Marriage, Stinky Cheese & Fig Jam {an anniversary story}

Three years ago today, I married this crazy, brilliant, handsome, playful man. I love him more than I ever dreamed it possible to love. And when you love someone, sometimes you want to steal them away from the world and have them all to yourself, just for one day. That's how I'd hoped to spend today, in my favorite city with my favorite guy. Maybe we'd eat at abc kitchen or swing Greta between us in the park or just sit outside together at our favorite beer garden with our baby girl toddling at our feet and try not to be busy, just for a few minutes.

Yesterday, we found out András had to go to Boston for work this week, so there would be no dinner at New York's chicest local food mecca, no shared stein of beer, no Netflix streaming snuggled side by side in bed.

When he told me, I did a requisite pout. Then I spent a good hour feeling sorry for myself, something I don't believe in but allow myself about once a year. Until my friend Breana told me she spent her very first anniversary at home in North Carolina eating stinky cheese and fig jam while her hubby, Scott, was off doing his dissertation research among the cheetahs in Kruger National Park, South Africa.

That was a good reminder that in marriage, we didn't sign up for one perfect day together once a year, but instead, for all the simple, imperfect days we share in between, including the support and sacrifices it takes to follow our dreams. Perfection? That's what the wedding day is for, one magical day to get you started, something to relive when you're apart, and to hold onto anytime you need a little bit of fairy tale.

Today I have these photos from our fairy tale, and sweet Greta who is our happily ever after. And by tomorrow, András will be back by my side again.  But in the meantime, I'd like to commence the the tradition of the wild-card Stinky Cheese & Fig Jam Anniversary, redeemable for leather (3rd), pearl (30th), gold (50th),  diamond (75th) or any other anniversaries anytime you have to celebrate your special day apart from the one you love.

I'd love a story to keep me company while I stir my fig jam. Tell me, when you have had to spend your beloved day away from your beloved, and what did you do to sulk or celebrate? 

Fig Jam

2 pounds green or purple figs, stemmed and quartered
1 1/2 cups raw, organic sugar
zest and juice of 1 lemon
1/3 cup water

makes 3 8-ounce jars

  1. Toss the figs, sugar and lemon zest together in a non-reactive saucepan and let them sit, about 15 minutes.
  2. Add the lemon juice and water and bring to a simmer over low heat. Simmer, stirring occasionally, until figs are soft and the liquid is jammy, about 20 minutes.
  3. Cool and transfer to sterile jars. Store in the fridge for up to 2 months. Serve with scones or toasted bread and stinky cheese. 


Breana Lai said...

I absolutely love this post Sarah! Your writing is magical and the pictures are beautiful.

Lia said...

Sarah, this was so beautifully written. I think you just summed up perfectly why weddings should have that fairy tale feeling to them. I hope you and András had a chance to celebrate when he came home from Boston!

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New York City, United States
Sarah Copeland is a food and lifestyle expert, and the author of Feast: Generous Vegetarian Meals for Any Eater and Every Appetite, and The Newlywed Cookbook. She is the Food Director at Real Simple magazine, and has appeared in numerous national publications including Saveur, Health, Fitness, Shape, Martha Stewart Living and Food & Wine magazines. As a passionate gardener, Sarah's Edible Living philosophy aims to inspire good living through growing, cooking and enjoying delicious, irresistible whole foods. She thrives on homegrown veggies, stinky cheese and chocolate cake. Sarah lives in New York with her husband and their young daughter.