I don’t talk about Chris much on the blog except for the few projects we’ve done together as well as the interviews I’ve subjected him to (here and here). The truth is that he works long hours and most of the projects and design choices around here happen by my hand. We also are polar opposites when it comes to schedules… he’s a night owl and I am an early bird. Even though I don’t see him as often as I would like, he is a loving husband and father, and when he is home, he’s invested in our family and life together. While I do most of the house care-taking, he tends to the garden from Spring to Fall, tilling, planting, weeding. (I’ve always taken care of the harvesting and eating though! 😉 ) This year, I became more involved, and as the season came to an end, I decided to do something special to thank him for his hard work. Of course, sometimes it’s hard to find time to squeeze in a night out, so I decided to create a romantic at home date for us with dinner on the porch using items from the last of our harvest complemented with Duboeuf Beaujolais wines. (This post is sponsored by Quintessential wines who also provided me with wine to sample and display. All photos and opinions are my own)Because I wanted to celebrate the end of our own growing season, I planned a simple light meal using the last of our garden’s goods. At the end of the season we always have green tomatoes that won’t finish turning. We harvest these before the first freeze so that we can use them for grilling, roasting, or, everyone’s favorite, fried green tomatoes. For this supper, I put a “fancy” spin on the classic grilled cheese and tomato soup meal. I crafted my own recipe and made roasted green tomato, green pepper, and garlic soup. We’d had a few peppers that were not going to color either, so I decided to throw them on the roasting pan as well.
For the sandwich, I used a rustic artisan bread, fresh mozzarella, and lemon-basil pesto I made from the last harvest of our lemon basil. (Helpful note: We always have fresh mozzarella on hand because Emmy’s become addicted; Costco is a wonderful place to buy it for a great price!) As you can see, I kept this meal very simple, no fanciful garnishes and no fuss. We were simply taking time to enjoy an evening together, no frills needed.Beaujolais wine was the perfect complement for this meal and a natural choice. It is made from manually harvested Gamay grapes, which are low in tannins (which is good for someone like me who can sometimes get tannin-induced headaches). The vines the grapes come from are over 20 years old! If you aren’t familiar with Beaujolais Nouveau it is the first wine of the harvest, produced and intended for immediate (as opposed to aged) consumption. It’s available to consumers on the third Thursday of November, so it’s always perfect timing in our country for those Thanksgiving meals. I became familiar with it a few years ago when a francophile friend of mine through a Beaujolais party.This wine is a lighter bodied red wine, and has a mild fruity taste, but isn’t too sweet. (I am not a sweet wine drinker!) It’s best served slightly chilled, and since we had a cooler weekend, I just set mine out on the porch for a couple hours before our dinner date. Emmy was happy to help me set the scene as the wine chilled. I put out a bottle of Beaujolais Nouveau 2016, as well as a Beaujolais Villages 2015.While the tomatoes were roasting in the oven, I had Chris go ahead and open a bottle so we could enjoy before we ate dinner; he selected the Beaujolais Nouveau 2016. The light body of this wine makes it a great wine to sip lightly as an appetizer drink.
This year has been full of challenges for us, but I think every year has its fair share of struggles. The difference that I see as we have gotten older is that we work through these times together, and our marriage is in the happiest place that it’s been. Even though we don’t have a lot of time or money, we make time and find ways to spend together and remind each other that we care about our relationship. Sometimes it’s gardening or watching a movie, and sometimes it’s relaxing in my favorite seat in the house, the hammock.You don’t need a lot to create a romantic evening date at home with your special someone… this meal was simple to make and inexpensive, complemented with Beaujolais wine which is flavorful and light, and also extremely affordable.
Tomorrow, November 17th is the third Thursday in November, and that means the Beaujolais Nouveau 2017 will be available, just in time for Thanksgiving! Or perhaps just in time for you to have a simple celebration with those that you love.In our busy day and age, remember to take the time to nurture your relationships and set aside special time for the people you love. Before I go, I don’t want you to think it’s all sunshine and roses over here… we’re a normal married couple! So here’s a little outtake for you. I was doing something that annoyed him (I can’t remember what because I do lots of things that annoy him!), but as you can see by my face, I thought I was funny. His face tells another story. That’s a pretty typical scene around here, too!!!
Cheers to you and yours!
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