Last Friday was my birthday. I don’t really have any recipes to share from that day but I thought I’d share photos of the day with you all here. The food I ate wasn’t gluten-free, though I am inspired to recreate my own versions that would also be refined sugar-free and (possibly) dairy-free. The only thing that was almost gluten-free was my chocolate mousse birthday cake, the only wheat being in the cake base. The mousse itself didn’t have any gluten.
I went out to lunch with my grandmother. Here, I had a grilled roast lamb sandwich. It had said lamb, with baby salad greens, ripe pear, and mayonnaise. Something I’d definitely love to eat at home! It was so flavourful with the lamb and pear balancing each other perfectly.
Then there was dessert: a princess cake for me and a passion fruit mango mousse for my grandmother. Those marks on the mousse are chocolate smears! My grandmother and I were marveling over that for a minute or two. I said, “Isn’t that amazing!” Realizing what I said, “You know what’s amazing, though? That I think that a smear of chocolate is amazing.” Oi!
We shared a pot of green tea that had rose buds or petals. The addition of rose added an interesting and pleasant floral note to the green tea. (I hadn’t really understood rose as an ingredient in food – I mean, I liked the sound of the aesthetic but I didn’t know how it added to something as a whole until I sipped that tea.)
I’ve never had a princess cake before, it was described as a white sponge cake with a raspberry mousse layer but it seemed there was more mousse than cake – something I don’t object to, of course. I enjoyed every bite.
Later, there were presents. A sweater my Mum knit for me, kitchen gadgets (including that cookie scoop you’ve seen here), chocolates, a bunch of baby bananas, baby mandarin oranges; a By Lauren Luke palette and a Queen tee shirt with Freddie Mercury in all his glory! I am, unabashedly, a massive fan of Queen and to receive such a gift, I’m sure that my heart skipped a beat as a rush of excitement surged through my being as I tore off the wrapping paper and saw the eighties-styled QUEEN emblazoned on the front. I was quick to change into it and wore it for the rest of the day, and the next.
The baby bananas and mandarins were a remembrance of things past: when I was little, for one of my birthdays I wanted a bunch of baby bananas. I think everyone kept asking me if I was sure – I was sure. My grandfather wrote on every banana, saying happy birthday and other well good wishes. I forget the name of the show now, but the reason for my wanting baby bananas was that I would watch a kids’ show whose host would always have a bunch of baby bananas that he’d eat at the end of the show. It was a backyard setting, he would do arts and crafts for children’s birthday parties and things like that. The story behind the mandarins goes back even further, to when I was a baby – well, more of a toddler but still. At that age I loved eating mandarin oranges. Once I fell asleep still clutching oranges in each hand. My grandparents tried to pry them out from my fingers but even sleeping, I held tight. My parents also did the same when we came home and they unbuckled me from the car seat, yet I still held fast on to them, refusing to let go.
Thus, this birthday the bananas and mandarins payed homage to those childhood moments.
The rest of the day slipped by: Chinese food for dinner, a chocolate mousse cake that my brother topped with raspberries for dessert; my little brother at my side to try to blow the candles out first. My aunt and I watched Cate Blanchett as an alter ego Bob Dylan on YouTube and we were amazed by her performance (for myself, this is even still after repeated viewings), to the point of confusing our pronouns; forgetting that a woman was playing a man. That’s good acting.
Next week, beginning Monday, we’ll get back to our regular program of recipes. I still have my meringue post, which has already been delayed because I decided I wanted more pictures for it and also hopefully a video – I hope that it isn’t much longer before I can share it with you! After that, chocolate for Valentine’s Day, then soup and perhaps salad as well. We’ll see. I have a backlog that I’m working down a little at a time, in addition to what else I’m doing what with responsibilities and family and also another blog project I’m working on that I’ll be sharing with you all in a little while.
Until next time,