ssh, it’s my birthday.
Well, this was a first. Even I, lover of all things culinary and kitchen related, need to take breaks from slicing and chopping, but all restaurant plans flew out the window when my cousin Steve from Virginia called to tell me that he was expecting to be in the Bay Area on my birthday. Of course, he had no idea that it would be my birthday, and frankly, after 40, I keep the celebrating and advertising to a minimum. (I’m conspicuously absent on Facebook around this time of the year.) Given that he could only see us that evening, I felt weird about picking him up from his hotel and then swapping a year’s worth of family stories at a noisy restaurant. So, I cooked dinner on my birthday (breaded pork chops with Japanese curry sauce), something I don’t think I’ve ever done since the invention of restaurants.
The men finished off a bottle of wine during dinner, and that is when I found them eyeing a new bottle of Yamazaki whiskey which apparently was co-purchased with my mini chocolate cake. (Not from the same store, so don’t go running out of your house seeking such an establishment.) And when I dared to gently advise Sam to take it easy on the drinks, Steve made a wwh-PSSH sound—you know, the crack of a whip that signifies how domesticated a man has become. (If you are a man reading this, please don’t ever make that sound in the presence of a woman unless it is accompanied by a gift of an actual whip.) As the night progressed, reality became clouded with ‘lightbulb’ moments—like serious thoughts of spending savings on buying a yogurt powder factory. Before actual damage could be done, my guest finally went back to his hotel.
Here’s a tip for a fantastic birthday: don’t celebrate it on your birthday. Since I drummed up some sympathy from my friends and family about cooking on my birthday—could I be a bigger baby—my daughter’s best friend showed up at my door a few days later with the sweetest cake on earth. Maristella baked and decorated it herself. Chocolatey. Fluffy. Exquisitely designed with underwater creatures. So two days after my birthday, I celebrated with a delicious homemade cake, and then, dinner in San Francisco at the Anchor Oyster Bar.
Maristella(Maria)’s cake recipe is a butter-less basic chocolate cake recipe she found on http://www.foodnetwork.com/recipes/food-network-kitchens/b/ba/bas/basi/basic-chocolate-cake-recipe.html
(Sam did wash all the dishes on my birthday even in his buzzed state. And thanks to Sam and Nina, I have a new logo for my site. I hope you like it!)