Thoughts from Crow Cottage

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The Birthday Report

So, the birthday dinner that I've been waiting for began with a fairly normal day here. I made myself a cake, no biggie, except this was a totally made-up recipe - that I called "Pineapple-Strawberry Upside Down Cake" - wasn't too sure how it would turn at the end.

Once the clock slowly ticked by so it was time for Paul to run down and pick up the seafood, we (the dogs and I) waited patiently (well, not really "patiently") by the door for his return with the food.


Waiting, waiting...


The table all set...


I saved myself for this night! Hardly had anything to eat all day, just a cuppa in the morning and a cracker or two. Because I wait all year for this stuff and Kip knew something was up, too, although what he didn't know...


...was that he wasn't getting ANY of it!




So there you go! I made a small salad of tomatoes, cukes, and olives to go with all the sinful stuff. In the end, Paul ate everything put in front of him, but I could not eat my salad - but I did manage to go slowly, and savor the tastes of the four different side orders we had here including fried clams, scallops, shrimp, and onion rings.

They make great onion rings at Dubes, and this year, rather than going with all clams, I decided on splitting it up and tried clams, scallops, and shrimp. My verdict: I honestly realized I like the scallops the BEST! Even better than the clams! I know!

In fact, there is a good chance I might order only scallops in the future... maybe. By next April, though, things might be different, who knows? Don't quote me on this.

For dessert, which was iffy, here is my cake (and my boy):


And I say iffy because I really had no hope that we'd have any room left for cake after that mountain of seafood!

So we retired to watch the baseball game and then an episode of our current DVD series, "Marie Curie" (which is fabulous BTW....), and since the Sox were losing and making us crazy, we opted to slice off a tiny wee piece of that cake and eat it. Wow. It was so good! Here's more about it below.

The cake when it came out of the oven.


The helpers, of course, supervising the whole operation:


Put a plate under the cake and turn it upside down:


And the final result:


It was pretty easy making this. I made it up as I went along. I had a whole fresh pineapple which was quite tart and not very tasty on its own, and I hade some fresh strawberries leftover from making Paul's strawberry ice cream, so I combined the two fruits in my food processor along with some butter and brown sugar and made a mixture that resembled apple sauce. I put that in the bottom of a bundt pan and then mixed up a boxed yellow cake mix and poured it on top of the fruit. I'd save a little of the fruit mixture and poured it on top and swirled it into the yellow cake mix. And that's it!

Just for the record, you can really do a lot with a simple little yellow cake mix! This was so good. We each had a tiny piece which hit the spot (what spot? was there really a spot left after all that seafood? no, but we made it happen).

So now I'm a year older, and I'm using today to kind of detox from all that food. I did notice that the serving sizes of the "side orders" have decreased quite a bit over the last year, since we got our clams last year. I'd say we had twice as many then as we got in a box this year. Good thing I got the three different things. But those scallops, OMG, they were to die for. Cooked to perfection, melted in your mouth... yum.

Earlier in the day I made this for Paul - his granola for breakfasts.


And that is that!



"Women are supposed to be very calm generally: but women feel just as men feel; they need exercise for their faculties, and a field for their efforts as much as their brothers do; they suffer from too rigid a restraint, too absolute a stagnation, precisely as men would suffer; and it is narrow-minded in their more privileged fellow-creatures to say that they ought to confine themselves to making puddings and knitting stockings, to playing on the piano and embroidering bags. It is thoughtless to condemn them, or laugh at them, if they seek to do more or learn more than custom has pronounced necessary for their sex."

~from JANE EYRE by Charlotte Bronte~

I think I could turn and live awhile with the animals...
They are so placid and self-contained,
I stand and look at them sometimes half the day long.

They do not sweat and whine about their condition,
They do not lie awake in the dark and weep for their sins,
They do not make me sick discussing their duty to God,
Not one is dissatisfied... not one is demented with the mania of owning things,
Not one kneels to another nor to his kind that lived thousands of years ago,
Not one is respectable or industrious over the whole earth.

~ [Walt Whitman, from "Leaves of Grass, No. 32"] ~


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