Friday, February 5, 2010

Birthday Bashing

This weekend is my birthday weekend, though not my actual birthday. (DEG’s age will not be divulged.) As is our custom, when a birthday falls on a weekday we celebrate on the closest weekend.

Domestic Engineer Guys don’t get their birthday weekend off; unless you just won the lottery. If that were true you could hang up your apron and tool belt and hire a live-in chef and housekeeper.

Each year PJ gets to ask THE question: “What would you like to cook for yourself on your birthday?”

Since Friday is procurement day I just finished my menu planning.

Tonight is New York steaks with garlic, butter and thyme, roasted asparagus with dill hollandaise sauce, and fried onion rings. No dessert. The onion ring recipe is compliments of Emeril. You can find it on

Saturday is pesto, diced romas and pancetta on toasted bread (quartered), herb-encrusted roast leg of lamb with garlic roasted fingerling potatoes, pan-roasted broccoli with sliced almonds and garlic, and strawberry shortcake. The pesto is made from scratch, natch.

Sunday is roast chicken with root vegetables. The vegetable lineup includes leeks, carrots, red-skinned potatoes, rutabagas and turnips. They are all roasted together with the whole chicken—a meal in a roasting pan. That vegetable combo is amazing. I also just like saying, rutabaga. It’s a Thomas Keller recipe.

One of my stops today will be at the Wine Exchange in Orange, the best value wine merchant in SoCal. It will be a syrah Saturday, any which way you spell it.

The toasted bread for the Saturday night appetizer is not a canapé. You have to remove the crust to earn that snooty label. Guys don’t do canapés, or the stilted conversation that goes with them.

PJ has volunteered to make the shortcake from scratch. We already have fresh strawberries here in SoCal. There is a roadside stand one mile from our house.

The one birthday benefit coming my way is a weekend without KP. There is also a one in four chance that our son will do KP one night. If so, I may take a picture for posterity.

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