Two Potato Bisque and Our Missed Anniversary

by Michael on January 10, 2012 · 36 comments

The week leading up to our anniversary was brimming with excitement. With each passing day we traced our memories and came up with things we found special, forever endearing. We were days away from our second anniversary and the happiness was written clear across our faces.  At one point we were two individuals unsure of our collective romantic futures, and here we were about to celebrate and recollect over the greatest day of our lives.

When I first met W I knew she was different. And not in the familiar way in which different is bandied about. There was something about her willingness to do things that felt right and not blindly follow traditions that have been set in stone. Because of that, we don`t exchange gifts. Not usually. We choose instead to spend time with each other and do things with each other. Instead of a gift that is all but forgotten about in a year`s time, we share a day together and a meal for two.  Maybe a day trip or a day away. These gifts come with precious memories that last forever.

Except something happened. On Wednesday I returned from work  feeling unwell. I assumed it was something minor and I`d wake up feeling none the worse for wear.  Thursday morning I spent in bed, my eyes struggling to adapt to the soft winter light. It still felt some similar to the night before. I told W I was heading to work but would come home early if it continued. And it did. So late afternoon I returned, now noticeably more fatigued and feeling it. I went straight for bed and slept off periods of the night. Hot, cold and full of aches.

It had been a long time since I had the flu or cold last. Or at least a long time since I remember having it. I was thankful for the long gap between visits, but with that came some gaps in my memory. I forgot what being sick was all about it. Maybe I even took it for granted. But that first full day was  a quick reminder that the flu isn`t something you ask for.  And yet that was just the beginning.

As I lay awake in bed late Thursday evening, just two days shy of our anniversary, W asked me how I was feeling. I was optimistic that Friday would be a better day. I held out hope that I`d be back to normal in time for our big day. Yet I still suffered from those reoccurring aches and pains and alternated between hot and cold. I took my medication and passed out. I dreamt of better things to come. They didn`t.

Friday morning was so promising. I was sure of myself. Told W I would be going to work, and almost convinced myself. Felt slightly refreshed, although just barely awake.I was anxious to return to normalcy. One problem. I just laid in bed. My body was weak. I continued laying there, as if weighed down. Time ticked away, an hour came and went. She came upstairs and asked how I was doing. My lack of movement was the only answer she needed. I wasn`t going anywhere.

I spent the morning sleeping. I was just hoping to sleep away the remnants of this flu. I lacked energy, focus and optimism. But I still held out hope that Saturday would be about my wife, not me. By early afternoon W came into the bedroom and told me she wanted me to go for a walk and take a shower. I was reluctant, but I did. I didn`t make it far but the fresh air and hot water seemed to help. I changed and returned to bed. And the rest of the day was spent the same way. I went downstairs. Told her I felt I was finally on the mend. The walk helped. So Friday evening we went to bed and, for the first time, I meant the words I said. Tomorrow would be different.

 Saturday came quickly. I felt like a kid on Christmas that morning. I took a deep breath and rolled over. My wife met me in the middle. I just stared. I didn’t feel great, but I felt like a million dollars. There`s something about the very moment when you stare in your partner`s eyes and you see their soul. I did. This was the day we waited for. We shared more moments from that day two years ago and just took a moment of pause to let it all soak in. W never thought she`d get married. I never thought I could marry a girl like her. And yet, here we were.

I decided to give it my best shot. Showered and got dressed and left the house with her. We did some errands and enjoyed the unseasonal warm and fresh air. I ate something small for the first time in days. We talked about plans for the night. A drive to wine country or a dinner date out at our favourite restaurant. But as we walked back through the front door we knew it wasn`t meant to be on this day. I wasn`t all that better. Just slightly. I lacked strength and an appetite.  So we spent time together in the living room and then went to bed early. Really early. We watched a movie and fell asleep, now both of us feeling under the weather.

A funny thing happened during all of this. We didn`t get to share in a night for the ages, but it was memorable. W looked after me, made me soup and toast. She got me outside when I didn`t feel like it but needed it. She did everything a great wife does when her husband is sick. As much as I`d still prefer that day healthy to celebrate the moment that changed our respective lives forever, I realize everyday that I`m the luckiest man I know. And I would marry her all over again. In a heart beat. She`s my light, strength and inspiration. And nobody feels more blessed to be married than I am.

As things would have it Sunday was a new day. I convinced myself that I needed real soup, not the canned variety. So I went down to the kitchen and made this soup. And it was terrific. Wendy had a couple of friends over so we shared a table and this pot of soup. I was finally on the mend, although a day late. But, as things would have it, I did too much too soon and it came back to haunt me. I spent that day and the two since fighting and sleeping and hoping.

My anniversary has come agone. But the day itself will never be forgotten. The two of us with our closest family standing on a beach in Mexico and sharing our vows. Heartfelt and real. I shed tears at that moment but gained so much more.. I stared at my soon-to-be wife. i couldn`t keep my eyes off of her. To this day  I look over at my wife  and it takes me back to that time. That place.  Although it only happens once, it feels like it happened just yesterday.

W, sorry we didn`t get to celebrate our occasion in style. But know that every day with you feels like the first time you called me your husband. I take pride in that and comfort in it. I never take it for granted and appreciate each day with you. Thank you for two glorious years married. They have been the best of my life, all thanks to you. When I met you I said I would be with you forever. Well, we`re on our way! And I`m glad I`m taking this path with you.

From my kitchen to yours,




Two Potato Bisque


  • 1 large sweet potato, peeled and cut into 1″ cubes
  • 1 large potato, peeled and cut into 1″ cubes
  • 2 leeks, cut in half and washed, thinly sliced
  • 3 garlic cloves, minced
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 2 cups vegetable stock
  • 1/4 grated nutmeg
  • 2 tbsp. grated Parmesan cheese
  • 1 cup heavy cream
  • 1 cup milk
  • 1 tsp. pepper, 1 tsp. kosher salt


  1. In a large pot over medium heat combine both potatoes, leek, bay leaves, garlic, salt & pepper, nutmeg and stock. Bring to a boil. Cover pot and bring to a simmer for 20 minutes.
  2. Once the potatoes are tender, pour into a food processor and puree until smooth. Return to pot.
  3. Keep heat at low and add cheese, heavy cream, milk and salt and pepper. Once heated through, serve.
  4. Serves 4.  Serve with a dollop of lime juice-infused sour cream.


Sage Toasts


  • 8 slices of baguette, cut thinly
  • 1 cup of grated mozzarella
  • 8 sage leaves


  1. Preheat oven to 375F degrees. Place the baguette slices on a baking sheet and cook for 2 minutes, or until slightly golden.
  2. Turn the bread over and top with the cheese and sage. Cook for a further 2 minutes, or until cheese melts.
  3. Serve 2 toasts with each soup.




Leave a Comment

{ 35 comments… read them below or add one }

Britt @ A southern bee diary January 10, 2012 at 11:50 pm

Oh my gosh! Your photos are so amazing ! This recipe looks awesome, and I really hope I can try it soon! Thanks for sharing & glad I followed you !

XO. A Southern Bee Diary



Jill Mant (SaucyCooks) January 11, 2012 at 12:27 am

How ironic Michael: yesterday was our two year anniversary as well and we both had what felt like the bubonic plague. I felt a tad bit better than Colin did, which was good as the Rack of Pork had been brining for three days by this time and needed to be roasted. We don’t do gifts either and we believe that we got ill clearing customs in Chicago on our way home from the UK.
Happy Anniversary to you and W. And kudos on your beautifully written tome to your wife and your very lovely pictures. I can’t wait to try your recipe and I know the Brit (Colin) will love it.



Michael January 11, 2012 at 9:54 am

Happy anniversary to you two! I hope you had a wonderful day together.


Isabelle @ Crumb January 11, 2012 at 9:30 am

Awww… poor Mike. The flu always seems to have the worst possible timing.
Still, anyone who reads this blog knows you celebrate and appreciate your marriage more on a regular day than the rest of us do on our anniversaries. :) I’m sure you’ll more than make up for it over the next few weeks.
PS – Happy anniversary. Wishing the two of you many, many more!


Michael January 11, 2012 at 9:55 am

Thanks Izzy. From both of us.


Brian January 11, 2012 at 10:29 am

What a mess! I’m sorry you had such a rough time… and on your anniversary too! That stinks!

Happy Anniversary, my friend! And this is another fabulous soup that I’m tying to try.


Wendy January 11, 2012 at 1:52 pm

I will love you always, thru health and sickness, restaurants or home, squabbles and love. Happy Anniversary. xo


Joy January 11, 2012 at 10:53 am

Your story made my morning brighter today, thank you for that — it’s always the wonderful times you have together that are truly the priceless things. You have such a way with words, happy anniversary to you guys!


Meeta January 11, 2012 at 1:57 pm

Gifting each other time is the most precious commodity one can give. I know as my T. spends 10 days in Stockholm and is home for 4 days … so we crave the time together. Sometimes we really have to take that time out consciously but we both realize how important it is for the relationship. Mike, your words and sentiments make me smile. Love the bisque!


sippitysup January 11, 2012 at 4:21 pm

I did a creamy watercress, potato leek soup today and our pics seem vaguely similar. In fact almost exactly the same bowls (Ikea). You live in Canada and I live in California. How random is that. PS Glad your nursed back to health (almost). GREG


Amanda January 11, 2012 at 5:53 pm

*tears* This is so beautiful.


Cassie January 11, 2012 at 5:53 pm

Happy anniversary, Mike. This was the sweetest story. Completely stunning, the photography too!


Peter G | Souvlaki For The Soul January 11, 2012 at 6:00 pm

happy Anniversary to you both! Sorry to hear you had the dreaded flu…it’s not fun :-( Nothing like a good bowl of comforting soup to bring you back to normality Mike…all the best!


Barbara | Creative Culinary January 11, 2012 at 7:15 pm

You know…you didn’t really miss an anniversary at all. In some ways it was the very epitome of marriage..that sickness and health part. When you could count on your partner to be there with you and not be miserable or make you even more miserable because your joint idea of a celebration was not fulfilled. I think it is those not so perfect days that exemplify marriage that make it a marriage actually. So congratulations…there will be plenty of days but I bet down the road…this is one that will stand out, that you will remember.


Michael January 11, 2012 at 7:48 pm

You’re so right, Barb! Thank you.


deborah d. January 11, 2012 at 7:38 pm

~Life is what happens to you while you’re busy making other plans~ The key is can you turn around and embrace what is before you? Sweet surrender?….and you did.
Congratulations on your anniversary.


jenna January 11, 2012 at 7:56 pm

your love for each other is so inspiring! i hope you both are feeling better.

what could be more comforting than a potato bisque. mmmm..this looks amazing!


Lauren January 11, 2012 at 8:18 pm

You are a *fantastic* writer.


Michael January 11, 2012 at 9:09 pm

Thank you kindly.


beti January 11, 2012 at 9:00 pm

lovely pictures and great food! the bisque sounds simply delicious


Mercedes January 11, 2012 at 9:37 pm

Glad you are feeling better and this soup looks and sounds amazing!


Eliot January 11, 2012 at 9:50 pm

The most important thing is spending time together. Sorry you were ill and hope you are feeling better. You guys make a great couple. Congrats on the anniversary.


Anna January 11, 2012 at 10:21 pm

How sweet! Anniversaries are special events, just like you, we don’t have the time to celebrate our anniversaries but a simple dinner, (or sometimes a trip to our favorite fastfood, over fries and soda…)can bring us back to that magical moment, when we vowed to stay together forever. Just like your bisque, thickened, simmered…cooked with passion…Cheers to more years ahead!


Jenn January 11, 2012 at 11:07 pm

Aww, what an endearing story! Not to mention the fact that the soup looks great!

Now, if only I could cook up a husband like you I’d be all set! LOL


Sylvie @ Gourmande in the Kitchen January 11, 2012 at 11:21 pm

Happy Anniversary to the both of you. Even if it wasn’t all you wanted it to be the best thing is that you got to spend it together and what better gift is there than time with the one you love most.


Sneh | Cook Republic January 12, 2012 at 6:12 am

Happy Anniversary to both of you. Bummer about the flu! I hope you are all better now. The soup looks warming and hearty! Potato Bisque! I like that very much :-)


Maria January 12, 2012 at 7:39 am

Sorry you got sick, that is no fun, especially on your anniversary. Beautiful post, photos, and soup! I hope you are feeling all better!


Shelby January 12, 2012 at 9:16 am

You are indeed a fantastic writer. I intend to make this soup tonight but I have one question; when the soup goes into the food processor do you remove the bay leaves?


Michael January 12, 2012 at 9:56 am

Thank you. And yes, remove the bay leaves.


marla January 12, 2012 at 9:29 am

Congrats to your both on two years of blissful marriage. Mike, I am sorry to hear you were ill, but it sounds like you came out of it stronger & happier than ever. Cheers to bisque, love, life & great health!


Kristen January 12, 2012 at 11:32 pm

So beautiful – a wonderful tribute to the special relationship the two of you have. Lucky, indeed! Happy anniversary!


Jayne January 14, 2012 at 11:40 am

I hope you are feeling better! Lovely, lovely post! You were together which is the main thing! I just discovered your blog, its just gorgeous! Your photos are outstanding!


Michael January 14, 2012 at 1:25 pm

Thank you J! I’m glad you found your way here.


Kasey January 14, 2012 at 1:27 pm

It’s funny how we can immediately notice that ‘different’ feeling when we find the one. I felt that way instantly when I met my husband. Somehow, I just knew…this was it. Beautiful soup! Lovely words – happy anniversary!


Valeria January 21, 2012 at 5:25 am

Michael, how is it that I connect so much with your writing, feelings and thoughts about life and love? I really do. My husband and I are so much like you and your wife are –we are grateful for every small little pleasure and every moment we spend together, no matter in which way, because it is special for the simple reason of being the two of us together. We have never bought objects for each other, first because we are young and money is not to be wasted in unecessary things, but most of all because we don’t care, and as you said, we prefer to use them in little day trips, a good meal, and to have a life-lasting memory at the end of the day. We got married on December 23, 2011, and our anniversary will always be a little Christmas-y, but we know already that we won’t the whole holiday crazyness ruin it, we will spend it together in the most relaxed way, far from the madding crowd, enjoying a nice meal and a walk. Or, if we happen to be ill, simply at home, like you. It doesn’t matter really, does it? As long as love will fill our heart, and I think it will for life, the best place to be will always be with the other half of our soul.


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