Sunday, October 31, 2010

Best Birthday I Can Remember

With Jay flying my boy, MIKEY, in. (Jesse had gigs booked and a lot of homework, but was w us in spirit). So it started off really nicely, w dinner Friday night at Market. Yesterday morning, I went w my friend, Barbara, to an excellent program on Books Into Screenplays, and came home to an amazing brunch made by J and Mike: very ambitious & quite delicious--a creamy (in texture but without cream), yellow gazpacho, followed by 3 great salads--'white' salad with fennel, mushrooms and cheese (I think I'm leaving a few things out), brussel sprouts with walmuts and pomegranate seeds, and red and yellow beets with pistachios and blue cheese; a very light mac 'n cheese; and ann amazing dessert--melon with basil granita. You heard right: Basil was the flavor, and I loved it. Will have to experiment with making the ice cream equivalent of granita.

In addition to the wonderful food, Mike hung out w us (not that I would have begrudged him a chance to see his friends; he gets back here so rarely); we watched football together (Vanderbilt -sad; Oregon-yet another amazing game) and he provided commentary, then we took him out to Smashburger, a place he'd never been and one we knew he'd like, given the sweet potato fries -- a taste he picked up in the south. Only after that did he go to visit a friend, but it was after 8:30 so of course the old folks were ready to wind down.

And this morning, after taking him to the airport to return home after a whirlwind 36 hour trip, we went to Whisk'n'Ladle to read the Friday, Saturday and Sunday papers that we hadn't had time for. We're sort of 'regulars' there, you might say; it's always reliably good and interesting food. We had passion fruit mimosas to start, and after a wonderful brunch -- flatbread with light gruyere, artichoke hearts, chilies and figs, and some of their always interesting breakfast pastries and jams -- the kitchen surprised us by sending out a pumpkin bread pudding with butter rum ice cream (J had told the server it was my birthday). I was so full, yet I seemed to manage quite well with the dessert, which was fantastic (I'd never had butter rum before and wouldn't have been interested in trying it, but it was great with the pumpkin -- they always do such a nice, and interesting job.) Good thing we ate early, b/c even with the great leftovers at home, it may be a while before I can eat again (famous last words). Although you can be sure it won't be at the next venue.

Off to the Chargers-Titans game, trying to be mentally prepared for yet another heartbreaking loss. I even noted on Facebook that if they won I would consider it a birthday gift to me. And guess what -- they won in a battle that shouldn't have been as tough as it was -- but don't let me start talking about football or I'll never get back to the main subject.

While I don't normally use my blog or Facebook to share 'personal' stuff, this weekend was too good to keep to myself. I hope whoever reads this can enjoy it vicariously (and I apologize to those who read it in snippets before -- it was the only way I could get info on Facebook -- that I know of -- from my phone).

The hard part will be tomorrow, in the gym, when I need fess up to my new age...


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