Saturday, June 9, 2012

Home Cookin'

As you likely know by now, my boyfriend is a chef. He may tell you otherwise - his business card says “writer, animal lover, salesman, chef” and though he currently works as a waiter, above that, he is a chef. While we all egg him on to open his own restaurant in Anaconda, we are sufficing for delicious home cooked meals. It was important to Trevor that I got to enjoy the first dinner cooked in his new house and I am glad I did - I thought Lancaster had great sweet corn, but Montana? Montana wins this one. While orange juice, steak and corn on the cob is perhaps a strange combination, Trevor was only trying to ensure that I got all my needed vitamins and protein after a long day of traveling and a mile high difference in altitude. He’s sweet like that. Besides, he even offered to compromise on “some pulp” orange juice.

Before I even left for Montana, Trevor informed me that we were having a "dinner party”, as soon as we managed to get the house cleaned. If you know me, you know that I love anything with the word “party” and delightfully agreed. As a little bit of a back story, Trevor chose Anaconda because it is the home of an old friend from the Airborne, Scott, and his wife Michelle. During my week in Montana, they were both so incredibly generous and helpful - like I said, they took me to see the Univeristy of Montana! - and Trevor said it has been that way since he arrived in Montana. I’m not kidding you when I say that these two were some of the nicest and funniest people I have met in recent times - I’m not sure if it’s a Montana thing but I was so grateful. And that is why Trevor and I insisted on having them over for dinner. While I can tell you that I’ve never had something so delicious, I can’t share the recipe because Trevor kicked me out of the kitchen. I did the grocery shopping and cleaned for company but when it came to dinner, I was sent to McDonald’s to do my homework. I won’t complain though because I’m not sure I’ve had a better home cooked meal.

Pork Tenderloin with Sweet Potato Mash, Mango Chutney and a Smoked Paprika Caramel Sauce.
Gluten Free Pancakes (from Bob’s Red Mill) Topped with Caramelized Fuji Apples
And then, there was birthday cake. Prior to the planning of this last minute trip, I spent two days sulking at the thought of not spending Trevor’s birthday today. I debated how to bake a gluten-free cake and have it mailed, I tried to buy him a gift certificate to go for dinner on line.. Neither of those ideas seemed plausible. And then, the kindness of Montana was shown again when Amy of Amy’s Custom Cakes offered to not only make a gluten-free cake (for the first time) but to deliver it to Trevor’s home address, as a surprise. I rushed to the post office and mailed a card and candles to go with it, and managed to not even tell Trevor about it, but I was so delighted at how surprised he would be. Well, I obviously ended up in Montana for the big day but the cake was a delicious surprise, none the less. If you are in the Anaconda area, I highly recommend Amy for her incredible customer service, her beautiful cake decorations and considering how delicious our gluten free cake was - I can only imagine how delightful her other cakes must be!

We loved having a week to spend grocery shopping and cooking at home. And let me tell you, there’s nothing sweeter than waking up to a fresh cooked breakfast and hot chocolate in bed. While grocery shopping, making dinner and doing the dishes seem mundane alone at home, they are on our list of favorite things to do together and we’re both looking forward to two months of weekly grocery trips and home cooked meals to share. (I’m still not looking forward to washing dishes.)

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