An Anniversary Weekend and Snow-Gauge Clif

Our Anniversary

Last Saturday counted as an action-packed day for two homebodies who can be found most days at their house on the edge of the woods. It was our forty-sixth wedding anniversary, and as is our wont, we planned a day of simple pleasures that revolved around food.

First, breakfast. I made a batch of vegan chocolate muffins from my own recipe, one that I have come to be inordinately proud of. With them, we had veggie sausages. A good start to the day.

For lunch we headed to Augusta to the Red Barn, which specializes in fried food. Both Clif and I are crazy about fried food, but for obvious health reasons, we seldom have it.Β  But for our anniversary we figured, what the heck, and we threw caution to the wind. We brought our own dairy-free ranch dressing for reasons I’ll explain later. The food—piping hot mixed veggies—were oh so good.

Then it was off to our local supermarket to pick up nondairy cream cheese for a taste test comparison. Clif is lactose intolerant and not just a little bit. Because of this, we are always on the lookout for nondairy alternatives to food we love. Time was when supermarkets in central Maine did not offer much in the way of dairy-free products, but that is changing. On Saturday we found two cream cheese alternatives to go with crackers and drinks in late afternoon.

I am sorry to report that neither of the cream cheeses came through with flying colors. Vevan, the one on the left, had a muddy taste where the flavors were jumbled but nothing stood out, and the Kitehill, while marginally better, had a strange undertaste. Readers, if any of you have nondairy cream cheese recommendations, I’d love to hear about them.

Fortunately, we had better results with dessert. We’ve had this before, so we knew what were getting. The “So Delicious” on the carton is no exaggeration. This frozen dessert is one of the most delicious I have ever tasted, and that includes dairy ice cream. It is smooth, rich, creamy, and filled with chunks of cashews and chocolate. Who could ask for anything more? Its one drawback is the price—$5 for a quart. But since it was our anniversary, we figured we could splurge. Besides, $2.50 apiece for a dessert for a special day isn’t so very bad, and it was worth every penny.


Snow-Gauge Clif

Today is the vernal equinox, and even in central Maine, we are seeing signs that spring just might be coming. I’ve heard the spring songs of cardinals and chickadees.

However, in our shady yard, the snow is still pretty high.

Here is Clif in the front yard.

And here he is in the backyard.

Still a ways to go before we are snow free.



While my favorite genres of music are Alternative Rock and Folk Rock, I am also very keen on Baroque Music. I know, I know. Quite a spread there. When I work on my fiction, I always listen to Baroque music, and I’m particularly fond of Vivaldi.

So on this vernal equinox, here is a farewell to winter from Vivaldi’s Four Seasons: Winter. In Maine, we still might have a snowstorm or two, but we are definitely heading toward spring.

80 thoughts on “An Anniversary Weekend and Snow-Gauge Clif”

    1. Thanks, Jane. No Tums were necessary. For some odd reason, neither Clif nor I are bothered by fried food. Sets light as feather for us. πŸ˜‰

  1. That was fabulous music, especially as I am in the middle of reading The Violin Conspiracy. πŸ™‚

    Glad your dessert was a winner…must try that! We have celiacs in our family and a few lactose intolerances, so always like to hear about new products and have someone taste test them for us! Happy Anniversary!

    1. Many thanks! Glad you enjoyed the music. Haven’t read The Violin Conspiracy but will add it to the list.

      Hope you like So Delicious as much as we do.

  2. Happy vernal equinox and forty-sixth wedding anniversary, Laurie and Clif! It sounds like a lovely day.

    Vivaldi’s Four Seasons is always a treat!

  3. Happy Anniversary! 46 years deserves a celebratory treat for sure. I have been pleased with Violife vegan cheese (Hannaford’s carries it) and Fauxmaggio vegan dips, almost like the real thing. Available at AXIS NATURAL FOODS, 120 CENTER ST. AUBURN, ME
    Love Baroque music, what I listen to every day. I never realized there were words to Vivaldi’s 4 seasons, whaddya know? πŸ™‚
    Happy Equinox!

  4. Ahhhh, the Vivaldi was splendid!! Thank you! Did you notice the first violin played from memory? At least I couldn’t see a music stand in front of her. Beautiful.
    Sounds as if you and Cliff had a lip smackin’ day for your anniversary. Congrats on your 46th.
    The Violin Conspiracy, mentioned by S Vance above, was a good read. I thoroughly enjoyed it! Have you read it?
    Hope whatever snow you have from here on out is not worth mentioning. Happy Spring!

    1. What a composer! Yes, I did notice that the first violin played from memory.

      Thanks, Ginny. Clif and I did indeed have a lip-smacking day. Great description.

      No, I have not read The Violin Conspiracy. I’ll put it on my TBR list.

      As for as snow goes…your lips to Mother Nature’s ears.

  5. Happy anniversary you guys! Your snow is in stark contrast to our daffodils.

    Fascinating that you listen to Baroque music while writing! Just fascinating!

  6. Happy anniversary! We are just a year behind you…it seems a long time ago now when we were young and carefree!
    Good to see you had a lovely ”foodie” day, it is fun having
    ”a little bit of what you like” on special days.

  7. Happy anniversary Laurie. Congratulations on a long and successful marriage. Since the equinox varies given the leap year, we’re you married on the first day of spring? Our anniversary occasionally lands on the first day of autumn. I’m glad you treated yourself to all your favorite foods, and I’m pleased to see you were happy with your non-dairy dessert. Cheers!

    1. Thanks so much! We were not married on the first day of spring, which like this year came on March 20 in 1977. (I looked it up.) The first day of autumn is a lovely time for an anniversary. That nondairy ice cream is delicious and worthy of its name.

  8. Treeline has great cheeses.
    And toffutti sour cream tastes like cream cheese to me. It’s pretty thick.

    1. Thanks, Sunshine! I’ve had Toffutti cream cheese and liked it very much, but it doesn’t seem to be available around here anymore. I’ll be seeing if I can find Treeline.

      1. Thanks, Sunshine. I found that Treeline is available at Shaw’s in Augusta, so we will soon be trying Treeline. Toffutti is available at Uncle Dean’s in Waterville. We seldom go to Waterville, but might make a trip there and combine it with something else.

  9. Congratulations to you both! That looks a great celebration. I can’t help with the vegan cheese but I do understand that whenever I try substitutes for familiar foods I am usually disappointed. I am midly intolerant to all milks (although raw milk seems to be better for me than processed) but in the end just cut down to what I can tolerate. That sounds not to be an option for Cliff. I hope you find sonmething more palatable soon.

    1. Thanks so much! Got a few of suggestions in the comments, and I will be trying them. No, not an option for Clif. When he has any milk product, he suffers.

  10. Happy Anniversary! Your kind of celebration certainly appeals to me. Your fried veggies reminded me of a restaurant from long ago where we’d often gather and dine on their appetizer: a huge platter of fried veggies, mushrooms, and so on. Good times.

    I think I’ve seen that SoGood in the store, but I always pass by that sort of offering because I have (at this point, thank goodness) no issues with any kind of food. But if it’s as good as you and other readers suggest, it would be worth a try. It’s always good to have something new in the repertoire — although who would kick out Vivaldi in favor of something else? Not me! The Four Seasons is a favorite.

  11. If it’s classical music you want, it’s difficult to beat a few minutes off dear old Viv. Congratulations on your anniversary, looks like you had a good day!

    1. Many thanks! “every achievement large or small must be properly celebrated and proper celebration means food.” We should have this on a plaque at our house as we definitely feel the same way. πŸ˜‰

  12. Happy belated anniversary.
    I can’t help with the vegan/lactose free foodstuffs as we haven’t got any food intolerances and I’m only what is kindly called a ‘flexitarian’. However, our daughter’s new boyfriend is vegan and there is so much choice in the U.K – or so it seems to me – both in supermarkets and restaurants that he seems very well catered for.
    I’m still trying to get over chocolate muffins and sausages together for breakfast.

  13. The meal looks yummy. I don’t know how we all keep track of what we are allowed and not allowed to eat. I recently learned I have to cut back on grains. Grains!? What does “cut back” even mean?

    1. Right? Because of having two diabetics in the family, we’ve had to cut down big time on grains. And do we ever miss them! Still, it has really helped.

  14. You still have a lot of snow! You weren’t joking about that at all. Yeesh. And Happy Anniversary, Laurie. It sounds like you have a wonderful day. Thanks for the tip on So Delicious. We do eat dairy, but not much, so good alternatives are always welcome. Enjoy!

    1. We certainly do. Typical for Maine in March. We always hope to be snow-free by April 22, my youngest daughter’s birthday. Thanks for the anniversary wishes! So Delicious is so delicious. πŸ˜‰

  15. I love Vivaldi, too, so thank you for the link! And Happy Anniversary to both of you — wow, 46 years! Won’t be long before you’ll be celebrating your 50th — maybe a big party is in the works?!

    1. My pleasure! Yes, 50th is coming right up, but it probably won’t be a big party. We tend to like smaller celebrations. But whatever the case, there will be a celebration.

  16. Congratulations to both of you. The breakfast, the lunch and the dessert looks superb. We too have lot of snow in our garden and we hear forecast about more snow πŸ™ƒ Anyways, one day spring will smile.

  17. Happy Anniversary!! What a wonderful day of celebrating and great food. I will be adding So Delicious to the grocery list. All of our snow is almost gone and hope some of our warmer weather heads your way. Beautiful selection of music for the week!πŸ™‚

  18. Happy anniversary! belated but heart felt. Pleas share your muffin recipe and give it a spectacular name! I couldn’t like or comment on your other post with the beautiful photos-I will try again-but I loved it-glad you all pulled through that. love Michele

    1. Thanks, Michele! I will share the muffin recipe soon. On posts older than two weeks, we have comments turned off to eliminate spam and foil the trolls. It’s too bad we had to do this, but it works. At times, I got over 200 spams on one post. What the heck!

  19. Happy belated anniversary – I’m sure you’re still celebrating! I can’t help with the cream cheese, but your search resonated. I like fruit yoghurt. I can get the thin, sour kind I like cheaply in the UK but struggle to find it in the USA.

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