I need your help! Pull up a chair, lemme ‘splain.
You see, this Friday is the 16th anniversary of the day Soup Husband Curt and I tied the knot. Now last year, we did it up huge by going to Las Vegas. Today, in fact, is exactly one year since the very day we began our most excellent adventure! (I am pleased to report that I have almost recovered from that trip and the associated hangover…)
But this year? Well, 16 is not a multiple of 5. Also, cash is not something we’re flush with right now. But still, we feel lucky and blessed to have enjoyed 16 years of wedded bliss (well, mostly bliss), and nowadays, that’s something worth celebrating. We decided that instead of going out and blowing a lot of money we just don’t have, we’ll quietly observe the occasion at home.
When you choose to celebrate at home, you have to make an extra effort to make it a Very Special Occasion. By “special”, I’m not talking about clearing all the stuff off of the kitchen table instead of pushing it to one side. I don’t mean pouring drinking a Miller Lite from a glass insetad of the can. Don’t try to tell me you’re wearing your “good” sweats. No – what I’m talking about is sending the kids to spend the night at the neighbor’s house. I’m picturing a white tablecloth and the Good China and a bunch of candles on the dining room table; some carefully-selected jazz music playing softly in the background; a bottle of wine that I would normally hesitate to buy because it’s more than $5 $7 $10 $11; and a dessert that doesn’t come wrapped in cellophane.
Keepin’ it real. Keepin’ it Klassy.
Hamburger Helper and frozen fish sticks notwithstanding, I can hold my own in the kitchen. In fact, I really enjoy putting a meal together. So I got to thinking, sure, we could go blow $150 on two martinis and appetizers and GAH THE MARKUP ON THIS WINE! and entrees and dessert and coffee and sambuca (Curt loves his sambuca), plus tax, plus tip, and sit in a room with a bunch of other people who are Celebrating Occasions. Oh sure, it would be swell to have a Smiling Someone in a clean white shirt and starched apron uncork our wine and bring our food and then take it away, avoiding all mention of dirty dishes. But for probably half the money, I could buy some first-rate ingredients and lovingly create a pretty tasty dinner to mark our celebration.
And, bonus? We can totally avoid the whole unseemly “who gets to finish the bottle of wine and who has to stop NOW so they can drive home and who drove the last time and…” argument debate.
So, I downloaded some menus from restaurants we might have gone to, and even a couple we might have ruled out based on distance from home or price. We perused them for yummy-sounding entrees that we would have ordered. We agreed that steaks would be super-yummy, but it’s hard to find a really good cut of meat at your usual retailers. Crab cakes, however? Those sounded really, really good. I found the Clyde’s Restaurant recipe on their website and think I’ll use it, perhaps with a small variation or two… and I’ll be using fresh, jumbo lump crabmeat, not Krab Delites, y’all.
But I’m stuck, Reader(s), on the to-go-withs. And this is where I need your input.
For a starchy side, I was thinking risotto, maybe, or some roasted potatoes. But honestly, they won’t be special because I am always doing something with potatoes. (C’mon, I’m a Pennsylvania farm girl.) And for a green side? All I can think of is green beans with sauteed almonds, but that’s because I make it all the time. BOR-ING. Dessert’s covered – Curt wants strawberry shortcake, so that’s what I’ll make.
What I need from you is your great ideas for what would go great with crab cakes. Is there something you love to make, or maybe you had a fantastic dish at a restaurant that you think would be perfect? Leave it in the comments. Bonus points of you have a recipe you would be willing to share, but don’t let the lack of a recipe stop you. I can take a good idea and figure out how to make it. (If you do have a secret family recipe that you don’t want to publish to the world, and you can’t get over yourself, then leave me a comment and I’ll email you.) I have the crab cakes covered, but ideas and recipes for easy to make, super-tasty, even elegant side dishes would be most welcome and appreciated.
And that, dear Reader(s), is how you can contribute to our 16th wedding anniversary celebration. Thanks in advance!