The Man and I consider ourselves particularly fortunate in the marriage department. I wouldn’t say marriage has been easy, but I get the distinct impression it’s been easier for us than for many couples. We met young, dated young, married young and there have been few particularly trying periods since. In fact, we got kicked out of pre-marital counseling for being too stable; which is a fun lead in to our love story, but also the kind of thing that could breed complacency. And no one wants that.
So, while I know it’s terribly cliche, date nights are something we try to make happen on a semi-regular basis; one of those tools we use as we try to navigate this marriage thing with a little bit of dignity – something I suspect will be increasingly important as our tenth anniversary quickly approaches. It’s also why, this past weekend, when the stars aligned and we had a whole Saturday night kid-free, I couldn’t help but seize the opportunity to drag him along for some pre-ONE trip “research”. It was pure luck that it also just happened to end up being one of the best dinners out we’ve had in a long time. Ethiopian food? Is delicious.
I wasn’t expecting the injera — the spongy, traditional, flat bread of Ethiopian cuisine — to have tang. I hadn’t realized it’s fermented, but what a delicious surprise that was; one that complimented the spices in the meats and veggies perfectly. We ordered the Meat and Vegetable Feast for Two — in the name of research, of course — and I’m not even sure we breathed as we woofed down the spicy chicken, spicy beef, lentils, ground yellow peas and collard greens it came with.
Even The Man — who is usually skeptical of anything not resembling the meat and potatoes he’d just as soon I fix every single night on which he’s not already eating hot dogs, pizza, and hamburgers — raved about the combination of flavors. “Try the collards with the beef,” he urged. And I totally would have, if I hadn’t been so afraid to put my hands across the table to his side of the platter.
I can’t wait to try Ethiopian cuisine in Ethiopia. I have grand expectations; I imagine it’ll be even better than Ethiopian food here. Everything’s better closer to the source, isn’t it? That and I’ve always been a sucker for food meant to be eaten with your hands.
But first, I’m off to figure out how to make the pickled/fermented cabbage they served with our meal. Because that? Made everything I paired it with absolutely to-die-for. Back soon!