In our family, whenever there is a special event, the tradition is to cook a special meal. We all love to celebrate with food—no surprise there—and by cooking at home, we can have something especially tasty yet still be frugal. Our anniversary was last month, but because of the various schedules, Shannon and Mike couldn’t get together with us until yesterday.
We had planned to go to Shannon and Mike’s home in South Portland, but for our anniversary they bought us a special gift—a new rug for our living room—that needed to be transported in their larger car. Our little Honda Fit can hold quite a bit, but there was no way it could haul that rug along with a driver, one passenger, and a dog.
Now, Clif and I are a very thrifty couple. When we buy something, either new or second hand, we squeeze every bit of use out of that item. So it was with our living room rug, which we bought thirty years ago at Sears. I loved that red rug with its oriental design, and it was incredibly sturdy, withstanding kids, pets, and lots of company over the years. But all things have a lifespan, and so it was with this rug, which had become frayed, worn, and thin in many spots.
On Saturday, we rolled up the rug and brought it to the transfer station, and it was a bittersweet moment. I was sorry to see this old friend go, but I have to admit I was excited to be getting a new rug. (So excited that I forgot about a special dessert Shannon was bringing. Very uncharacteristic of me, and more about this later.) When you don’t get many new things, you really appreciate it when you do. And that’s the way it way should be. Between mindless consumerism and the life of of a monk there is a balance.
The new rug—shades of tan with a dark, almost Celtic border—looks oh so nice in our living room. Today, Clif and I have periodically taken a break from our work to admire it. We will have this rug for many, many years, and if it wears as well as the previous rug, it could possibly be our last living room rug. (Funny to think that way, but Clif and I have reached an age where this might be the case.)
For our anniversary meal, Shannon prepared one of the the dishes I love best—Cornish hens with a lemon, herb, and butter mixture tucked under the skin. The hens were moist and flavorful and because they were small, all of the meat was suffused with the herb butter mixture. We had baked potatoes, corn, and sour dough bread to accompany the hens.
Then there was dessert, which Shannon bought from Little Bigs in South Portland. The pastries are called CDs, short for “Cease and Desist,” and they are fried croissants dusted with cinnamon and sugar and cut into squares. The CDs have a hole, and they bear a striking resemblance to an insanely popular New York dessert that apparently must not be named. Hence “Cease and Desist.” The CDs were crisp on the outside, flaky but not dry, and we promptly munched them down. Good as the CDs were—and they were very good indeed—I must admit that I remain loyal to donuts, one of my favorite desserts. But what fun to try something new that has become a craze in New York City and is now a craze in Portland. CDs have become so popular that Shannon had to order them three or four weeks in advance.
A visit from the kids, a new rug, Cornish hens, and CDs. All in all, a terrific day.