Monday, February 16, 2009

Birthdays & Pinto Beans

Hey, Bub, be a chum and follow our blog, won'tcha?

We had precious few updates this weekend because we went to Rhode Island and totally surprised my dad for his 60th birthday! We thought that maybe we might not have surprised him but he's not the world's best actor so I think we were able to catch him by surprise.

As is often the case with trips home to see my parents I was regaled with stories of my father's delinquent youth, like the time he stole this sign from a bar -- a bar from a college he did not attend and should not have been allowed access to.

For dinner my mother made roast turkey, meat stuffing (a French Canadian favorite), roasted butternut squash, broccoli with cheese sauce, and mashed potatoes. It may strike you as odd that we would have a Thanksgivingesque dinner for a birthday but there was nothing odd about how delicious the meal was.

We got a cake from Wright's Dairy Farm. While I generally do not condone the use of inedible cake or food garnishes, this cake was delicious enough to let the weird streamers slide.

Jen was left home alone today while I worked which meant two things: 1) she spent a good deal of the day cooking and 2) she made a terrific mess of the kitchen. This is a pretty typical sink job a la Jen. Using her patented bowl-plate-bowl technique she is able to fill a sink with a great deal of speed. If there were an Olympic event for filling up a sink with the minimum number of objects I'm pretty sure Jen would not only proudly represent her country but would likely secure a podium finish.

Jen made a salad of avocado, herbed salad greens, and goat cheese. As is her signature she served the salad in a bowl. We have long had the debate over whether salad should be served on a plate or in a bowl. This debate remains unresolved so we just accept whatever serving vessel the salad preparer chooses. Marriage is all about compromise.

For dinner Jen used the pinto beans, onion, and garlic from the farm along with some sweet potato, tomato, and chipotle to make a vegan chili. Vegan before we added the sour cream. I guess we could have gone out and gotten some sort of sorry tofu-soy sour cream alternative but considering that neither of us are vegan (or even vegetarian) this didn't seem necessary.

We thought that Oprah might have enjoyed this chili:

We certainly did.

Jen also baked my favorite banana chocolate chip muffin recipe.

One of the muffins was this joyous little fella. I think it makes him happy to think about how much I am going to enjoy eating him very, very soon. Jen also made apple muffins. The apple muffins, however, did not assume a human form.

There's always next time.


caolan said...

He IS a joyous little fella. Hooray for the banana-chocolate-chip muffin, the happiest muffin of all!

It reminds me of the classic Halloween song beloved by my aunt Diane and my cousins:

Punky Punkin's a happy punkin
and do you know why?
'Cause he's a happy jack o'lantern
instead of a punkin pie!

Maybe the muffin is happy to not be a punkin pie as well. He would be a pretty inadequate punkin pie.

Sandy said...

By the way, Nathan made the roasted butternut squash for the birthday dinner and it was delicious!

uberlours said...

Jen is nothing if not her Mother's daughter when it comes to filling a sink!
I like to think that they would be the Williams sisters of an Olympic sink filling pairs competion.
Unbeatable, with minions, ie husbamds to clean up.