Sunday, September 27, 2009

A great birthday celebration

"What do you want to do for your birthday?" the lovely Carol asked me a couple of weeks ago. Besides that,  she meant.

Which birthday is this anyway? I noticed that if you change my age to another base, the digits switch places. A base-7 example:
32base7 = (3×7)+2 = 21+2 = 23
so maybe I'm 23 (yeah, right). There are surprisingly few 2-digit numbers that meet this condition.

Well, back to my lovely Carol's question. As I sometimes say, there are few things in life better than preparing a meal for people dear to me and having them enjoy it. So that's what we did. Ran over to Sigona's and got mung bean sprouts (very fresh) and some green onions. I went on to our local Key Market and bought chicken, beef, zucchini, peppers, asparagus, kim-chi, tofu and squid. They sliced up the beef for me. The lovely Carol picked up some cucumbers from the Redwood City Farmer's market. (She baked me a cake, for which I picked up cream cheese and crushed pineapple; it was carrot cake -- yum!) I also bought some special wine for the occasion.

Most of the food I prepared using the same old sauce -- soy sauce, sesame oil, vegetable oil, green onions. The cucumbers got a little vinegar added, and the beef got a little garlic. Carol took care of marinating the chicken.

The squid I cleaned (this took about an hour) then divided into two portions: the first I par-boiled and chilled with the above sauce; the other I stir-fried with the peppers, zucchini, asparagus, and an onion. Black bean sauce completed the dish. Note to myself for next time: drain squid well before trying to stir-fry!

Tofu was rinsed, sliced, drained and arranged on a small plate. Chopped green onions went on top, then I drizzled soy sauce and sesame oil.

The food turned out OK (some of my friends brought salads too); the conversation was wonderful. We shared a lot of laughs and caught up some on each other's lives. The 2004 Chateau de la Gardine (Chateauneuf-du-Pape) was great, but I wouldn't want to spend that much money every weekend, or even necessarily every month.

We had just a few couples over -- none from last year. So if you weren't invited, that doesn't mean I don't love you! But beyond a certain size the group dynamics get too complicated for me. Maybe next year....

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