enclose them in an anniversary scrapbook I made for us this year. It's been a heck of a year, but I know the best is still to come.  Happy sigh.

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

Harvest, with days to spare

Last night, we finally made it out to Harvest (a fine-dining restaurant in Madison that uses local and organic ingredients) to use one of the gift certificates we'd been given for our wedding by my dearest high school friends NB, RS, and AM. With only one week until our first anniversary (!) and an impending gift certificate expiration date, we snuck in this dinner just in the nick of time.

The whole experience was lovely, and though some of the food was a bit over-salted, we were impressed by the range and creativity of their offerings.

Compliments of the chef, a fresh spring garlic puree soup and a warm, toasty roll:

A delicious cocktail, the bee's knees (with a real piece of honey on comb stuck in for good measure!):

Our first courses, Seared Sea Scallops with Parsnip Chips and Parsnip Puree, and Grilled Asparagus with Farro, Spinach, and House-Made Ricotta:
Then, for our main course we shared the House-Made Cavatelli Pasta with Asparagus, Mint, Chili, and Olive Oil and three other sides: Spinach with Crispy Garbanzos, Chickpea Fries, and the Seasonal Mushrooms Hen of the Woods.
Finally, for dessert, we had the Chocolate Almond Cake with Caramel and the House-Made Mint Ice Cream (which actually tasted like mint leaves!), along with two Lavender Lemon Sugar Cookies, compliments of the chef:

Throughout it all, we thought of and sent vibes of love and gratitude to our friends who gave us this night, and to everyone who shared our wedding with us, almost a year ago.