Sunday, August 31, 2008

Happy Birthday to Me

Yesterday was my birthday, and it was awesome. We've had some real feasts in years past, but this time we wanted to scale things down. More Maynard, less Somerville. It started out with a perfect breakfast revolving around Elise's cheddar and rosemary biscuits, which we topped with Seth's present, a jar of pure sorghum syrup from his travels through Arkansas.

The evening festivities of course centered around food. It was kind of like this, but without the hydrocolloids and ironic mustaches. The cornerstone of the meal was an array of wood grilled veggies from our new fire pit out back. Half of the fuel came from the woods about ten feet away, the rest from craigslist (cherry, hickory, oak, maple). The crookneck squash came from our garden, ten feet in the other direction. Doesn't get much more local than that.

Also on the menu were heirloom tom's and cukes, grilled purple and white eggplant, corn, onions, and champagne. Besides the latter, everything was local, purchased at the Maynard Far-Mar just hours before the meal.

For dessert Zach brought an incredible melon, described to him as having the texture of an apple and the flavor of a honeydew, which it did. Somehow Elise managed to bake a killer peach and blackberry pie while gardening full time and rehearsing for a new show six days a week, including five hours on the day of. She snapped a pic pre-top crust, but no record survives of the finished product.

The pita was fun to make and the best I've ever had, not a difficult feat considering how crappy most pita is. Thanks to BoB for the recipe. The inspiration came from a desire to not have to do dishes, and I could never buy disposable, so we figured everyone could have their plate and eat it too. Tossed on the grill to toast up, they made fantastic platforms for monster piles of smoky eggplant, hummus, cucumber, tomato and feta.

With food fads ever surging towards impossible perfection, when I look back on this post on future birthdays, I may scoff at my repetition of the word "local." But for now, it -- and "fair trade" and "sustainable" -- is the best we can do.

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michellebe said...

Happy post b-day! Interesting about the sorghum. My writing teacher at UVA, Kathy May, wrote a children's picture book called Molasses Man, about an old man teaching his grandson to carry on the sorghum tradition. It was inspired by her passing a roadside stand and stopping to speak to the folks there for a while.

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