Sunday, May 15, 2011

An anniversary of debauchery

Four years ago, Bryan and I were celebrating our wedding/honeymoon on the beach in sunny Kauai. This year we embraced the opposite extreme on our anniversary by hiking through the snow at Mount Rainier.

But first, we celebrated with a Happy Hour at our home for the weekend, Coho Cabin, that featured triple-cream brie, crusty bread, chile-fennel almonds from Bastyr, strawberries from Full Circle and Cupcake red wine, all topped with an unbeatable Salted Caramel and Pear Jam we got as a wedding favor at Tonya and Seth's wedding.

It was a delicious treat we seriously didn't need after lunch at the Copper Creek Inn. But as soon as we realized how delicious that homemade jam tasted with brie on a slab of bread, there was no turning back.

Somehow, we even found room for a steak dinner. The baked potatoes with sour cream, butter and green onions were a must, but the fava beans I just had to try because I'd never tasted them.

It certainly didn't hurt that the fava beans (made famous by Hannibal Lector) were paired with always delectable pancetta:

Fava Beans with Pancetta
1 lb. fava beans
2 T. olive oil
1/4 c. onion, minced
2 oz. pancetta, thinly sliced
1/4 to 1 c. water

Boil the fava beans for about 2 minutes, rinse under cool water, then extract the beans.

Heat olive oil in a small skillet. Add onion and cook for 2 minutes, then add pancetta and continue stirring until pancetta begins to crisp, about 4-5 minutes. Add fava beans and 1/4 c. water, then cover.

The fava beans should take between 8 and 15 minutes to cook; check for tenderness after 8 minutes and stir occasionally. Add water if needed, but make sure most of the water is evaporated before serving.

But that wasn't the last of our debauchery. After a hike on Rampart Ridge Loop that was so snowy we had to turn around well after the halfway point because we could no longer follow the trail, we went back to the cabin for a dip in the hot tub. As we sat in the glorious warmth, cold rain started to fall, which is about as good as it gets for this Pacific Northwesterner.

And after Round 2 of Happy Hour, we still managed to find more room in our bellies for the above meal: Stovetop Mac and Cheese with Cheese Crisps (Cheese Crisps not shown out of embarrassment) with ham and a spinach salad with strawberries, goat cheese and balsamic vinaigrette.

Not even a sunny beach could have topped this anniversary!

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