July 21, 2004


Last Thursday was our fourth wedding anniversary. Our wedding anniversaries usually revolve around food and culture. In the past we’ve often cooked fancy dinners and gone to museums. This year we decided to take it easy a bit.

We slept in and then went to brunch at By the Way Cafe, where we had eggs charlottine (poached eggs, smoked salmon, sautéed spinach, hollandaise) and mimosas (champagne and orange juice). It’s been a while since we’ve been there, so it was nice to go back again.

Then we decided to do some pleasant errands. First we bought a photo album with which to finally organise our honeymoon photos. Then we went to the LCBO at Summerhill to browse and shop. I bought a couple of bottles of single malt Scotch (a subject of another post) and my wife bought a bottle of Scottish gin. We also got some vodka and some wine from the Corbière region in southern France where we had our honeymoon. We then returned home for a brief rest before going out to dinner.

Since our anniversary was during the Summerlicious festival, in which participating Toronto restaurants offer prix fixé menus, we decided to go out to dinner at a nice French restaurant, Le Sélect Bistro (see the full menu here). I had the vichyssoise (a cold leek and potato creamed potage) to start and my wife had the pissaladière provençale (a traditional Provençale onion tart with a Goat cheese crumble). For the entrée, I had the lamb couscous with Merguez (grilled lamb chops on a bed of couscous with spicy Algerian Merguez sausage, and braised vegetables) and my wife had the free-range old fashioned duck confit with a cranberry relish, scalloped potatoes and French beans. Finally, for desert, I had the gateau chocolat with Grand Marnier sauce and my wife had the parfait praliné with almond brittle. The dinner was fantastic and we would certainly recommend the restaurant to anyone, particularly for its fantastic wine list.

After dinner we returned to our house to enjoy a glass of hydromel, which we had brought back from our honeymoon, and exchange our gifts. Traditionally, the fourth wedding anniversary is the fruit or flowers anniversary, and in more modern practice it is the appliances anniversary. We usually amuse ourselves by trying to work within these boundaries. Earlier in the day I, of course, bought my wife some flowers, but the fruit took a bit more creativity — I gave my wife some mango Body Shop products. The main part of the gift, the appliance, was a fancy slow cooker. My wife gave me a jar of blood orange jam (I love blood oranges), a jigsaw puzzle with a picture of flowers (I’ve become addicted to puzzling), and pasta extruder attachments for our Kitchenaid stand mixer. I’m really looking forward to extruding fresh pasta!

It was a lovely anniversary and very relaxing and enjoyable for us both. Now next year’s fifth anniversary is woodenware/silverware, so I’ll have to start thinking…

Posted by Mark at July 21, 2004 01:15 PM