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Chris and Braeden Gratitude

That guy. The one hiding under the scarf? I am so grateful for him! (The kid wearing the scarf isn’t bad, either.)

Okay, so I’m a day late. It’s apt to happen. A lot. Yesterday, we went to our friends’ Tweaked Palate competition, which is kind of like “Iron Chef,” if you’ve ever seen it. A few months back we went to our first one. Beef was the secret ingredient and Chris swept, winning both the judges’ vote and the popular vote. The next competition he got to choose the secret ingredient, so of course he couldn’t compete. Last night’s dinner was his first opportunity to compete again, and once again he won! He won the judges’ vote and shared a win in the popular vote. I am so proud!

The secret ingredient was fennel, which I happen to love so he’s used it a fair amount in the past. This time, he did a panko-crusted chicken breast with fennel sauce, with caramelized fennel on top. SO GOOD! Everything was delicious last night, though… it was a tough competition. There was a potato and fennel in cream sauce with cheese that I would happily eat curled up in front of a fire as a main dish, rich as it was. Pure comfort food, and totally delicious. There were also aebleskiver with fennel in the batter, with apple and fennel compote and fresh whipped cream. Oh, and fennel funnel cakes (say that several times fast!) also with fennel in the batter and mango-fennel sorbet. Like I said, there was stiff competition, which makes me prouder still that Chris came out on top. There were 10 competitors, total, and his chicken still won the night!

So yesterday – and every day – I am grateful for my husband. I am beyond grateful to have found a true love who loves to cook, and I am massively appreciative of him in every other respect as well. His culinary skills are just the beginning…. Seriously, he is so amazing. And beyond low-key. Even when he wins, he’s happy about it, but in a quiet way. I’m pretty much jumping up and down in glee, and he’s just hanging back, looking pleased. Honestly, the last several years have been tough for us, and especially hard on him. I’m glad these friendly competitions give him a chance to showcase his talents, and to come out on top. There have been relatively few “wins” for Chris in life lately, and he so deserves them. He’s the best person I know, genuinely. I mean, yes, he’s my husband and my best friend, but he’s also the most kind, patient, loving, giving, unselfish… it’s kind of ridiculous when I list it all out. I don’t always know how I got lucky enough to deserve him, but once again, I am grateful. I love him more than a thousand blog posts could describe.

So there you go, Day Four. A bit late, but heartfelt.