A Belated Birthday Wish

1 Feb

My birthday is my favourite week…er I mean DAY of the year.

OK yes, I’m one of those annoying people who stretch it out as long as possible (hence the reason why I’m posting about it two weeks after the fact), but why shouldn’t it be an important day? Week? Even month??! We spend so much of our year running around, neglecting our own happiness, I think we should take some time once a year to stop the madness and celebrate with friends, family and loved ones. And what better way than with a weeklong festivity of food and drink!

Photo taken from last year's birthday festivities

You all remember the stunning photo of formerly-fat Ellie lit up with excitement over my ice cream cake in Food and Me, but that’s actually the permanent state of my face for the entire week of my birthday, as I stuff myself without any guilt of calories or pending hangovers.

My week of delicious delights actually started before my official birthday, as I enjoyed a fantastic home cooked dinner with my family. My brother and his fiancé were in town, so we decided to take advantage of this rare opportunity when (almost) all of us were together (my other brother unfortunately couldn’t be there for this visit), and my remarkable chef of a mother whipped up sesame encrusted seared ahi tuni, broccoli, matchstick carrots, and beets. Not to mention individual cheesecakes that provided the perfect stand for my first birthday candle blowout.

Flash forward a few days to my actual birthday, which started with a lovely morning surprise. I awoke to a stunning bouquet of a dozen red roses from my wonderful boyfriend, as well as about a foot and a half of snow. Now in normal cities that’s just called “winter”, but in little Victoria BC even an inch of the white stuff puts a stop to everything in the city, and locals rejoice over a snow day, if of course they’re not quivering in fear, afraid to leave their front door.

Having lived in Montreal for 4 years, and also having the joy of a 4×4, the snow never stops me, and I continued on with my day, goofy smile and all, as if nothing had happened. Except for the fact that my boyfriend was able to stay home from school which bent my goofy smile into an overjoyed grin. We began the day with some amazing homemade whole wheat waffles, a large mug of green tea w/ straw (strangely enough my favourite way to drink hot beverages), and went for a lovely walk in the silent and snowy city landscape.

After our venture into the “wild”, we met up with my mom, and the three of us enjoyed a delicious lunch at The Fireside Grill, which was quite possibly the only place open for lunch in my neighbourhood. We indeed sat fireside, and enjoyed some warming cuisine as the wood crackled beside us. I had a grilled sockeye salmon burger with a dijon anchovy aioli, frisee, pickled red onions & Roma tomatoes, and an amazing “dessert sampler for two,”  which included New York cheesecake, flourless chocolate cake with coconut gelato, chocolate dipped strawberries & gin and tonic granite with passion fruit foam…although in actuality I ate most of it. No surprise there.

For dinner I met friends at Sauce where we enjoyed some amazing cocktails and bites. My favourite cocktail was the Knickerbocker which was a shaken mix of Flor de Cana Grand Reserve 7yr, rum, cointreau, raspberry, and lemon.

The next day I had a more intimate meal with my man at one of my favourite local restaurants, The Tapa Bar, where we enjoyed Gambas con Coco (prawns in coconut milk curry with cucumber & tomato), Bistek Madagascar (charbroiled New York steak covered in Madagascar peppercorn demi-glaze), grilled chorizo sausage, and my personal favourite, the grilled kale (marinated in coconut milk, cayenne and lemon). A lovely trio of crème brûlées finished off the night, and I was well into a week of true culinary bliss.

I’m happy to report that the week continued with dinners, lunches, brunches and drinks all aimed at celebrating the day I was born.  I’m not saying this to inform you as to how utterly self-indulgent I am, but more so to highlight the amazing power that enjoying food and drinks with the people you care about can have, no matter what the occasion.

In fact, if I could make one definitive birthday wish, then I would ask for everyone to take more time to not just smell the roses, but turn those roses into a table garnish for a delightful dinner party with friends, and then take time to stop and smell (and eat) the appetizers, main dishes and desserts that do such a great job of bringing people together.  Now if THAT were to happen more regularly for everyone, then I would be one very happy birthday girl!


One Response to “A Belated Birthday Wish”


  1. Playing Cupid with Cupcakes and Other Delicious Things « Shortt and Sweet - 19/02/2012

    […] Day, this holiday is often stretched out for me (hmm that sounds familiar…like in A Belated Birthday Wish) with a combination of family dinners and romantic […]

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