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).