Monday, October 1, 2012

Birthday experiments

Well, first of all nature ran an experiment of her own: producing, for the very first time in my 17 years in Seattle, an absolutely perfect day for my birthday. Seriously, it could not have been more perfect. Cool, bright, clear in the morning, brilliant just-right sunshine in the afternoon: about 70 degrees. And the neighbourhood was quiet, with the occasional stir of wind in the tops of the trees (which are already beginning to sound papery; autumn is coming) and flick of bird wings. Wasps buzzed. Spiders hung on their webs, assessing best placement for the next couple of weeks.

I spent a lot of the day talking--with friends and family in the morning, and Kelley in the evening--eating (more anon) and drinking (ditto).

In between I worked on Hild, with a little help from a food experiment:

The white base is meringue--the tiny dots you put on the baking sheet to test whether the main meringues are cooked. This time, instead of just munching them up, nodding, and getting the main event out of the oven, I decided to play. I added a dab of macadia butter to each and sprinkled them with grated coconut. It turns out they make truly delicious treats. They certainly powered a lot of Hilding.

Another variation, this time with added chocolate:

This time instead of shredded fresh coconut it's dried shaved coconut--which isn't as sweet, and offsets the sweeter meringue nicely. Plus they look more elegant. Anyway, I took the whole plateful outside during my afternoon break from Hild to eat with tea, reading, and ukulele time:

Then more Hilding. Then time for serious food experiments, this time involving Indian food.

I love India food, but I haven't had it for about a year because all the things it comes with, that are part of the necessary experience--wheat, rice--are bad for me. So this time we decided to forgo the samosas (sigh), substitute mulligatawny soup (delicious), and instead of roti make a kind of buckwheat pancake thing that ended up looking (according to a Twitter friend, @kathygori) like Ethiopian Injera:

And in fact their texture was very similar to the Ethiopian bread I've used to scoop up meat. And it's nothing but good for you: buckwheat isn't a grass at all but a dried and ground flower seed closely related to rhubarb. And it was very, very good at scooping up lamb drenched in spices and accompanied by (hey, it was my birthday, after all) a very little bit of white rice.

Of course, the fact that the meal was accompanied with entirely too much Champagne and beer (forgot to take a picture til we were clearing up):

 probably helped. For dessert we'd planned the aforementioned Big Girl Meringues, with fresh nectarines and whipped cream but, well, we never got around to that part.

Tomorrow is another day. Oh, wait, that's today :) Well, you know what I'll be doing for the rest of the week: eating, drinking, and enjoying this unprecedented sun-in-October weather:

Life is bloody good.
This blog has moved. My blog now lives here: