This quarter, Dustin and I celebrated our third anniversary. Since our actual anniversary is on Leap Day, we generally plan to celebrate on both 28 February and 1 March, but sometimes it doesn’t work out quite so easily. This year, we had our big celebration/date on 22 February, when I finally took Dustin out for an activity that I’ve been planning for a long time. A couple of years ago, I read in Express (a local free newspaper produced by The Washington Post) about a chocolate shop—ACKC at 1529C 14th Street NW*—that has chocolate truffle-making classes. I planned to go that year for our anniversary, but the classes filled up too soon. So I held onto the idea for Dustin’s next birthday, but I forgot to register in time. I figured I could try again for our anniversary that year, but we were trying to save money, so I scrapped the idea with disappointment.
All along, Dustin knew that I had some sort of plan, but he wasn’t sure what it was. This year, when I told him that we were really going to do it, he started guessing. I, of course, would not reveal the answer, but he did manage to guess that it was some sort of class. He even got pretty close one day when he walked past some hip restaurant/cooking store that does a cooking class. He was convinced that that was the secret plan. He continued to try to trick me into giving up my secret by saying casually, with pretend forgetfulness, “So, maybe next Tuesday, we can—wait, are we already doing something on Tuesday?” Nice try.
I was pleased that I had managed to keep a secret for so long, but I started to get a little concerned that I had built it up a little too much, and Dustin would be disappointed. After my friend Lucia arrived to look after Fiona, we set off. It was exciting to wait for the bus knowing that Dustin had no idea what was happening. Everything was a surprise—“Here’s our stop.” “Let’s turn right at this corner.” “Okay, let’s cross the street.” “And here we are!”
We went into the back, washed our hands, and put on our aprons. The class took us through all the stages of truffle making: tempering the chocolate, mixing up the ganache filling, scooping and rolling the filling, and finally dipping the chocolates. Dustin’s favorite part was adding the liquor to the dark chocolate ganache. (Dustin’s note: That actually was not my favorite part. It was the most ironic part. My favorite part was having unlimited samples of the chocolate.) The recipe called for one tablespoon, but our teacher said that if he added two, she wouldn’t mention it. Everyone else joked that he would probably add three. Hee hee.
By the end of the evening, we really missed Fiona. We took our little bags of hand-dipped truffles and hustled home. It was nice to be reminded that we have at least two things to show for our three years of marriage: a lovely baby and some newfound chocolate skills.
*Update: This location closed on 31 December 2011.
This article appeared on page 2 of Issue 2 | April 2011.