Thursday, January 13, 2011

Name of miracle

My birthday was Monday and I would be remiss if I did not relate on my food blog the vast quantity of food that was prepared for me in celebration thereof.

My Nebraskan friend Chelsea made two salads, one of which was standard, with lettuce and pears, and one of which was salade gibsone, a concoction of avocados, macadamia nuts, and mangos that I invented at a Whole Foods in North Hollywood a few months ago as I was walking around the aisles trying to assemble a collection of ingredients in such a way that would afford me a better view of a hung-over-at-6-PM Mel Gibson. Her rendition of this nouveau classic was way better than mine, I think.

Jeff no doubt spent days hunched over a hot stove preparing short ribs stracotto, a dish that pretty much made me cry the first time I tried it at Delfina and came pretty close the second time time--there's just something about the way the meat pulls apart and the fat melts on your tongue that makes it just about the best mouthful of beef you're ever going to get. This is why I had to qualify last night's steak au poivre with "the best piece of meat I have ever cooked" instead of the best I have ever eaten. Jeff made some pasta, brussels sprouts, and potatoes as sides. Regrettably, I ate all the potatoes before realizing that they had been cooked in duck fat, but they were delicious even without having adjusted my expectations upward from "fried potatoes delicious" to "duck fat fried potatoes delicious."

Then for dessert Jeff made a sticky toffee pudding, which I have never gotten around to making even though I have wanted to try for like five years--because, seriously, how can you not want to eat a dessert that has "sticky" and "pudding" in the name? And "toffee" isn't bad either. My friend Ian, who recently splurged on a KitchenAid ice cream attachment, independently made a Thai-inspired chili-ginger-lemongrass ice cream, which, with its subtle heat and restrained sweetness, turned out to be the perfect complement to the stickily (but not sickly) sugary pudding.

And finally, I found out that Jeff not only bought me Cheeseboard's Collective Works for my birthday, but he had also prepared a batch of my favorite scones from a recipe contatined therein. Corn cherry scones, so tart and crunchy--I would have gotten one for myself on the morning of my birthday if I hadn't had a paper to finish and if I hadn't been way tired.

Then I made it my 25th year resolution to eat more healthily, but since I spent last night licking cream sauce out of a pan and frying beef cracklings in their own fat, we'll see how well that goes.

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