My birthday was July 22.
I did a lot of tossing and turning the night before, not in anticipation, but in disbelief at the number of birthdays I’ve had. Ugh. Not that I’m complaining. Well, I kind of am. And I’m not going to tell you how many that’s been. After a certain age, we reserve the right to keep our age a secret, or lie.
OK, I’m 28.
Food and drink are of utmost importance on birthdays. I started celebrating on July 21, when I visited my friends, Caroline and Jay Canning, for a lobster dinner at their summer place on Westport Island. They’re awesome.
They picked me up at Trevett Store in their boat and whisked me over to Westport, a five-minute ride on a perfectly gorgeous evening.
I wrote a story about Caroline a couple years ago. They have a home in Costa Rica too. She doesn’t spend much time relaxing when they go there several times a year – she’s too busy rescuing street dogs, getting them to a veterinarian, and flying them back to Vermont to find fur-ever homes for them. As I said, she’s awesome.
Friends from Burlington and Costa Rica, and Wiscasset, were at their place on Westport last night too. They were all awesome. Tim and Candy brought their dog, Adora, one of the Costa Rica rescues. That’s a story in itself.
Anyway, as I said, food and drink are of utmost importance to me on my birthday, and every other day. So I’m going to tell you about everything I ate before and on my birthday.
My birthday eve started with a Manhattan made by Jay. He had never made one, but he’s a believer in top-shelf ingredients. And I mean that literally and figuratively. Their kitchen has a wrap-around shelf lined with top-of-the-line booze. Talk about awesome.
The first Manhattan was so good I opted for a second. Marilyn Gorneau, master bartender, had arrived by then and taken over bar duties, while her husband, Walt, took over the entertainment. He’s a riot.
Caroline cooked little native potatoes and beets, and made a salad – all from the Bath Farmers Market – while Jay got the water boiling in the outside lobster cooker. Their friend, Abi, from Costa Rica, who had never had lobster, was helping him.
Poor Abi came in a few minutes later, white-faced and shaken. “I did not know they would be cooked alive,” she said. Ugh. She, like Caroline and I, is a bleeding-heart animal lover. Their friend Candy admitted that, though she has eaten plenty of lobsters, she, like I and my little sister, Wendy, has never murdered them.
Dinner was sublime, murdered lobsters and all, and it was followed by chocolate bread pudding with hard sauce. I’ll give you that recipe soon.
The next morning, on my actual birthday, I was invited to brunch, by that same group of awesome people, at the Boothbay Harbor Country Club. I opted to stay home, where I had some of the adorable mini blueberry muffins Caroline had given me the night before, sausage links, and Bing cherries.
They sent photos of the brunch at the country club. OMG. My loss.
At noon I met up with that same crew at Robinson’s Wharf on Southport. They’re hard-core partiers. We had bloody marys and other drinks, steamed clams, Reubens, onion rings, crab rolls, fish ‘n chips, french fries, and a hot fudge brownie sundae.
If you can even imagine it, that hardcore partying crew, who had traveled to all their destinations that day from Westport Island, planned to head to the Osprey Restaurant in Georgetown for dinner (insert wide-eye emoticon). It was probably just as well that pea soup fog prevented that, and they headed home.
I headed home too, and stopped at Pinkham’s for a container of crabmeat. My birthday dinner was a very large crab roll with sweet potato fries, an arugula salad, and a glass of pinot noir. Oh, and I had a Manhattan while I prepared dinner. Duh.
Anyway. Happy birthday to me. It was a good one. Looking forward to the 29th 🙂
And the beat goes on. See ya next week!
(Suzi Thayer paints, feeds stray cats, eats good food, and drinks Manhattans. She’d love to hear from you with ideas and recipes for her column. Email firstname.lastname@example.org.)