Yesterday was my birthday, actually, and a lovely day it was. I'm twenty-eight. I don't have any weird hang-ups about my age. I remember in college that some classmates were moaning about how old they felt when the turned 22 or 23. I have had the opposite problem of being the youngest mom in my neighborhood by a good decade. But I still don't feel old and now I know lots more moms closer to my age so I'm pretty much fine with 28.
We took a breakfast picnic to a lovely island in the Potomac yesterday morning. This island is on the small side with a few trails scattered about. In the center there is a Theodore Roosevelt monument with fountains and huge statues and it feels like something out of Tolkien. There's lots of wildlife and if it weren't for the airplanes overhead on the approach to Reagan you would never know you were so close to a city.
Our dinner was fried fish. Eric's birthday was in March and for his birthday dinner he requested fried fish. I agreed--it was his birthday--but dreaded both the eating and the cooking. I'm not good at frying stuff and I've never had fried fish I liked. I did, however, have a good recipe and the results were amazing. I liked it so much, in fact, that we decided to do the same thing for my birthday. Mostly I'd completely failed to plan any food at all for dinner and fried fish is pretty easy to do in a pinch if someone is available to run out to the fish market. Eric was available to do this so fish it was.
For dessert I made a strawberry tart. I'm allergic to most kinds of fruit but I can eat berries and I've been wanting this dessert for the last week. Its from my favorite cookbook, of course, and the crust is a shortbread. I made a custardy vanilla cream to go over the crust and then just sliced plain strawberries on to the top. I tried to arrange the strawberries in some artistic way even though I assembled the dessert only about ten minutes before eating it. I wanted a nice picture and I need to work on my food presentation skills. In the end I just sort of crammed the sliced strawberries anywhere they'd fit. I asked Eric to get two cartons of berries and only used one but in his birthday zeal he bought me a container of mascarpone, knowing my love for high-fat dairy products. I might think of another yummy dessert using that because it would be wrong to just dip the berries in the mascarpone and eat them all that way. Right?
After dinner we watched the first half of a movie of the life of St. Rita of Casica whose feast day happened to be yesterday as well. We really enjoyed the first half and I'll post a review once we finish the movie this weekend.