Happy birthday to meeeeeeeee

happy birthday to me


Well yeah it was my birthday weekend. I’d tried for birthday week of celebration to get make all sorts of unreasonable demands but no such luck. I am a birthday princess.

Saturday was spent making a cassoulet for a surprise birthday party for a friend. It’s not technically difficult but it does require your attention for the good part of an afternoon. The finished product is the combination of six different manifestations of pork and a duck. It’s pork and bean casserole but then The Crucible is about witches ‘n stuff. Fabulous middle of winter party food for a party of 20 and you get to find out what a pureed half a kilo of so pork fat and skin and 15 garlic cloves looks like. Here’s an explanatory flowchart I made two years ago which kind of makes sense.

cassoulet map


Sunday was my birthday and I decided that people could bring an intrument along and mess about. The garage was dutifully tidied and after a slow nervous start it all became magnificent. Quality playing but I think putting the cello through a wah wah pedal via a big muff (no not that) to a Fender Bassman was particularly inspired. So impressive I didn’t get to play the opening bit of Iron Man for several hours. Total instruments were two electric guitars, two acoustic guitars, one bass, a cello, those little hand cymbal things, a shakey basket thing, maraccas, a tamborine, a didgeridoo and a harmonica. I’ll have to make this a regular thing at Maison Floreat, there’s much to be said for this eating, drinking, music thing.

Oh food – I spent most of the time faffing around in the kitchen making steamed pork ribs, pork belly, san choi bow, and fried rice vowing that I wouldn’t mess about in the kitchen so much next time. Helpful hint – don’t defrost packets of dumplings before you need them.

A good swag of pressies, apparently I’m a discerning alcoholic and foodie. Somebody was asking before about ceramic knives. I got one from Toni and they do look like some kind of ‘safety knife’ for special little cooks but they are facking sharp and my lacksadaisical attitude meant trimming a bit of nail and skin off my index finger. Bottles of stuff to go in the ‘save for nice’ department, objet d’art, flip flops, and bric a brac, a handmade beanie from Kate which you’ll no doubt be seeing, and a late arrival in the handmade department from Crafty (you should check it out)

37. Friends, they age with you.

31 comments

  1. Sam’s avatar

    Happy belated birthday Anthony.
    All the ebst people are born in June!

  2. Anthony’s avatar

    Yeah I share a birthday with Isabella Rossellini, my female ermmm twin.

    The other months for being born are kind of sucky. I bet Hitler wasn’t born in June.

  3. ejm’s avatar

    Happy birthday! Cassoulet… be still my beating heart. Do you put breadcrumbs or no on your cassoulet? (We do not…)

    Other months for being born are kind of sucky, eh? Au contraire. If born in July, then one gets to celebrate the birthday for at least two weeks.

    -Elizabeth

  4. Garrett’s avatar

    I wanted to have a birthday for a week, but with no such luck. My partner just laughed. Oh well…

  5. CW’s avatar

    Wishing you good health and long life!

  6. tigtog’s avatar

    Happy Birthday! And thanks again for the fried rice recipe – yumyumyumyumyum.

  7. Anthony’s avatar

    Elizabeth
    A resounding NO! to breadcrumbs, that’s for egg and asparagus casserole.

    Two weeks ya say?

    Garret
    Yeah I tried to get a daily and every increasing series of presents to similar laughter. What joy we bring.

    CW
    Cheers CW but unlikely if I keep eating cassoulet (thought I here the fibre in the beans magically transports the fat out of the body)

    tig tog
    Hey hi and you’re welcome. Rocking good gravatar by the way.

  8. Robert’s avatar

    Happy birthday!

    I’d say I was sorry to miss your shindig, but I’d be lying. There is nothing better than an economy flight to Kalgoorlie, with a bowl of something described loosely as “beef” and no entertainment programme. There’s no way your party could have topped that.

  9. Gracianne’s avatar

    Happy Birthday, Joyeux Anniversaire Anthony!
    Sounds like two great parties. A cassoulet for 20, I am impressed. I did that once for 10, it IS a lot of work.
    I just checked, Hitler was born in April, like me :(

  10. Reid’s avatar

    Hi Anthony,

    Happy Birthday…like I mentioned before, you’re still younger than I am!

  11. Kate’s avatar

    I would like to be invited to the next ‘do’ involving cassoulet because I’ve never had it but damn it sounds tasty, so if you could arrange that, I’d appreciate it thanks! :P

    I am also glad you like the beanie. Though remember, woolen handknits, hot water and the washing machine go together like, I dunno, things that shouldn’t go together!

  12. Jeanne’s avatar

    Happy birthday to you, happy birthday to you….

    I did in fact raise a glass to you on the day (sadly not in Paris this year…;-)) but never got round to e-mailing. Mea culpa mea culpa. Looks as if you had a fab day anyway – I love the impromptu jam session idea! (and I don’t mean lots of people with large bags of fruit and sugar and sterilized jars descending on your house)

  13. Anthony’s avatar

    Rob
    Well it might have come close but there’s always a nice view out the window on the way to Kalgoorlies. Apparently a US plane crashed out there in WWII and they didn’t find it for a decade or so.

    Gracianne
    Merci beaucoup! They were great parties but I had to leave the Saturday night one so I could wake up early and open my presents. 20s not much harder, you just need a bigger pot.
    That’s true he was, you haven’t invaded Poland have you?

    Reid
    Cheers. But not by much. Have you got greying bits at the temples yet? I’m hanging out for those.

    Kate
    What a cheeky monkey. It’s good washed down with lots of red wine. Kosovich 2002 Cab Merlot seemed to hit the spot.
    Beanie is tops but yeah hot water a no no like ahmmm nitro and glycerine and ermmm James Blunt and Radio

    Jeanne
    Absolved! Now go and sin no more. It was a jammy jam session but the rate things are whizzing by it will indeed be people meeting with bags fo fruit and sterilised jars.
    Many

  14. AnthonyJ’s avatar

    You are eight days older than me. But two years younger. That is so confusing.
    As far as I can tell, in Minahasa people are expected to organise their own parties (which normally involve lots of praying), and the one with the birthday has to give presents to everyone else. So I think I’ll just let this one pass quietly – perhaps have some G & Ts with friends in the evening.

  15. Santos’s avatar

    allo allo happy birthday to you young man! must find suitable la-laish swag for oo. something for discerning lushes with penchants for sharp objects, methincks.

  16. flygirl’s avatar

    belated happy birthday spiceman. the trick to birthday weeks is to arrange to meet people every night. or guilt people who missed the main shindig into it.

  17. Anthony’s avatar

    AnthonyJ
    That would mean your birthday is on the 26th June 2008. Bests for it.
    Wot? No party hats and streamers in Minahasa. ’tis a shame but G&T helps most things.

    Santos
    And theres another bad combo, booze and knives. Magic squid overlord beanie has relieved you of all gift giving for one year.

    Flygirl
    That really is the all seeing eye there. I just got a cake at the office today beacuse they didn’t know it actually my birthday party on Sunday.

  18. Reid’s avatar

    Hi Anthony,

    Nope, no graying at the temples yet, but it’s because I have no hair. BWAAAAHAAHAHAA!

    BTW…did you get my info for the sub?

  19. AnthonyJ’s avatar

    No silly, my birthday was on 26/6/2004. But I’m expecting another one anytime soon.

  20. Anthony’s avatar

    Reid

    Mr Clean! Actually greying temples would be kind of a worry for you, like advanced necrosis or somtething.

    Yes I did and it’s been processed, many thanks. Haven’t you got IMBB this weekend ?

    AnthonyJ
    Ah that makes more sense but yes we’ll keep it from the Minihasans

  21. ejm’s avatar

    At the very least… sometimes I’ve stretched it into three weeks.

    I agree about the breadcrumbs but apparently there are some French people who claim that breadcrumbs are an absolute necessity. Possibly in Toulouse??

    There were no breadcrumbs in the cassoulet when we were in Castelnaudary though – the tourist office there claimed that Castelnaudary is the Capital of Cassoulet. And who are we to argue? We had stellar cassoulet when we were there. We complimented the chef and told him it was the best. He said he knew.

    -Elizabeth

  22. Reid’s avatar

    Hi Anthony,

    Yes, I’ve got IMBB. Hopefully I’ll see something from you!

  23. sue’s avatar

    Happy Birthday, Dear Sir !

  24. Avatar’s avatar

    Happy Birthday, m’luv! Call me biased, but Geminis are the best people on Earth.

  25. deborah’s avatar

    happy birthday spicey! hope you have a wonderful year ahead. what kind of cake did ya have?

  26. Anthony’s avatar

    Elizabeth
    I’m in awe.
    Noodlepie’s missus is from Toulouse so maybe we can get an answer, I’m sure it’s the source of much local animosity.

    Reid
    Mayyyyyyyybe

    Sue
    Thank ya maam!

    Avatar
    ’tis true – we’re smart and have twoce as many personalities.

    Saffy
    Cheers.
    I had a tasty one.

  27. J’s avatar

    your birthday weekend? and you made cassoulet for a crowd? what a champion! happy birthday, princess…

  28. Anthony’s avatar

    Ahh J
    Cassoulet is the easy for parties just set it up and off it goes. Snacky food much trickier. Many thanks for the well wishes it getting close to birthday fortnight, Toni will be taking my tiara off me soon.

  29. Anonymous’s avatar

    happy day of birth Spicee
    :)
    mons

  30. keiko’s avatar

    Happy belated birthday, Anthony – glad you seem to have had a great time, though I still can’t figure out the fact that June is winter down there…

  31. Anthony’s avatar

    Thanks Mon. Hope you got a bit of rain.

    Hey Keiko. It was a great time but it’s actually been Spring all winter here.

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