First Kiss Memories

I remember my first kiss very well and it doesn’t seem like it was all those years ago, it is a memory so vivid it is as if it was just the other day.

I was in my early teens and I’d gone to New Zealand all by myself for a holiday.  It was a Christmas present from my parents who were sending me so I could catch up with friends and relatives I’d left behind when we moved to Australia two years earlier.

Towards the end of my holiday I went to stay with my cousins on the South Island.  I was staying in a house with my cousin and his friend, Michael and they were both 16.  My divorced uncle was never home so the three of us had the house and our time to ourselves.  We had the best moments ever, enjoying our freedom, the fabulous weather and the bliss of few responsibilities.

Slow-Cooked Beef in Red Wine

Being young and naïve it never occurred to me that Michael was becoming in any way interested in me.  One night we’d been out for some takeaway fish and chips and we walked back to the house and decided to watch the movie that was screening on TV, (hiring a DVD or a video had not yet been invented).  The boys wanted to turn out all the lights because we were watching a thriller and they thought a blacked-out room would add to the drama.

We were watching the very scary film and I was quite engrossed in it and at some point Michael came and sat with me on the armchair and I remember thinking how nice and comforting it was to have him beside me during this very scary movie.

The movie finished at around midnight and in those days there was no more broadcasting after that time so the TV just went to a complete black screen leaving us in total darkness.  I heard my cousin say, ‘Well I’m going to bed’ and he left the room and then I felt Michael put his hands on either side of my face and he leaned closer and I felt his lips on my lips and then he started kissing me.  And I was quite startled at first because it was kind of unexpected but then I thought how nice it was and how lovely he was.  And we stayed downstairs for quite a while with him telling me how wonderful I am and I thought, ‘I think I have a boyfriend!’

We spent the next day together being outdoors all day enjoying the summer weather and swimming at the deserted beach but the very next morning he had to leave because his holiday had come to an end.  He caught an early bus back to the part of New Zealand where he was from.

I wondered if I would see him again and I hoped I would but with me heading back to Australia in a few days time I wondered how it could happen.

Comfort Food!

As it turns out, I never did see Michael again.  Six months after those special few days I heard from my cousin that Michael was out in the country riding his bike up a steep hill when he collapsed with chest pains.  He suffered a fatal heart attack and died just before his 17th birthday.

It turns out that tragically, Michael’s last summer was the one he shared with me.  Those were precious moments that are not too easily forgotten.

Do you have precious memories of your first kiss?

And now it’s definitely time for some comfort food.

Slow-Cooked Beef in Red Wine

Serves:  6

Degree of Difficulty:  3/5

Cost:  Slow-cooked meats are usually cheaper cuts of meat.  The meat I bought cost less than $30.00.

  • 2 tbspns olive oil
  • 1.5kg piece bolar blade
  • 4 stalks celery, finely chopped
  • 4 brown onions, thickly sliced
  • 4 garlic cloves, peeled and thinly sliced
  • 150ml red wine
  • 250ml beef stock
  • 400g tinned tomatoes
  • few sprigs rosemary
  • few sprigs thyme

Slow-Cooked beef with wet polenta and wilted English spinach

Pre-heat oven to 160C.

In a large casserole dish, heat olive oil.  Season bolar blade and add to casserole dish.  Sear on all sides, put aside.

Add celery and onion to casserole dish and cook until tender.  Add garlic and cook until fragrant.  Add red wine and cook until wine bubbles and begins to evaporate.  Add beef stock and tinned tomatoes.  Return beef to casserole dish and throw in herbs.  Put a lid on the casserole dish and place in the oven for 2 1/2 hours.

Break up with a fork.

Serve with wet polenta and wilted English spinach.

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  1. Oh my gosh, how sad!  It’s sweet that you have such a great memory of him.

  2. Ooh,…how sad fo you in those day & for this guy called Michael! 🙁 But you had fond memories of him & you two!! Thanks for sharing. Now, in anwser of your question on my blog:

    Coconut blossom sugar is an alternative sweetener. It is beet sugar-free. It is also called Gula Java Brut. This is 100% unsweetened coconut blossom sugar. It is slighty brown in colour. It has a lower glycemic index than agave. It’s GI index is 35. Agave is 40. It also has a lot of minerals and vitamins.
    Gula Java is coconut blossom sugar from Java. Harvested by tapers high in the coconut trees, the sweet nectar from the coconut blossom is a cherished resource. Above the log fire, the nectar slowly changes into a delicious, unrefined rich sugar as it is gently stirred in the pan, allowing you to enjoy its sweetness and soft caramel flavour at any time of the day.
    But it isn’t as sweet as normal sugar. It is great in cobbler’s, in crumbles, in cakes, in desserts, etc. You can also use it in savoury dishes.
    I buy min in an organic bio shop. you can find plnety of recipes on my blog but this one is great to start with:

    Your slow cooked beef dish looks just stunning! MMMMM!

  3. Maybe you were the only girl Michael ever kissed.  I’m glad you didn’t tell him to bugger off.

    That beef dish would keep me happy all day.  Full of flavour, tender and just plain wonderful.

  4. What a story, my first kiss was like a movie, I was only 14 but I remember perfectly, we met in Ireland during a month we spent abroad and on the last week we kissed and started going out. I was sooo in love and even cried when we returned home, he was from the north of Spain and I knew we could never see each other again. it turned out it wasn’t really love as I broke up with him a month after that through a text message (I was only 14, don’t judge me!!).

  5. What started out as such a sweet story ended in such tragedy.  Sad…

    Nice looking beef dish though.

  6. How sweetly naive you were and experiencing your first kiss in that way ensured that you’d never forget it. And how sad that that boy died so young. So many possibilities never realized.

    I do like your slow cooked beef dish though. Have you ever posted your polenta recipe? I have some leftover japanese beef curry in my freezer and wouldn’t mind making a small batch to serve it over.

  7. Mandy - The Complete Cook Book says:

    How very tragic!
    🙂 Mandy

  8. Juliana says:

    Oh Charlie, so tragic…
    Now the beef looks and sounds delicious in wine sauce…what a coincidence, I just posted chicken in wine sauce hehehe!
    Indeed a comfort dish. Hope you are having a great week 🙂

  9. Choc Chip Uru says:

    My friend that it such a beautiful story and memory to hold on to – my heart goes out to Michael

    Choc Chip Uru

  10. ChgoJohn says:

    What a touching memory, Charlie, and such a tragic ending. It must have been devastating for his family and such a shock for the young you. 
    This beef dish is just my style of meal for the colder months. Serving it with polenta is so like what we would do!  🙂

  11. I was probably about 15 and had a similar experience except it was in broad daylight in front of other people! A boy I only thought of as a friend quite unexpectedly just grabbed me and gave me a big old kiss in front of our whole group of friends. I think I nearly passed out…but it is a fun memory today. We did end up “dating” a little bit, if you can even call it that! How sad to have thought of a young life stopped so suddenly and to know that you had a part in his happy memories. Comfort food again to the rescue! I think I can tell our seasons are opposite…this would be a good winter meal, for sure, and of course, that’s precisely what you’re experiencing! 🙂 Debra

  12. Hi,
    How very sad that a young life came to an end, but he is someone that you will never forget and you will always have lovely memories of that special time.

    Very nice comfort food, a nice dish to have now that we are in Winter.

  13. What a tragic story :-(. At least you know that he had a wonderful last summer.

    I’m saving this recipe for the slow-cooker. Yum! 

  14. That’s a really sad story Charlie 🙁 And he was so young when he passed away being only 17 🙁

    I remember my first kiss very well too but it wasn’t that great lol i had this huge crush on this guy, thought he was interested in me to, a similar situation to you, we were watching TV in a dark room he started to kiss me. After that wonderful night i thought I ‘had’ a boyfriend too…

    But it turned out he just wanted a ‘fling’ and that was it lol but oh wells at least that was my first kiss ~

    Wonderful recipe! I’m totally bookmarking this! YAY! Thanks for the recipe!

  15. Nic@diningwithastud says:

    So sad 🙁 My first kiss was horendous. Thankfully its got better since then. Love the beef, perfect weather for it

  16. Bitemeshowme says:

    That is really sad. My thoughts go out to Michael’s family. It’s moments like that you really hold onto. It’s fate that you shared those special days and well, those a memories that will never be forgotten.

  17. Bitsandbreadcrumbs says:

    That is so sad that he died so young, but also happy in a way that you made him happy in that moment, sharing that stolen kiss. What a sweet memory and thank you for sharing it!

  18. Ah, my first kiss. So innocent!

  19. oh no that is so sad.  it’s really tragic to see a young lad die like that… but you still remember the “moment” so vividly” and that’s so cute… well for me I don’t remember anything tho… or maybe not, i’m just in denial haha.  
    this dish sounds so sophisticated.  would love to make it for my hubs.  great post as always!

  20. Oh my that is so sad Hun, but what a gorgeous memory. I honestly can’t really remember much about my first kiss, but I hope my boys have an experience as precious as yours. Sorry I haven’t been commenting much lately, I am definitely still here, just I have been crazy busy and reading on the run on my iPhone which I can’t seem to comment from. I just wanted you to know though as reading your posts has become such a highlight of my day xxx

  21. What a pure yet sad story…  

  22. What a sad story – poor Michael. I’m glad he got some good kissing in with you first! I actually hated my first kiss (I felt like I was drowning) but they do go down in memory and I remember being thrilled I’d at least *had* my first kiss.

  23. Denisetyrrell1 says:

    Oh my goodness!!!!! How tragic. First kisses are so special and so exciting, how lovely that you had some special times together.

  24. That beef looks like it will melt in your mouth!  And yes your story is sad

  25. Lorraine @ Not Quite Nigella says:

    OK is it strange that I don’t really remember my first one? Well I think I tried to remove them from my memory! 😛

  26. OMG … a fatal heart attack at 16 … What a stunning story and such a loss 🙁

  27. What a tragic story (not of the kiss, of course, but Michael’s untimely end). I’m certain he died thinking of your wonderful kiss.
    Your story reminded me of a story of my Mom. She dated a guy from Montreal in Toronto when she first came to Canada from Hungary in 1956 (before she met my Dad). But sadly he wanted more from her so she called it off … then she met my Dad and the rest is history. When my Dad passed away in 1981 it took my Mom several years to start dating again, but when she did, she thought she would look up her old boyfriend. He had been divorced for quite some time and was excited to see my Mom again and perhaps rekindle the relationship. He travelled frequently from Montreal to see my Mom who resided in Toronto. One weekend he just didn’t show up and didn’t call. She tried calling him but no response. She didn’t know anyone in his family to call either. She tried his apartment one last time and someone picked up the phone. He had died of a massive heart attack that week.

  28. Jenny @ BAKE says:

    That is so sad! He was so young! I love the look of the beef on the polenta 

  29. Oh my. Charlie this brought tears to my eyes. What a precious memory. Wow!

  30. GourmetGetaway says:

    Oh dear!What a lovely first kiss but what a horrible ending.

  31. Kalyan P says:

    looks so easy to prepare and delicious…mouthwatering!

  32. Gretchen says:

    My first kiss was from my husband! 🙂 That’s what I always wanted and it’s turned out great!


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