My parents’ anniversary falls on the winter solstice, which always prompts nudge nudge jokes about how they got married on the longest night of the year. Ew. But whatever their secret, they have remained married, and mostly seem to be very delighted by each other. I find this fascinating. I mean, they’re both so weird, and grouchy, and, well, did I mention weird? How do they do it? Not that I’m complaining!
This year, as always, I called to thank them for sticking it out, putting up with each other, and giving me such a fine example to aspire to. They celebrated by setting an alarm for 3:30 am so they could get up and watch the lunar eclipse together through the skylight over their bed. “The moon didn’t disappear, it just turned this eery brown,” my mother reported.
I told Aaron how my folks celebrated 41 years of marital…stability…and he was impressed: “Wow, that’s so romantic.” I guess it is. It’s not every night you have the chance to see a full lunar eclipse. Not to mention one that lands on the winter solstice. And it’s not every marriage that sticks for 41 years.
I take this as a much-needed reminder that having a spouse means having someone with whom to seek out unusual experiences. Not just someone to park the car while you’re bringing in the groceries. Having a spouse means having someone to amaze, not just make soup for. Having a spouse means having someone to wake up in the middle of the night for a romantic reason, not just someone to nudge when you think it’s their turn to go tell the toddler it isn’t wake up time yet.
I’m in cookie mode, and in Alice Medrich’s charming cookbook A Year in Chocolate, I came across a recipe for Winter Solstice Cookies. So I adapted them, leaving off the fancy caramel, and shrinking them from big orbs to tiny little moons. I painted the cookies with a quick coffee glaze that I hope is the brown of a lunar eclipse, topped each one with a pinch fancy sea salt to balance the sweetness, and christened them Mocha Moons. Mom and Dad, these cookies are for you.
Zoe Singer is a freelance food writer and cookbook editor and co-author of The Flexitarian Table. Food Editor and blogger for The Faster Times, she tries not to eat for two now that her son is a toddler.