I used to be really big into Valentine’s Day. Giving gifts, chocolates, flowers, cards (yeah… not just one but two, maybe three). I’d make dinner reservations at expensive restaurants and plan out a night of activities. Over the years, though, I’ve toned it down a bit. Eric and I don’t exchange cards. We don’t buy each other presents or flowers. There are no chocolate-covered strawberries. Instead we stay at home, eat lobster and drink champagne, followed by a decadent dessert (like these raspberry bars that we’re obsessed with… which contain three sticks of butter). We spend the rest of the evening curled up on the couch with Maki, the three of us wrapped up in blankets. It may seem boring to some, but I want nothing more than a little quiet time with the man that I love.
We need a bigger bed! That’s the first thought that pops into my head almost every morning; the first thought after a restless night of little to no sleep. I don’t have many regrets in life… but not getting a king-size mattress is one of them. Because here’s the thing: two good-sized guys fit on a queen comfortably. Throw a 52 pound boxer pup into the mix, though, and it’s really tight. Maki also has a tendency to spread herself out, positioning her body in a way that’s perpendicular to ours, making it so her head and butt are pressed right up against our backs or legs. In many instances, this results in one of us (usually me) getting pushed off the bed. And I can’t forget to mention the many times I’ve awoken to her moans, groans, ear scratching, and butt licking (her butt… though, once in a while she’ll find an exposed foot or knee to go to town on).
Mornings can be a bit rough. Coffee is always brewed and, depending on the amount of rest I got the night before, I’ll go for one to three mugs. When I’m in need of a special treat, I bake up some grapefruit topped with meringue and smear pats of butter on toast. It’s the fastest way to bring a smile to this face… and with the limited quantity of sleep I’ve been getting, I need it.
I know I’m strange. I like weird things like fish sauce and smoked salmon and whitefish salad and pickled herring and gefilte fish and all those things that make the majority of the population go Ewwww. Oh and I can’t forget anchovies. I’m pretty much sold if a dish has anchovies in it. Salad Nicoise remains one of my favorite dishes to order. It stems from my childhood, on nights when my father had to work late and my mom and I created large platters with stacks of seared tuna, green beans, hard boiled egg, olives and anchovies (the latter two are on my dad’s list of despised foods, hence why we made it when he wasn’t around). If I had a last meal… you know, if we were playing that game where we said what we’d want our last meal to be if we were on death row… that salad would be on the list (along with sushi, cheesecake, linguini with clam sauce, and a warm, freshly baked baguette served with a wedge of triple creme cheese). I just can’t get enough of the textures, the bright flavors, and the depth that the anchovies bring to the salad.
On the day that I made this dish, I did my very best to save some for dinner. However, my will power failed me and half the bowl quickly disappeared, which is often the case in these situations. As wonderful as this is on its own, or would be paired with roasted salmon, I can attest that it works when tossed with pasta, served hot or cold. No matter what you do with it, though, you can’t go wrong.
Am I the only one who spends a lot of time thinking when they’re in the shower? Often I just stand there, singing along to songs on the radio, pondering the day’s activities. And when I’m gearing up to work on a recipe, it’s during this time that my best ideas emerge.
I’m probably not the first person to come up with cauliflower “couscous” but when it popped into my brain, well, I must admit that I gave myself a pat on the back. I know… I know. Show a little modesty, Brian. But, hey, I was proud of myself. It’s not often that one of my crazy concepts actually works, so when it not only met my expectations, but exceeded them, I was beyond giddy.
Just to clarify, this is not actually couscous, but a gluten-free substitute made from cauliflower. That’s why I put the quotation marks in the title… in case you were wondering.
On a separate note, I realized that I completely forgot to share this post I did for the Kinfolk Magazine online journal on the Siena Farms South End store. Head on over to the Kinfolk site to check it out.