Sunday, June 10, 2007

a weekend of birthdays

last friday we celebrated brad's birthday.  he was very happy to be home for it this year.  kev and kath took him for a day trip to phillip island and a lunch of a fresh seafood platter at the pub there.  while they enjoyed the day, the three of us had a lovely time in the city.  we went in to shop at vic market in order to purchase stuff for brad's birthday dinner.  he made the simple request of pumpkin soup and caesar salad.  the shopping was particularly pleasurable for me (geoff took isaac to the park on queen st) as i roamed the aisles and bought all fresh ingredients - pumpkin, garlic, romaine (known as cos lettuce here), italian ciabatta, bacon, salami (meats bought from a lovely italian man), anchovies, locally brewed beer for the birthday boy, and callebaut dark chocolate for the cake.  considered one of the finest chocolates in the world, i've always wanted to bake with it.

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it was a delight to prepare this meal.  i've watched my mother make classic caesar salads since i was young.  we made the dressing from lemons in kath's garden.  we toasted fresh croutons, minced anchovies and grated parmesan for the salad.  we topped each salad with a poached egg.  the cake was simple but solid, rich with the fine chocolate and a cup of coffee in it.  the pumpkin soup is truly the easiest and tastiest soup i've made.  four ingredients go in - pumpkin (butternut is the best), milk, butter and salt.  as a family, it was  joy to celebrate brad and enjoy simple, tasty food.

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on sunday, i turned 37.  we went to church in the morning.  kev and kath brought isaac home and geoff and i headed into melbourne for my birthday afternoon celebration.  we spent our time on lygon st (italian part of town next to uni of melbourne).  geoff found a well-reviewed restaurant that served "rustic mediterranean."  we sat outside to eat lunch and it was very much like paris - a slow meal at a cafe on the curb under trees.  the food was outstanding - we ate appetizers of olives, curly bread and roasted red peppers with goat cheese.  we shared two pastas - one with olives, anchovies, capers and sun-dried tomatoes and the other a carbonara.  it was better than we could have hoped and we ate too much.

after our meal, we walked down the street to the local artsy cinema called the nova to see "romulus, my father."  we both read this biography recently and enjoyed it thoroughly.  the scenery features country victoria (where geoff grew up) and the story is heart-rending.  there are some great movies showing at this theatre at the moment. 

lastly, after the movie, geoff bought me a yo-yo (my favorite oz treat) and we strolled through a local book shop.  we bought a newly released book of poetry by david malouf - typewriter music.  as the sun set, we watched an open plaza full of italians, gathered for some gala and listened to their string quartet.  this was my second birthday celebration in australia and certainly one of the best.

2 comments:

the hambricks said...

happy belated birthday, dear friend!! i tried emailing you on sunday, but my service provider doesnt allow my email to send out when outside our home... (we're in marietta)..
saw your dad today, and ashley e. with the kids on sunday at riverstone. makes me miss you more......

jkoch said...

yes, happy belated birthday to my birthday month friend. i miss you!