15. Pork Chops Florentine

Pork Chops Florentine

Kittens, this dinner, #15, you wanna know how long ago I made this? I made it back in February to commemorate the 2-year anniversary of Dinner is Served! 1972, and my 2 year anniversary with Brian! That’s a loooong time ago.

You may recall the cake I made:

othello cake

Othello Cake kicks your cake’s ass

But before the cake, DiS! regulars Leah & Todd and myself feasted on #15 Pork Chops Florentine. I have some pictures; but, considering that this was almost 6 months ago, I really can’t tell you in any great detail the process I went through when cooking this dinner. But what I can do is tell you another dating story. Do you want that? Do ya?

Of course you do!

And now I will tell you the tale of the Worst Best First Date Ever….with random pork chop pictures.

Pork Chops Florentine Recipe

So I present to you the BEST!

Zeke had a full-on date planned: dinner and a movie. So unlike most of the OKCupid dates I have experienced—-an invite to happy hour in the hopes of that extending to more drinks, a slice of pizza (maybe) and then a drunken make-out session on the couch in the house that the guy shares with 3 roommates and 2 dogs. No, thanks.

Well, I couldn’t do a movie as well as dinner because I was going to the gym (seriously, WTF?). So Zeke picked me up at my apartment in his car—a Jaguar convertible. Snazzy! He opened the passenger car door for me. Chivalry! And then he even asked if he needed to put the top up. Considerate! But since I wasn’t wearing big hair that day, top down was A-OK.

It was a BYOB joint so he had a bottle of white wine and some high-end Belgian beer at the ready and took me to Corner BYOB (see, the BYOB part is even in the restaurant’s name). It is a very “in” restaurant–the kind of artisanal cheese and pate, farm-to-table-local-sustainable American that is so in vogue right now. At least in Baltimore.

I just realized that ‘artisanal’ breaks down to: art. is. anal.  

bed of spinach

Bed of frozen spinach, cooked, drained, and spread.

So we had a delightful meal–appetizers, entrees, dessert. I was being wined and dined and I liked it. This is one of those first dates that always happen in movies and tv shows, you know? Ooooh, wine, shrimp and kangaroo at the semi-fancy place! (well, way fancier than Applebees)

Then we went to an odd little speakeasy place in Remington for some after-dinner libations. Fancy craft cocktail type of shit (however, I will admit, that I bought these. As much I as I like having someone else foot the bill, I like to pull my own weight. I am fucking woman; hear me roar).

Then Zeke drove me home in the Jag. Awesome convertible nighttime driving! So we are back at my apartment building. We sit on the stoop and have a cigarette.  He took two cigarettes, lit them both simultaneously and gave me one. That’s a bit of a smooth move.

And then he went into his car: “I have a present for you,” he said. And so from his car he brings out a book. It is a copy of Whitman’s Leaves of Grass.


Yeah, that was my response–a non-verbal, eyebrow raised, huh?

He told me to go to the bookmark and the highlighted section:

The Untold Want

The untold want by life and land ne’er granted,

Now voyager sail thou forth to seek and find.

 I looked up at him, shocked, to be quite honest. “Really?” I said.

Him: “Your profile said that Now, Voyager was your favorite movie, so I watched it yesterday.”  Note: that poem recurs through the movie.

Me: “Oh my gosh. This is–this is so…unexpected. And sweet. And, um, just above and beyond–“

“Is it too much? he asked.

“Oh, no! Of course not! It’s perfect,” It was halfway through my reaction that I realized I was channeling Carrie Bradshaw: “No! It’s lovely!” I hugged the Whitman to my chest, fingers splayed, almost pleading (if you watched SATC, you know exactly which move I’m talking about). “So, so lovely!”

I then didn’t know what else to say. So I kissed him. And then sent him on his merry way.


That sounds like a pretty super first date, right?


Browning the chops and simmering the broth, onion, carrot and bay leaf to make the sauce (which, btw, turned out OK. My sauce-making skills have finally improved!)

So let’s replay. And now the WORST!

That totally cool Jaguar? The paint job was an iridescent purplely. The first thing I said was “OMG, this is so Jem and the Holograms.” He asked, “is that a bad thing?” I said no, but as we drove, at every stop, people were all, woah! check out that car! Rad car, dude. I couldn’t figure out if he genuinely loved the car or if he was driving it in an ironic hipster kind of way. Because he was definitely leaning toward the hipster camp. This is, I shit you not, the color of the car:

I am almost sold on this on a VW Beetle...if you're a 17 year old girl.

I am almost sold on this on a VW Beetle…if you’re a 17 year old girl.

Right before we entered the restaurant? I enjoyed a delicious Parliament Light (I’m quitting. Seriously!) and he pulls out one of those vaporizer misty ciggy things. You know, the kind where it looks like you’re just pretend smoking on a Bic pen? This may not be a popular opinion, but this is what I believe: Either smoke. Or don’t smoke. But don’t go halfway, sucking some tube that has a Bahama Breeze flavor. Lung cancer is better than that. Truth.

But anyhoo–

When we sat down for dinner he said that Rule Number 1 was that whatever we ordered, we’d have to share. Well, that is fine by me! I love a combo plate. Rule Number 2 was that I’d have to be willing to try anything on the menu. Well, I’m down with that!

He ordered for the both of us, which is kinda hot in a Don Draper kind of way. However, I did give my opinion and he totally just went and ordered what he wanted.  A little presumptuous of him, but it was no big.

The 2 cigarettes on one match? How terribly romantic! And how completely wrong. You see, that was a thing for me. It was intrinsic to the Relationship (yeah, capital R), I had many, many years ago. Like a that’s-gonna-be-a-part-of-our-wedding thing. So it was a little icky for me. But I can’t fault Zeke for that–how was he to know?

And, oh my lord, the book! A gift like that would be amazing and beautiful and meaningful and all those things if it had been—I dunno, a few months in—you know, when you’re doing the whole “I wanna be exclusive” thing. But the first date? No.

No. No. No. I kissed him to basically shut him up. Because I couldn’t vamp anymore. I was out of material.

Now, truth be told, perhaps under other circumstances I would have gone out with Zeke again. I mean, seriously, this was a first-rate, memorable, thoughtful first date. But (of course there is a but!) I was kinda, a little bit–ok, a lot, crushing on someone else.

Well, and the book thing. I lied, dude. It was too much! TOO MUCH!

Insert sigh and eye-roll here.

This date happened a while ago. I recently put my OKCupid thingie away–if nothing else, just to clear my inbox from all of the email that I wasn’t even looking at and immediately sending to trash. They really do send a lot of emails.

In closing, I want to note that I have been on the Best First Date Ever. And maybe one day I’ll tell you about it. But I think I’ve done enough storytelling for today. Here’s #15. Done:


I do remember that I used chicken-flavored Rice-a-Roni. And that I liked #15. It was a solid offering from DiS!

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0 Responses to 15. Pork Chops Florentine

  1. Wendi says:

    Holy hell woman. This is the best story I’ve heard in ages. Is it the best worst first date or the worst best? Guess it depends on whether you are a glass half empty or glass half full kind of gal.

  2. Lisa Wakelam says:

    My date bookmarked “Passing Stranger” from Leaves. Equally stunned at the gesture. Men in panic mode, perhaps?

  3. Mum says:

    What a funny and sweet blog. You definitely have the Carrie Bradshaw thing goin’. And, actually, art is rather anal every once in a while.

  4. Jill says:

    I’m still waiting for an entire blog from you about dating misadventures!
    An iridescent paint job?! On a guy’s car?! And a jag nonetheless?!?! Almost unbelievable.

  5. Nico Vidokovic says:

    Joe had a Ford Probe with that paint job once. Oh how it drove the girls wild.

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