What matters

What matters

Last night was one of the most important days of the year for me. It was our anniversary.
Our 30th anniversary, to be exact!

Pretty big one, huh? I thought so. So what does a loving, very close couple do on their 30th anniversary?
They have a party and a fancy dinner.

Unless, of course, you’re Anita and Chris. We add a whole new meaning to celebrating events and holidays.

One year, for our anniversary, Chris bought me an Iguana! I was so excited I cried. I knew he truly loved me.

So this year, I made plans. We were going to try all kinds of food from around the world. No, we weren’t doing some restaurant tour- we were cooking it all ourselves.

I got to hunting down recipes. I spent hours researching, writing, and printing out recipes and information. I was already feeling “Cuisine Enlightenment”. Anthony Bourdain-eat your heart out.

I told my husband my awesome idea. In return, he gave me that look. The look that says “Honey, every time you come up with some out there thing we ‘just gotta try’-something goes wrong.”

“No, this is going to be fun. It’s going to work out great! You’ll see.”
He tried to talk me out of it- “Sure sounds like a lot of work, hun.”
“Not at all. I got this. Trust me.”

So yesterday things started out a little late. But that’s ok. No problem. We had plenty of time to go to the grocery store to purchase all the food for our 8 ethnic recipes, and many snacks we were going to try.

There was only one, minor hurdle to overcome. I couldn’t find ANY of the recipes I had so painstakingly researched. Not one.

No issue here! “We’ll just wing it.”
Nothing was going to stop us! We can figure out a bunch of recipes from places we don’t know much about and their food which we never tasted. Easy peasy.

So into Caputo’s we went. (Caputo’s, in case you haven’t heard about it, is a wonderful place for ethnic food from many countries.)
“What are we gettin’?” I pulled out a piece of paper from my pocket. It had snippets of partial recipes. That was about it.

“We can do this!” I figured we’d just go off whatever I had scribbled down, post haste, as we were about to run out of the house. We’d wing it!

“Asian soup!” That was one thing, so off the the Asian food aisle. I grabbed some interesting noodles, and we were rollin’! We had it goin’ on!

Off to the Italian section. That was easy. With a name like Caputo’s, you can probably guess that most of it is the Italian section. I grabbed some cheeses and stuff.

Then to the Middle Eastern section, where I found some fun looking foods to try. We got some scrumptious delights in the meat and fish sections. And veggies. Oh the veggies!

Now we were plain out experts, movin’ that cart through the aisles like a couple seasoned world travelers. I think we even pronounced some of our finds correctly.

We paid and headed home. We unpacked and started prepping for our international meal. It turns out we forgot a couple things, so Chris headed back out to Jewel. No biggie.

I washed and cut up vegetables. I set out a mixed platter of snacks from different countries. Ironically, they all went together pretty well.

Our timing was off on a few things, but all in all, it came together. We actually got everything made in fast time. We got a rhythm going. We were in synch.

By this point, I really felt we could be world travelers- trottin’ the globe with ease. We actually pulled it off- kind of. There were a few glitches. A couple recipes we would probably change a little. But all in all, everything was delicious.

What was on the menu, you ask?

Here’s a quick list. You can check out photos and recipes in my blog section “Good Eats” in a day or two.

For the snack platter, we had Havarti cheese with dill, and slices of Scamorza cheese, which is a white cheese similar to mozzarella. (Chris’ Granny, whom I adored, used this on her amazing pizza instead of mozzarella. She called it “scamotz”.)
Add to that a sushi assortment. Yes, sushi! I never imagined that I would ever like sushi, but I’m not afraid to admit that I was wrong. We whipped up a pretty tasty sweet teriyaki chili sauce to go along with it. And smoked lox. How’s that for an international mix? As weird as it sounds, everything went together pretty well.

For the main dishes: We started with what would best be described as a “faux” Asian soup. Not Pho, but faux. You won’t see it in any respectable Asian restaurant,that’s for sure. It wasn’t bad for our first attempt.

Next was essentially steak and onions with mushrooms. We used rib eye steaks for this, and served it with a side of bulgur. Excellent! We’ll definitely make this again, with or without the bulgur.

Last, we had Mahi Mahi encrusted with macadamias. You can read about this debacle in “Good Eats”. That’s all I have to say about that.

My drink of choice was something I love. It’s hard to find, so when I find it in a store, I buy them out. It’s akind of energy drink. It has a light flavor, and has guarana in it. It’s called Bawls.
Side note: Talk to your doctor about enery drinks like this, as they can have side effects. Someday I will tell you why I drink it and how I benefit from it.

Our life is chaotic and very busy-all the time. We don’t have much time to sit and reflect or take long walks in the moonlight. We don’t eat dinner by candlelight while feeding each other. Good thing, as we’d end up laughing and spilling food everywhere. We don’t go to movies often and rarely sit in a nice restaurant.

But I will tell you a secret- I wouldn’t want it any other way now.

This is what true love is. Every part of it is in moments, sweet smiles across the room on a busy day. This true love is felt in the safety and protection I feel with this man. The loyalty and trust we have.

The simple line, “No matter what”. No matter what, I’ll always be with Chris. I’ll always be his wife. It’s the real deal. The raw truth that true love isn’t about all those things we don’t do, but in the small things we do every day. We know, “no matter what”.

It was a beautiful day.

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  • Mary Sue says:

    What a wonderful idea! You wee able to do a fun thing together. So happy to hear that you have true love! A very joyful post!

    • Anita Spero says:

      Hi Mary sue,
      Thank you for the comment. Every couple defines true love differently. But the one thing that is always in common is joy.
      I plan to share many ideas. I hope in return others share their ideas also.
      Glad you came to hang around.

  • Terry K says:

    Happy 30th Anniversary! I too will be celebrating my 30th later in the year. I must say what a fun and creative way to celebrate. Love that idea. So important to create those beautiful memories to last a lifetime💖💕

    • Anita Spero says:

      Hi Terry,
      You are so right. Memories are the one thing that can not be taken away.
      Do come back and let us know how you end up celebrating your 30th. I would love to hear.
      Thank you

  • Jill SS says:

    Yay on 30 years! My husband and I are right behind you… 3 weeks to be exact! 1986 was a great year, wasn’t it? Still not sure how we will celebrate it on May 24th, but I might surprise him and our (grown) kids by renewing our vows later in the year. In the meantime, I will continue to read your blog and take mental notes of your awesome ideas! Here’s to you and Chris and all of the other brides and grooms of the 80’s!
    By the way…Happy Mothers Day!

    • Anita Spero says:

      “Live as if you were to die tomorrow. Learn as if you were to live forever.”― Mahatma Gandhi
      Sometimes that Gandhi guy said some pretty cool things.
      Enjoy your May 24th. Make your own rules of celebration…But I think you got that down pretty good..
      Thank you coming over and commenting. Come back and share your day with us…
      (80’s..the most awesome of times.) A big Happy Mothers day back to you!

  • Melinda says:

    Happy 30th anniversary Anita!! Chris is definitely your soulmate. That sounds like a lot of fun , going to the store and picking out different foods from different backgrounds.. I would rather do something personal like that with my husband . Lol.. Much more fun than a movie or a fancy restaurant . I’m so happy for you guys . Keep posting different meals . I love chicken from an eastern place, always awesome .. I love your ideas Anita .

    • Anita Spero says:

      Thank you friend. You are such a wonderful customer. YOU are the perfect example of why I do what I do…and always look to improve.
      Thank you

  • Dan Lagina says:

    I love this story. Doing the simple things in life can be so rewarding. I’m glad my old friend found you.

  • marylou says:

    What a fun way to spend a special evening….I gained a few pounds just reading about your delicious concoctions…😉

    • Anita Spero says:

      Thank you Marylou, We had a great time. Some opps! moments…But I’m glad to say neither of us woke up sick…LOL. We plan on doing this a lot more..

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