Saturday, January 08, 2022

Weekend Cooking: First date food

Today is the fifth anniversary of my first date with my husband. As a result I have been reminiscing about our first date. 

Food is such an integral part of meeting people and of celebrations and for us and our first date, it was no different. We went to a famous cake shop called Brunettis for coffee and cake and great converation, but it didn't end there. I had had some horror first date stories so had agreed to coffee, but once we started chatting we didn't want to stop. We actually did things a bit back to front because from the coffee shop we went to a restaurant and shared a pizza and talked for another couple of hours.

I don't remember what cake I had during our date, but I do remember a couple of other things from that momentous meeting.  After he shook my hand goodbye (boy did I tease him about that in my wedding speech) and we had arranged to meet up again, I went back to the cake shop and bought some sfogliatelli. I had heard of them watching a travel show sent in Italy and I really wanted to try them!

The funny thing is that I remember exactly what I had for dinner that night. My cousin and his family were over from Perth on holidays, so I went to my sister's house and had home made burgers. I was a bit late and  already stuffed from cake and pizza, but on this day, if no other, I can remember exactly what I had for dinner 5 years ago! Given that I can't remember what we had for dinner on Tuesday that is quite an achievement.

I thought I would share a passage from a book I read last year called The Life She Finds by Maggie Christensent. One of the first times my husband cooked for me was a pork roast with potatoes and mushroom sauce. It was one of the first clues I had that I needed to strongly encourage the adding of green vegetables to the plate. Given that he does most of the cooking, it has got better over the last few years.

I do remember wondering about the combination of flavours though. Veal and tuna ....together? Apparently, it is a classic Italian dish, so it must work!

Ken hummed to himself as he prepared for dinner. He wanted it to be perfect, to prove to Lyn he wasn't a sad old has-been, and could serve up a gourmet meal. He'd taken out the old Margaret Fulton Cookbook his mother presented him with when he moved into town. He'd always supected she disagreed with his father's decision, but was too much of the conventional country wife to voice any objection. She'd made do with helping Ken set up his new home, and the cookbook was one of her gifts. He'd enjoyed learning to cook and trying out new recipes, even though he rarely put his skills to use these days, preferring to snack or eat out.

Over the years, he'd added to his collection of cookbooks - much to Sheila's disgust. Now Margaret Fulton's famous tome sat alongside books by Jamie Oliver, Bill Granger, Peter Howard and, of course, Nigella Lawson. But, for a special occasion like this one, where he wanted to impress Lyn with an old favourite, it was to his old favourite he turned, and the food spattered page which held the recipe for Vitello Tonnato.

Ken had sourced the veal from his local butcher earlier in the week and cooked it the night before. Now it sat chilling in the refrigerator. All he had to do was slice the veal thinly, arrange it on a platter with a little of the sauce, put it back in the fridge to chill again, and prepare the salad. He hoped Lyn would be impressed.

Fortunately my husband impressed me from day one, and here we are!

Weekly meals

Saturday - Pork chops with mash potatoes and beans
Sunday - Ratatouille wth sausages
Monday - Mince pies
Tuesday - 
Wednesday - Warm steak salad
Thursday - Pork nachos
Friday - Anniversay dinner

Weekend Cooking is open to anyone who has any kind of food-related post to share: Book reviews (novel, nonfiction), cookbook reviews, movie reviews, recipes, random thoughts, gadgets, quotations, photographs, restaurant reviews, travel information, or fun food facts. If your post is even vaguely foodie, feel free to grab the button and link up anytime over the weekend. You do not have to post on the weekend. Please link to your specific post, not your blog's home page


  1. What a lovely story! Happy first date anniversary! And also happy New Year. I took a short break, but I have lots of Weekend Cooking ideas coming up this year.

    1. I look forward to seeing what you come up with for this Year BFR!

  2. Great story, Happy First Date Anniversary! I also remember the date of mine and my husbands first date. It was April 4, 1988.

  3. I find it amazing that you can remember all the food the day of your first date. I remember we shared a sandwich on our first date visiting in NYC. Enjoyed the excerpt from the book and happy 1st date anniversary

  4. I have heard of that veal and tuna dish and it doesn't entice me at all.

    1. Yeah, I'm not sure it entices me either Jackie!

  5. I really enjoyed your First Date Food story! Happy Anniversary celebrations to you both! Have a wonderful week ahead.

  6. Love that story!I like the passage from the book.

  7. What a lovely post, it makes me remember my first date with my husband.

  8. I am afraid I am with your husband, not so keen on green vegetables!

    I have an unrelated food question. My grocery store now sells Tim Tams. I bought one box with caramel and one with mint, although I have been strong and have not opened them. I tried I think the basic flavor when they first appeared in the US but I wonder if they are the same as in Australia. You probably didn't notice when you were in the US visiting but perhaps your son did?

    Okay, now you really know where my interest is - sugar, not green beans!

    1. I think that there is a company that makes them in the us under licence but they aren't exactly the same as the ones from here in Australia.

    2. As I suspected! They are very good but the packaging obscures how few are inside. Sneaky!

  9. How nice to have a first date foodie memory! My husband and I have been married over 36 years, so our first date was in the Dark Ages and lost to memory (mine, at least!). My husband is a great cook, too, and has introduced me to many foods, including pastrami and boiled dinner. Your mention of green vegetables was funny, and reminded me that he says it was my family that introduced him to the idea of a green vegetable or a salad with every meal!

    1. I am still working on the every meal part Laurie!



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