fruit and flowers

thursday was our fourth wedding anniversary - traditionally marked by gifts of fruit and flowers. j and i decided to do small gifts and dinner at SALT New American Table (again!) in celebration, to be followed by a little getaway. we like to do a vacation each year if possible around our anniversary - i love the idea of traveling and making new memories to start the new married year!

so far, we've tried to stick to your semi-traditional gifts each year:

year 1 / paper // for our first anniversary we took a trip to vegas, and i gave j a congratulations letter on our wedding from the white house. (i had to send them an invitation, but it looks like now you can just fill out this form.)

year 2 / cotton //  j made it home just in time from new mexico to celebrate due to the government furlough. we returned to seasons 52 for dinner, where we ate the night he proposed (and i am completely blanking what we got each other for gifts! must not have been that great.) 

year 3 / leather // our first year in texas! we also did dinner at salt, and i received a leather handbag from one of my favorite designers, j a watch with a leather strap for evenings out.

year 4 / fruit and flowers // at first year four had me kind of stumped.

how do you get a guy a "fruit and flowers" gift..? it's pretty easy for a girl, although i have to admit j was so proud of his idea to order me an edible arrangement, which single-handedly incorporated both fruit and flowers in one.  he also went so far as to buy us some new insanely-high thread count sheets, because linen is a customary UK gift. 

for j, finally the answer came to me in some slightly nontraditional forms. i settled on a couple cigars, a jar of moonshine-soaked cherries, and homemade hummingbird cupcakes with a pineapple flower garnish, as a nod to the flavor in the top tier of our wedding cake.  i also froze some edible flowers in ice cubes for use in our champagne, which we drink every year out of the toasting flutes purchased for our wedding.  

when my mom originally purchased the flutes, i fought against it a little, i thought the personalized toasting glasses were cheesy mc-cheeserson and cliche, and at the time it just seemed like one more expense on top of the wedding...but as the years have worn on, i'm happy i have them. once the wedding itself is over all you have are the photos, and it's nice to have a couple mementos from the day, such as the cake serving pieces (i purchased ours at pottery barn and had the server engraved, opting for a more plain server that could be used over and over again, and not just on our wedding day) and champagne glasses to help us celebrate our anniversary each year.

we rounded out the night with our final anniversary tradition:  filling out our anniversary journal. we write in it each year just to document things that have happened, how we feel, what we want out of the next year, etc. it's already pretty cool to look back and see what we thought, what we wanted, compare to how things have actually worked out and what we've accomplished. we've been surprisingly on target so far, and were psyched to note last night that all of our goals set in year two have already been hit. (that's either a testament to a lot of hard work or setting the bar low. not sure which.)

here's a peek at our year four celebrations:

salt's roselle cocktail with hibiscus vodka.

we usually order the salt board as a starter (we have a thing about cheese boards. they just feel so decadent.) this one featured our usual favorites, plus a cheese with a purple rind, due to it's being aged in merlot. 

j tried the night's special called "octopus taco" which is really named more for how they catch the octopus than the dish itself. he's way more adventurous than i am in that respect. 

their baked alaska had just been re-vamped for fall, now featuring an apple cinnamon and dark chocolate ice creams in the middle. the whipped shell was hardened on the outside, not unlike a creme brulee. this was by far my favorite item of the evening, and one of the best desserts i've had in a very long time!

cheers to the next year!