Celebrating Half a Century
On Saturday, Howard celebrated “the big event”. How is it possible that I am married to a 50-year old? He would have preferred the day to pass without notice, but because I love birthdays, that wasn’t an option. He handled the day gracefully, even when I told total strangers that it was his 50th birthday. He seems particularly excited to be able to have an AARP card.
The celebration extended from the previous week when our friends Laury and John made a fantastic brunch in Howard’s honor. We started with mimosas and champagne along with April’s “famous” cheese ball. For the main event, John made Eggs Benedict with homemade Hollandaise sauce. They also served spinach salad, fruit salad, and a yummy coffee cake. (And, of course, I forgot the camera.) It was a festive morning, celebrating with friends. Thanks again, friends!
For Howard’s actual birthday, we spent a low-key day hanging out at home. Then, we went out for a special dinner at Pigalle in Boston. Pigalle is a French restaurant. The chef, Marc Orfaly, has been nominated for a James Beard Award for Best Chef in New England for the past several years. He was also one of Food & Wine’s Best New Chefs in 2004.
To start, Howard had an arugula, prosciutto, and fig salad. It was really more of a prosciutto salad garnished with arugula and figs, as the main ingredient was not the salad. I had a beet salad with frisee, hazelnuts, blue cheese, and a horseradish dressing. It was really good.
For the main dish, Howard had a cassoulet. It was quite nice, with a lamb shank, a duck leg confit, and some kind of sausage. I ordered coq au vin, which was rich and hearty, perfect for the frigid cold weather.
We both picked right. Usually, we swap plates partway through the meal. Sometimes, it’s a problem when we both prefer the same dish. That night, we each preferred what we ordered for ourselves.
We seldom share dessert. Howard’s a chocolate guy through and through. Though some find it hard to believe, chocolate is not at the top of my list. I prefer fruit desserts. So, Howard ordered a molten chocolate cake (he did say I make it better), and I had a fruit cobbler.
The surprise discovery was a new (to us) dessert wine called Banyuls. It’s a fortified wine, like Port, just French instead of Portuguese. Howard is a big fan of port, so it was fun to discover something new.
So, here’s a toast to you, Howard, and your next 50 years!