Today is the day before my birthday, but I got the best birthday present of all, i.e., the most delicious dinner I have ever eaten. I'm not as good at Nate at explaining all the process, but we started dinner with a delicious strawberries, blue cheese and red and green leaf lettuce salad with pecans and a balsamic vinaigrette (bye bye, all of our lettuce!).
But after was the best part, because my talented, handsome and extremely clever gem of a husband made my favorite thing but made it better. Let me explain: one of my all-time favorite meals -- maybe my all-time favorite, for real -- is roast chicken, so Nate roasted a half-chicken, with the bok choy roasted in the pan with the chicken, and served with glazed turnips with parsley and scallions. And it was FANTASTIC. The chicken was juicy, super-flavorful (seasoned with salt, pepper, sage and thyme, with a little Meat Magic for good measure) and perfectly cooked. The bok choy picked up all the jus flavors from the pan, as well: I don't think tossing bok choy beside a roast is one of the standard methods of cooking it, but it should be. And the turnips. Oh, the turnips. Sweet -- they were much milder than their autumnal cousins -- tiny, braised in butter and chicken stock, seasoned with the snappy scallions and some parsley, they were heavenly.
I cleaned my plate, then took a piece of bread to wipe my plate, then stole some of the turnips remaining on Nate's plate when he wasn't looking, then retired to the couch to rub my belly and remember the meal fondly. But then came the OTHER best part!
Fruit tarts are my most favorite dessert. Nate's homemade fruit tarts are my most favorite variety of my favorite dessert. This one used the last of our farm share strawberries, the Jersey blueberries and some other fruits. And it was the best surprise because he had previously told me he wouldn't have time to make me one until after my birthday.
I love fruit tarts. I love Nate, too, for making me fruit tarts. And because he saved the smallest of all the turnips to show me:
P.S. Hilariously, that picture is life sized. I held the tiny turnip up to the screen and it's an exact fit!