Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Significant Birthday for Susan

Today was the first day of the semester at our university. I had a lot to do to prepare for my classes today, and I didn't quite get everything done that I had been hoping to because I had another event to prepare for:

Today was Susan's birthday! I won't tell you how old she is, although the clever reader will be keen to clues in the remainder of this blog post. I got up early and made breakfast: sausage and potatoes and peppers fried and tossed into scrambled eggs with shredded cheese, cinnamon bread toasted and spread with black raspberry jam, pomegranate/ruby red grapefruit juice, with caramel lattes for Susan and me. She read her cards and opened her presents . . . and then we all rushed off to school. Sigh.

Part of Susan's gift from the girls and me was a dozen red roses. My sister and her roommate sent a beautiful floral arrangement, too. (My other sister and my dad and stepmom, both of whom were here last week, left behind cards and gifts for Susan, too.)

After school, the girls had swim team practice; but I had asked them to change into dressy clothes afterward so that I could pick them up at the pool, pick Susan up from home, and get us to our supper reservation on time. We ate at the BrickHouse Grille downtown and had an absolutely fantastic meal. The girls impressed the waiter and other patrons nearby with their mature behavior and enjoyment of menu items that aren't your run-of-the-mill "kids' food." I forgot the camera at home but snapped a few pics with my cell phone:

For an appetizer, we shared grilled scallops served with a grapefruit salad and drizzled with a blood orange/ginger glaze. Susan and I had cocktails, and the girls drank Shirley Temples.

For her entrée, Suzanna ordered steamed mussels served over angel hair pasta with spinach and a garlic/white wine sauce.

Abigail ordered cilantro shrimp, which came grilled on skewers and served over jasmine rice. I didn't get photos of the other entrées, but Hillary had angel hair pasta (essentially the same dish that Suzanna had but without the seafood); Susan had filet mignon with bordelaise sauce, potatoes au gratin, and vegetables; and I had a spice-rubbed rack of lamb served with fingerling potato skewers, grilled onions, and an apricot compote. Of course, we sampled one another's dishes (that's how we roll), so I can confirm that everything was incredibly delicious.

When I made the reservation, I let the restaurant know that it was Susan's birthday--so she got a complimentary dessert of her choice (a chocolate-covered waffle bowl filled with fresh berries and crème anglaise) served on plate on which they had drizzled a message for her in chocolate before chilling it for the presentation.

When we got home, I revealed that I had baked Susan a birthday cake: a lemon cake with a frosting that I made from cream cheese, butter, powdered sugar, cream, lemon curd, and lemon extract. After eating cake and putting the girls to bed, Susan and I enjoyed some chilled dessert wine: Makulu Moscato, a slightly effervescent white wine from South Africa. It was a peaceful, relaxing end to a happy occasion whose celebrating we had to squeeze in before and after school and work. Happy birthday, Susan!


  1. Happy Birthday Susan!! Looks like you had a wonderful birthday celebration:)

  2. fun times! Glad you were able to squeeze in some celebrating on such a memorable birthday even though you all had school.

  3. It was a FANTASTIC birthday! I am very spoiled -- thank you, Kevin & girls, for a wonderful celebration.