Wednesday, December 7, 2011

How It All Started....

New Year's Day 2011. The day was, in a word, perfect. 

My boyfriend of two and a half years, (who I also grew up with by the way), had given me the cutest little "picnic backpack" for Christmas the week before. It was a green and white checkered zip-up backpack that had a blanket, wine glasses, cloth napkins, plates, silverware, cheese board and cork screw-everything you could possibly want for a romantic meal in the grass. Eager to try out my new gift, he suggests going on a picnic somewhere in Austin, where I was living at the time. I did my due diligence and asked several ladies from Austin where they thought the perfect picnic location would be. I received a resounding "Mt. Bonnell." So, on the morning of New Year's Day, we head to Whole Foods to stock our picnic backpack. We load our cart with cheese, fresh bread, wine, grapes, feta stuffed olives and, of course, organic chocolate truffles!

With our feast and gear in tow, we drive up to Mt. Bonnell. We find the perfect little spot on a large, flat stone slab overlooking Lake Austin. The weather is beautiful. Sunny with a slight breeze. We enjoy our food and each other's company. Although our location is a bit secluded and off the beaten path, we can still hear the passersby stop every once in a while and say "Aw, look! They're having a picnic. How cute!" After a while, we decide to move on to another spot that has a little bit more privacy to finish our picnic. I'm a bit taken back with his determination to find us the ideal spot, as he leads me further and further down the side of the Mt. I even saw a snake, we were so far from civilization!

We, or rather he, finally found the place we could be alone and out of the range of curious eyes. We sit, talking and enjoying the weather. I notice that he is starting to get a little fidgety, glancing around, not sitting still. He finally says, "I have another gift for you." Surprised, I think "Oh this is it! He's going to propose!" He reaches in one of the blankets we brought with us and pulls out a wrapped box-"but it's too big to be a ring box," I think to myself. I carefully tear off the wrapping paper, and there it was.

No, not a ring, but a little red mixer. A little red mixer Christmas tree ornament to be exact.  Now, if you're like me, you have wanted a Kitchenaid mixer from the time you were, oh I don't know, old enough to have your arm get tired while beating eggs with a hand mixer. And if you like to cook and bake like me, you need one. They come in all kinds of colors, but I had always had my heart set on red. He had always told me that something like that wasn't really a birthday or Christmas gift, but something you registered for when you got married. As I am inspecting the tiny version of my dream kitchen gadget, it accidentally slips from my fingers and starts to roll down, down, down.

Quickly, my thoughtful, romantic man jumps up and runs after it. Thankfully it was stopped by a clump of brush before it fell off the side entirely. As he is making his way back up to me, little red mixer in hand, he kneels. There is no mistaking this gesture. On one knee, he says, "I know you've always wanted a red Kitchenaid, and I've always said it's more of a wedding gift, so maybe now you can register for one of your own....Will you marry me?" as he pulls the ring out. Cue the tears. Yes of course I was crying, and yes of course I was saying "Yes! Yes!" over and over again as I put my arms around his neck, choking him I'm sure. (Afterwards he said I looked like I was doing the chicken dance the way I was flailing my arms). I cannot express how happy I was and am. The ring (absolutely beautiful by the way) and the little red mixer were wonderful mementos of that day, but HE was and is my dream come true!

Fast forward to June of 2011. A lovely bridal shower that all of my amazing aunts threw for me at Nottoway, my favorite plantation in Louisiana. The flowers and place settings were so pretty. The food delicious. I was getting to visit with many of the ladies in my family that I hadn't seen in years. I had such a wonderful time--if any of you are reading this right now, thank you again for the perfect shower! And, my (hopefully) captive audience, can you guess what the hostess gift was?? That's right. None other than a brand new, (big) little red mixer! And some really fun attachments for it. Eeeeee!!

Fast forward to July of 2011. The best day of my life. I marry the love of my life. Yes, mushy, I know, but so true.

I can't tell you how many goodies I've already made with my pretty, little red mixer. I anticipate making many more, so, with some encouragement from my sister Caneel,, I decided to start sharing the recipes and adventures that I have with my mixer and my man through this blog. I hope you enjoy!