Birthdays At The Foodie’s House

Angel Food Cake, Figs And Strawberries, With Crown Royal Ice Cream

Yesterday was the Everyman’s 29th birthday.

If you were to ask him, he’d probably tell you that it is a holiday in Ontario because he was born (he’s so ridiculous).  It’s funny too, because I know 3 people who were born on that day; the Everyman, his sister in law, and an old coworker/friend from my previous job.  The Everyman tells me he also shared this birthdate with one of his grandfathers, but I never got to meet him.  It’s a small world after all, I guess…

Aleppo Chicken, Wheatberries And Chili Corn

At any rate, one tradition I’ve always loved is allowing the birthday celebrant to pick whatever they’d like to eat, and then preparing it for them.  We’d been to The Black Hoof on Sunday after having a craving for ‘nduja (what with mine not being quite ready yet) plus we’d been out to eat for lunch as research for an upcoming Taste T.O. piece I’m working on, so we were both really jonesing for some home-cooked fare.

Aleppo Shrimp, Wheatberries And Chili Corn

The Everyman’s coveted meal of the moment happens to be that succulent and spicy aleppo chicken that I’ve made probably a half a dozen times since I came across the recipe, so he chose that, sided with some of my pea and wheatberry salad, plus some lime and spice-rubbed grilled corn (removed from the cob for easier eating).  I’ve been on a bit of a “seafood I can eat” kick, having had sushi on Saturday, prawn and asparagus soup at The Hoof on Sunday (don’t worry, I also had a marrow bone on the side) and felt like continuing that theme.  I put some of the aleppo lemon marinade aside and doused six black tiger shrimp with it, as well as a few cubes of tofu as an experiment.  I figured that the blandness of tofu had to be enhanced by the multi-layered flavours present in this yogurty deliciousness.  Here’s a hint… I was wrong.

I prepped everything before we went for lunch, knowing that the dog days of summer were going to make it harder for me to get off my ass once I was full of food.  I also managed to ready the birthday dessert, which I was quite pleased with.  The Everyman’s favourite cake is angel food, so I made an oversized version that only slightly exploded in the oven, topped it with some of my rooftop berries and sliced fresh figs, plus a scoop of homemade vanilla Crown Royal ice cream on the side.  This was quite possibly the first time I’d taken the ice cream maker out this year, and it wasn’t planned at all, but our grocer inadvertently dropped off a pint of cream the other day that would’ve gone to waste otherwise.  After it was finished churning, I took a taste and decided that it was my crowning achievement (I know, har har, blame it on exposure to the Everyman!)  It might not look like much, but it was the perfect way to conclude a relaxed summer meal.  The kitties gave it two paws up, too; having squeegee’d the plates as soon as we were done.  It’s always nice to know that my cooking is appreciated.

With the exception of the grilled tofu, which tasted more like a doorstop than anything else, the meal was a great success.  The Everyman was happy, smiley, and slightly sleepy; all signs of a job well done.

If anyone has any killer recipes for tofu though, I’m all ears.  We’re off on a mini-vacay until Thursday (having tickets to go see Tool on Wednesday), so I’ll certainly have some time on my hands to mess around in the kitchen.

Until next time…

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