Happy Birthday, Dad

Dad and meIt was a big week for my family. Dad celebrated his 96th birthday on September 16th. We hardly thought this day would come given his failing health. But he managed to sport his 1000 watt smile as we joined him at the Maryville Nursing Home for dinner. I brought a fabulous strawberry cream cake from the Beaverton Bakery. Dad loved it. It was a special night to be sure.

For this week’s Fields of Greens meal, we invited my good friend, Lynn Landrum to join us for a feast of Winter Vegetable Curry, Cucumbers with Yogurt and Mint, and Fiery Pineapple Chutney.

As I’ve worked on curries these past couple of weeks, I’ve witnessed the benefit of boiling green beans and broccoli briefly and setting them aside. Their colors perk up, and they retain their crispness when added to the pot in the final moments of cooking. There’s advanced preparation for mushroom in the Winter Vegetable Curry; they’re sautéed for 7 minutes in oil with a splash of water to loosen the pan juices. The little darlings emit a high-pitched squeal akin to baby mandrakes in the second Harry Potter movie. It sounded like we were torturing them for state secrets… which they never gave up. They were tasty, however…

Having declared victory on another meal, we set off that weekend for a two-day getaway at Cape Meares on the Oregon Coast. Lovely weather. No crowds. Long walks on the beach. Heaven!