Britt and I are big-time budgeters…eh, big time might be a bit much…most of the time we’re budgeters. We allot $50 a month for our date nights and begin our new budget on the 15th of each month. We had $5 left for this weeks date night, so it was time for some frugal creativity, and a small dip into my personal allowance. Below is what ensued.
Good Eats (Camaraderie)
We went with the Good Eats Mushroom Crêpe Cakes this week. Before talking about that meal, I have to share one of the funniest dialogues from the movie, Talladega Nights: The Legend of Ricky Bobby, during the scene where Ricky Bobby was forced to say that he loves crepes by a French driver he’s arguing with. I don’t recommend the movie as it’s pretty crass but this scene is what comes to mind when I think of crêpes.
Jean Girard: [has Ricky in an arm lock] I will let you go, Ricky. But first, I want you to say…”I… love… crêpes.”
Cal Naughton, Jr.: Don’t you say it, Ricky. These colors don’t run.
Ricky Bobby: I’m not gonna say it.
Cal Naughton, Jr.: Good.
Ricky Bobby: Hey, look, Frenchy, I thought about it. So why don’t you go ahead and break my arm?
Jean Girard: I do not want to break your arm, Monsieur Bobby, but I am a man of my word.
Ricky Bobby: Here’s the deal. He’s not gonna break it because I’m gonna slip out of it right now. Houdini!
[he tries unsuccessfully to get free]
Jean Girard: Whoa! Get down, you little pancake. But you have forced me to do this. You are now mocking me and making me look ridiculous. Just say, “I love crêpes.”
Cal Naughton, Jr.: You know, just to put this in there, I had a whole mess of crepes this morning. They’re just like pancakes, maybe even better.
Ricky Bobby: Wait, are they the really thin pancakes?
Cal Naughton, Jr.: Yeah.
Jean Girard: Yes they are. They are the really thin pancakes. It’s just a French word for them.
Ricky Bobby: Oh, my goodness, I love those.
Cal Naughton, Jr.: Put any syrups you want on them. I’m just saying, think about it.
Ricky Bobby: They come with cheese sometimes?
Jean Girard: Yes, of course, a fromage-crêpe.
Ricky Bobby: Well, why didn’t someone yell that right-right away?
Jean Girard: Do you know what’s in the crêpe suzette?
Ricky Bobby: Oh, I love the crêpe suzette.
Jean Girard: With the sugar and lemon juice…
Ricky Bobby: Yeah, the sugar and the lemon juice. Sure.
Jean Girard: Grand Marnier.
Ricky Bobby: I wo – I wish I could crawl into one of those right now. I’d eat my way out from the inside.
Each week as we work through the Good Eats: The Early Years cookbook, the recipes get better and better! This meal required a good amount of prep work and a few different stations to work from but we had a great time together. The crêpes were also a bit tricky to flip at first but I turned the heat up a bit and with a little more time to practice they seemed to come together. The presentation involved layering a crêpe, mushroom topping, another crêpe, more mushroom topping, etc., until we used all the filling. The toasted parmesan cheese on top provided an excellent bite of flavor. Personally, I’m not a big mushroom guy but the taste of this meal was impressive and had a good amount of flavor. It was also pretty filling! We rarely get to prepare meals together but when we do we seem to feel like a team working together toward a goal.
We conjured up a dessert crêpe of our own concoction by heating up blueberries and strawberries with a little honey. Once they were pretty tender we put an immersion blender to them and produced (I guess) a fruit sauce. We then layered crêpe, cream cheese, and fruit topping (repeat) until there was enough to call it a cake. Then we sprinkled some sugar on top and caramelized it under the broiler. Result? Incredible! Best dessert we’ve had in a while. This was a fun meal to prepare together as it was a little more intensive, leading to some mistakes, and some laughs.
Contrary to popular notion, you can have fun on a date night without money or Starbucks. With only $5 to work with, we dumped out our change bucket and compiled some loose change so we could stop by a local used book warehouse (I kid you not…warehouse) and spend some time looking through the droves of books. The book warehouse wasn’t quite like our experience at Barnes and Noble where everything is perfectly laid it, finding a book was a bit of an adventure. We like adventures, well, myself more than Britt; but Britt enjoys adventures with me. With the help of the owner I located an older copy of The Hobbit and Britt found an older copy of The Diary of a Young Girl. I learned something about Britt as well. She has portions of that book memorized from reading it so much in her younger days. She read several of her favorite passages to me while driving home.
Good Conversation (Depth)
If you could read any book at any place in the world, what book and where?
Britt: Harry Potter in Central London
Matt: Lord of the Rings in The Shire
If you could be a character in any book, what character and why?
Matt: Legolas from The Lord of the Rings, because he’s a man among boys in that entire series.
Britt: Mrs. Weasely from the Harry Potter series, because she’s an excellent mom who loves her children and makes great memories with them. Also, she’s a major hero in the end.
We’re loving this! Hopefully you’re enjoying following along and are getting some encouragement to more intentionally plan from vibrant date nights…even if your schedule and life is crazy.