Sunday Photo Essay: A Birthday Celebration

birthday cupcake
tide-me-over birthday cupcake

It’s annual birthday week for The Chef and me: Mine was last Monday, his is this coming Tuesday. On Monday he brought me home a single cupcake to celebrate the occasion: lemon, with lemon buttercream icing and lemon curd filling—lemony goodness, through and through. But we saved our grand celebration for yesterday, and did it up right.

lobsters in icewater bath
lobsters steamed, dropped into an ice water bath to slow the cooking
Silver Oak Cab 2014
this bottle of Silver Oak Cab was a Christmas gift David gave me last year; we saved it for our birthday dinner
grilling corn and filets
lobster grand marnier
the beginnings of lobster Grand Marnier
flames in the sauté pan
Grand Marnier set aflame in the pan
Scout smells all the smells
an embarrassment of basil

Whilst awaiting dinner I inspected the basil on the deck (which somebody else appears to have been sampling) and invented a new collective noun. I give you, an Embarrassment of Basil. We’ve already pinched back the green and the purple basil once this summer, and it just keeps on keepin’ on.

wine decanted, dinner plated: grilled corn on the cob, lobster Grand Marnier, filet mignon, and oh, my, that sauce!
a gorgeous high summer evening in Vermont, diffuse light through the backyard trees, and a cool breeze blowing
a dog in his element
cake and ice cream

Here is the proper cake, although The Chef described it as ‘ugly cake’ because he was too rushed at work to give it the attention he felt it deserved. It is dark chocolate with a layer of raspberry buttercream, another layer of marzipan and orange buttercream, and then topped with salted caramel, mocha, and maple buttercream. (I enjoy icing with the gusto of a five-year-old and have been asking for this cake for months now.) The ice cream is dark chocolate chip espresso. And if you believe those are too many flavors going on at once, I assure you taken a single bite at a time they explode in the mouth in a most satisfying way.

Time stood still for a while on a perfect summer evening spent in the company of The Chef and one Scout-the-Goldapeake-Retriever. Living every day like it’s your last seems somehow so imperative just now. It is a monumental challenge most days, but we pulled it off yesterday. The two of us and Scout lingered outside for a long time after we finished supper, enjoying the breeze while the sun set, talking, remembering loved ones now gone, and listening to Carlos Santana’s exquisite guitar playing, while Scout stood sentinel over his backyard kingdom. Another birthday’s in the books; we hope there will be many more.

4 thoughts on “Sunday Photo Essay: A Birthday Celebration

  1. Oh lovely! Happy birthday to you both! Our daughter’s 21st was this week as well… and we did lobster, too! A grand time of year to celebrate… and even though it feels very hard to celebrate anything at all right now, I’m really glad you did.

  2. A very Happy Birthday to you two! The dinner looks amazing and mouthwatering. I’m not a huge cake fan but that cake looks special. I’m hoping the celebration continues for a few more days!!

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