Finally Cured: Date Night Woes
“Life moves pretty fast. If you don't stop and look around once in a while, you could miss it.” – F. Buller.
Ferris is right you know. In our increasingly fast paced life of work, kids, activities for said kids, more work, house work, and even more work, it becomes more and more difficult to schedule time for you and your significant other to just relax and enjoy each other’s company. I know this for a fact. Just a few years ago my wife and I were juggling two kids, with activities, restaurant hours for me, shared house work, and my wife was traveling 1-3 times per week for her job as a consultant in the financial industry. Messi we were not, messy house, often. We were constantly ghosting past one another… catching only brief glimpses of each other in passing the boys between activities, work schedules, and vastly different hours. We decided that we needed to make date nights work, but how? Elaborate dates were out of the question, not even the least bit realistic. Cooking multi course meals or going out for a long dinner and drinks, those were pipe dreams. Realized rarely, if ever. This daunting task of having even a night in was becoming difficult to say the least. Hell, we were not even capable of having time for a movie night in as one of us would inevitably all asleep before the film was half over.
What we needed was an easily accessible “plan” where we didn’t need to run out for supplies. No last minute store runs for meal prep, drinks, or well anything.
Because when I got off work it could easily be 1:00 AM or later before I got home, and let me tell you, in case you are unaware, there is not much open at that hour besides a few fast food places and nothing says “Honey, I was thinking about you and how we should have a meal together” like an offering of Jack in the Box Tacos or Cold fries from the Golden Arches. (I will be writing a piece in the future on paring take out and “junk food” with wine but this is not it.) So we had to buy it all in advance. But the food could not perish quickly either as our time in each other’s company was as fluid as it was fleeting. We got inspiration from one of our friends in University who often spoke of his love of simple food. Simple is often better, the best even.
And there it was the cure to what ailed us.
Cured meats, cheese, olives, and wine, occasionally fruit and bread
Charcuterie and cheese are already made for longer term storage, after all they were created as a way to better preserve calories. So it was simple enough to just pick up some of these ingredients and have them on hand as they do not perish anyway as quickly as our overlapping schedules. We found it absolutely wonderful to share a quick bite over some wine and conversation. Time of day did not matter and the stunning simplicity of the “meal” was exceeded only by its delightful deliciousness.
Since that time a few years ago we have expanded and improved upon this process. Keeping a few kinds of salami or aged pork in the fridge, as well as the occasional pate, we regularly stock hard cheeses like Parmigiano-Reggiano and Piave, as well as aged cheddar. And of course we keep at least a pint or two of olives at the ready. (all of this make for a quick and easy lunch for the kids or a simple family picnic.)
Being that I am back to working in a restaurant again, time together can still be fleeting in nature, although not near as fleeting as before. I have found a new and better way to implement our “plan” for impromptu dates. Oakton Wine Shop & Bistro sells charcuterie and cheese, oh and we sell wine too. Not only do we sell cheese and cured meats, we sell some absolutely astounding stuff. Jamón Ibérico, sliced before your eyes from the leg… it is enough to make me weak in the knees. 36 month old Prosciutto di Parma, so thin you can see through it, cured duck breast, artisanal cold smoked salamis like Gin & Juice, Stagberry, and Rustbelt. Wheels of Manchego cheese from Spain, Smoked Gouda, BellaVitano soaked cheeses, and some excellent sharp Cheddar from Deer Creek in Wisconsin, not to mention the soft sheep and goat cheese and our tangy, crumbly, Blue cheese from Bayley Hazen. Believe me you want this, all of this.
All of these and more can be picked up from the counter and be readily stocked in your fridge for impromptu date nights or midday/night snacking. Furthermore, each of our offerings are available for dining in. You can build your own cheese and charcuterie board to accompany your meal. How much better could it get, have a night out, taste some Jamón and cheese, take some home with you for later evenings in, of course wine to match. I do it, time and again, it really is the cure to my date night woes. What with all the time I am saving grabbing my supplies from OWS&B I have more time to hunt for some new (to me) jazz and blues vinyl at Mobius Records. I mean, bitching tunes are needed for meals like these.