• Joel’s Birthday weekend of fun and frenzy

    by  • October 5, 2006 • California • 8 Comments

    posted by Sarah

    Last weekend we celebrated Joel turning the big 2-6 with lots of fun devised by myself!

    Thursday was Joel’s actual birthday but he had a big English conference he had to prepare for and his class wasn’t over until 8 p.m. that night so we celebrated lightly that day. Presents included books, DVDs, cds, and a pillow (made by yours truly) shaped like a Pembroke Welsh Corgi (featured below):

    Friday evening we went to Larrupin’s, a small beguiling restaurant in scenic Trinidad (about a 1/2 hour drive north). This boutique restaurant is eclectically decorated with a colonial feel, and the entire dining room is about the size of a large living room. There’s a small wood-burning stove and a small grey cat wanders beneath the diners’ tables (her name, we discovered, is Saucy).

    The meal began with a “starter board” featuring a weighty chopping block topped with chicken pate, sweet dark pumpernickel bread slices, locally made chevre, cucumber slices topped with a sliver of lox, Fuji apple slices, and Larrupin sauce (a kind of sweet dill-mustard sauce invented by the founders). The wine came in huge balloon sized goblets – a great deal in my book! I had a very sweet, juicy Riesling and Joel had a Pinot Noir, both California produced (but I can’t remember the names of either–go figure).

    For the main course, Joel ordered grilled lamb with a huckleberry sauce accompanied by wild rice; I got the chicken breast stuffed with a cream cheese and artichoke filling and wrapped in phyllo pastry with a twice-baked potato on the side. Both entrees were very nicely prepared, and although they lacked the *wow* effect experienced at other restaurants, they were certainly quite delicious. The grand finale was coffee accompanied by a lush dessert of chilled rum-infused goat cheese atop a thin crackling chocolate layer and smothered with a raspberry sauce. YUM!

    Finally, on Saturday while Joel was at his conference at HSU all day, I busied myself with the rather mundane task of cleaning the apartment and prepared a dinner for a party with friends. Besides baking something out of Bon Appetit called a “Deep Dark Chocolate Cheesecake,” I got the Roasted Red Pepper & Herbed Goat Cheese Lasagna in the oven and mixed up the Caesar Salad dressing in the nick of time just as people started to arrive. Lots of good fun & eating!

    Joel’s final present from me consisted of a mix CD made up of songs contributed by his friends. I’m showing the cover because I like it a lot (and I made it myself).



    Sarah grew up in Colorado but considers herself a Chinese-Malaysian-English-American. Her favorite thing to do is read in bed, or some sunny spot on a couch.

    8 Responses to Joel’s Birthday weekend of fun and frenzy

    1. Nova
      October 6, 2006 at 4:19 am

      nice pillow!!


    2. Johnny & Emily
      October 10, 2006 at 3:35 pm

      That CD artwork is awesome!! Love the synth cake!

    3. Johnny & Emily
      October 10, 2006 at 3:37 pm

      Oh, is there anyway we could get the track list from the CD. thanks

    4. Matt Basinger
      October 14, 2006 at 2:43 pm


      You are so creative! It sure sound like you made a really special birthday for the Joel-man. I love all the great description of the food…it made me hungry just reading it!

      You two are both so special and we really miss you guys!


    5. loopinator
      October 15, 2006 at 3:53 am

      Sarah…you are amazing!! That is a very cool present. Thanks for the shout out last week. :)

    6. Anonymous
      October 23, 2006 at 2:41 am

      You’ve got some great photos on this blog… They make me homesick for my hometown…

    7. Matt Basinger
      October 23, 2006 at 4:44 pm

      where’s the much awaited playlist?

    8. amanda
      October 31, 2006 at 3:23 pm

      wow, what a wonderful birthday…you two are turning into quite the culinary connoisseurs.
      i’m happy to hear how y’all are so happy!

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