I had a lovely surprise on Friday evening.
As I have mentioned before, my husband and I are from Michigan. We moved to the northwest suburbs of Chicago (or as some of my cheekier friends call it, Iowa) 13 years ago. We have loved just about everything about moving here, with one tiny little exception. The food. Don't get me wrong, I love a good Chicago hot dog or Chicago pizza as much as the next guy, but one can only eat so many hot dogs and so much pizza. We could use a little diversity in these parts.
Where we lived in Michigan we had many different cuisines at our beck and call. Middle Eastern with yummy hummus, Shwarma, Falafal, etc., Greek with delicious souvlacki and saganaki, the famous Michigan Coney Island with Chili dogs, Greek salads (with beets, which is the only way to eat them, and you can't get a beet on a salad in Illinois to save your life) not to mention the best Greek dressing in the world. We buy it by the case when we go back for a visit. Wonderful authentic delis with a real corn beef sandwich and mushroom barley soup. I could go on and on, but suffice it to say that it never occured to us that these favorites would not be available in our new locale. My husband and I are both foodies, so we miss these treats very much.
My husband's lease on his car was up, so on Friday he went to the dealer to trade in the old car and get a new one.
** Small side note** -- I would just like to say "Thank You, God" that my husband doesn't mind being in charge of large purchases like cars that invariably involve negotiating. I get hives just thinking about it!
Anyway, as is usually the case, the process was not a speedy one, so he and his sales person got to know each other a little bit. His sales person's name was Kosta. Yep, Greek. So, my husband told him how much he liked Greek food, one thing led to another and my husband left the dealership in a brand new ride and with the recipe for Saganaki (otherwise known as flaming cheese).
On his way home, he called me to tell me that he was preparing an appetizer for us for the evening, and that it was a surprise. He called several different stores to find the right cheese, and went and purchased the cheese and all other necessary ingredients. He made me and the kids go in the other room while he prepared his treat. When it was ready he had us come in the kitchen and close our eyes. When we opened our eyes, he lit the cheese on fire, and the two of us yelled Opa! (That is what is traditionally said when the cheese flames...not sure what it means, but it is a fun excuse to yell).
He prepared it perfectly and it was delicious. It was our kids first experience with this tasty tid bit and they both loved it too. Needless to say I was very touched by his effort. A lovely way to start the weekend indeed.