Tuesday, June 01, 2010

The "Red Dress" Anniversary

Herr Doktor and I celebrated our twenty-third wedding anniversary on Sunday, and while our wedding was truly a fantastically fun weekend-long party, so many years later we had a very fine time just hanging out and going out to dinner. We went to a place called Bay Wolf (yep, a cute literary pun), one of the earliest temples to California cuisine that is still going strong.

Since this blog is about food, too, it's time for some menu porn. I started with roasted beet salad with feta and almonds and Herr Doktor had the fresh pea soup with mint, both quite toothsome. We both chose the same main course--gnocchi with mushrooms, peas and tarragon--and that was even better, especially with a nice glass of Gigondas. I'm always surprised how meaty and complex a sauteed mushroom can be, the essence of the fifth important taste "umami" (a Japanese word meaning delicious, but the scientific sense of the word is a kind of protein-rich full-bodied flavor). The gnocchi were almost fluffy and the sauce--well, you just wanted to mop it up with your baguette, it was that good. Just when I was expecting it couldn't get any better, out came the dessert course and this, naturally, deserves its very own paragraph.

Being a chocolate lover, Herr Doktor could not resist the chocolate souffle cake, while I gave in to the seductive call of the sticky toffee pudding with caramel ice cream. Can you say decadent? As good as they sounded on paper, the reality induced soft, restrained moans of delight. The chocolate cake looked like one of those flourless torte things that are so ubiquitous as to be passe, but the texture was truly heavenly in its lightness and the flavor so rich and well, chocolaty. I would have been jealous, but my sticky toffee pudding (doesn't that just sound kinda kinky?) was so amazingly complex and transcendental. The presentation was imposing--a small dome-shaped cake with caramel sauce and a scoop of golden ice cream--and I momentarily regretted my decision because it looked like such a heavy dessert. But one bit of the cake and I was in heaven. The texture was airy, not steamed-pudding dense as I expected, and the flavors blossomed into a symphony of brown sugar, butter and subtle spice. So, like our marriage, the meal just got better and better.

One question remains, however. (And yes, as you see in this photo, my house is a total mess!) If the first anniversary is paper, the twenty-fifth silver and the fiftieth gold, what is the twenty-third anniversary? Officially probably something like "teak ware" for traditionalists or "software updates" for the modern crowd, but since I got to wear my new red dress again, I'm calling it the "Red Dress" anniversary, a bit of a pun, too, in that after such a long stretch there may be a bit of redressing to be done in any couple's relationship, but the result, so silky, smooth and sweet, makes it all worthwhile.

Hope you all had a relaxing "door into summer" holiday!


Danielle said...

ah..food porn!!!!

and damn donna you look so good in that red dress...and finally we get to see the whole herr dr..:-) what ahandsome and pretty couple you are:-)

a rather modern song for your red dress anni:-)

Donna said...

Danielle, thanks so much and I loved that sexy video. Was dancing in my seat as those slinky ladies modeled their red dresses! Now I am showing my age, but Stevie Wonder's "The Woman in Red" was my first thought for a theme song, lol.

Craig Sorensen said...

You look so lovely, Donna! Red dress anniversary is the perfect name for it.

Your descriptions are luscious as always. I just had dinner, and still you made me hungry!

Congrats to you and the handsome Herr Doktor!

Jeremy Edwards said...

Look at you in your red dress! (Please pardon my Bay Wolf whistle.) You both look grand—and, of course, happy!

As for the food: gnocchi, mushrooms, and Gigondas all speak eloquently to me from across the continent.


neve black said...

Scrumpt-dili-isious! What a truly perfect post and what a handsome couple you two make - I think it's wonderful that you're happy and so real. It's nice and refreshing and gives us single folk hope in finding true love in the match-making game.

You look va-va-vavoom in that crimson dress, sexy lady!

Emerald said...

Beautiful pictures of you (both) indeed! It sounds like a scrumptious celebration, and thanks for including us in the luscious post-celebratory description! :)

And, of course, happy anniversary!!!


Donna said...

Craig, Jeremy, Neve and Em--thanks for stopping by, I'm getting the urge to go to Gettysburg for another eroticists' conference! Actually Neve and I have a date in Paris... But anyway, I appreciate the chance to model my dress for you. I don't dress up often, so I'm trying to make the most of it. Older ladies are supposed to wear purple to show their youthful spirit, but red works pretty well, too :-).

SusanD said...

YAY Donna and Herr Doktor! You two are a lovely couple. And you look SMASHING in that red dress -- not a single ounce of that fab sticky pudding shows ;) Happy belated anniversary to you and thanks for the drool-worthy recap.

Donna said...

Do you think the dress would work at the casinos, Susan? Actually, I must confess the pictures were taken BEFORE the sticky toffee pudding. Would not dare go public afterward ;-)!

Donna said...

Oh, thank you, Gina! Yeah, silver-plate. I mean who would go out and buy silver-plate at this point in life, even if you were into buying useless crap like that? Herr Doktor also researched the official designations--topaz is the "modern" thing to buy for the twenty-third, say what? He called the decision-makers "The People Who Want You to Buy Things." So I guess they decide ;-).

Danielle said...

ha i looke dit up..in europe the 23th wedding day is the "titan-wedding"..:-)

Donna said...

Ha, Danielle, well I felt like a Titaness for sure in my red dress. I see the twenty-fourth has no gifts associated with it in the traditional capitalist list, so you can get ready for all that silver the year after. But the modern gift is "musical instruments" which Herr Doktor is rather excited about--a new Fender bass for our young player in the family?

Craig Sorensen said...

But the modern gift is "musical instruments"

Now we're talking.

Donna said...

Yeah, Craig, if the required gifts were things like "delicious appetizers" or "interesting sex toys" I might be more tempted to sign on to the capitalism train, lol.

Maryanne Stahl said...

oh happy belated anniversary! LOVE the red dress! xxx

oh look...the word verification is "ought."
that shall be today's mantra!