Steven is a gift-giver. He is absolutely excellent at selecting the perfect gift. Sometimes this is an infuriating skill for him to have, because he always manages to outdo anything I give him. I just don't have the knack for it the way he does. He's very observant, so when I go into a store and slowly peruse my favorite items, he notices. And he logs it somewhere in his mind. And then, when the next birthday/anniversary/Christmas comes around, he goes out and gets that item. And he manages to stun me. Every. Single. Time.
So, of course, our anniversary was no exception. I hadn't expected anything (and, correspondingly, I hadn't GOTTEN him anything). So when I walked in the door from work on Friday, I gasped when I saw this:
I opened the top box, and in it was a beautiful oven mitt and potholder set. Steven had said before I opened the first box that the two items were "related," so I instantly thought there might be an apron or something in the second box. "Yay!" I thought to myself, "I can always use another apron."
And then. Then I tore open the wrapping to find something truly, truly awesome.
That's right, ladies and gents. Five-and-a-half quarts of absolute (enameled cast iron) perfection.
I stood there in total and complete awe for a few seconds, and then lifted it reverently out of its orange box and placed it solemnly on the stove (and it has remained in that prominent place since that very moment). And then I hugged Steven real tight and had a happy little weepy moment right there in my kitchen, still in my work clothes. (I think it is secretly his goal to pick presents that will make me break out in happy tears. In his defense, its not all that hard to do -- I'm sort of crazy for kitchen appliances like that. I all-out sobbed at the KitchenAid mixer he got me for Christmas a few years ago...)
Le Creuset. Can you believe it? That boy spoils me so. I couldn't wait to use it, so I made chicken scallopine on Sunday night for some friends who visited. And I have big plans for this week, including some No Knead Bread, but first this Summer Soup, for which I bought ingredients tonight!
Much delicious (slow braised and totally awesome) cooking will commence around these here parts soon!
PS - Everyone send good wishes to Jaimy as she takes the Virginia Bar Exam tomorrow and Wednesday. I remember it like it was yesterday. Go Jaimy Go! You can do it!