Off the beaten trail

Twenty Years Together – Celebrating at the Chopping Block!

I’m going back in time here to September 12th.  That was our twentieth wedding anniversary!  I can hardly believe we have been married that long but it’s true.DSCF3002

My husband decided to ‘surprise’ me with a little activity.  We’d talked about doing a lot of things to celebrate our 20th, Paris, Charleston, buying an RV, lots of stuff.  We never really followed through on those trips I think mostly because of the animals and having a little puppy here at the house.

So anyway, I was all in for a surprise. 

We took to train downtown and walked.  And walked, and walked…DSCF3006

If you have ever taken the train into a Big city metropolis during the height of rush hour there is a feeling of being in a cattle chute.  A sea of people just move, and you go along with it or you get run over…DSCF3007

And the escalators are all moving in ONE direction!  There is no turning back!DSCF3008

People are busy getting to their destination, and we are too.  Only I don’t really know where I’m going yet…DSCF3012 Hmmm, are we going to the Sears Tower (er, I mean Willis Tower)?

Nope.DSCF3014 Are we going to the Opera?


DSCF3017 A riverboat cruise?  Sightseeing?  Are we going to the river?

Nope, nope, nope…

Are we taking a class???DSCF3038 Yes!!  This is The Chopping Block inside the Merchandise Mart in downtown Chicago.

We are going to learn how to de-bone a chicken, make chicken stock, braise chicken, sauté chicken and make some amazing wings!DSCF3019 Wow, I had no idea there were so many steps in de-boning a chicken!!!

DSCF3028 Learning to chiffonade some sage (above) and Jim is braising chicken for our lunch…

Jim learns the fine art of tossing the wings in the sauce…



Lunch was braised chicken with apples, roasted sweet potato fries and a green salad…YUM!!


With Chef Brian….


It is really funny now.  I find myself buying 3 chickens at once, whole, and cutting them up into their parts.  This was such a great outing to do as a couple.

(Love you honey, happy 20th! and let’s hope there are many, many more years to come!)


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