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Sunday, November 19, 2006

Breakfast by the sea

pancakes
Birthday brunch:
ricotta and blueberry hot cakes with walnut butter and maple syrup

I had a wonderful birthday.

On Saturday, as I entered a new age bracket forevermore, I was looking forward to breakfast with friends and then a relaxed wander through the Sculptures by the Sea. There was a short errand that Veruca had to attend to first, and as we popped into a Coogee cafe I spied my sister [a serendiptous coincedence, I thought], then a friend [why have they met without me?] and then the penny dropped. I'd been duped!

A surprise brunch party with 22 of my dearest friends and family. And I had had no idea about any of it. It was a most touching surprise (apparently my changing facial expressions were hilariously entertaining to watch), culminating in one of those twee Hallmark moments when you realise how lucky you really are.

flowers
Birthday flowers from Veruca and A

There was cake, there were presents, brunch of course, and lots of catching up to do; some with friends I hadn't seen for years. And throughout the day of course, I was constantly replaying conversations in my head, remembering isolated incidents and piecing together the whole jigsaw of how I'd been so oblivious to everything. There were so many clues and I missed them all! :)

mussels
Moules marinieres

Dinner that night was with a small group of friends and family, a homecooked seafood feast of mussels marinieres (cooked in white wine and garlic) and spaghetti with pippies and prawns.

pasta
Spaghetti with pippies and prawns

For dessert we broke out the giant box of pishmaniye that I'd purchased in Auburn some weeks before. Soft, fluffy and light, and highly addictive too!

Persian fairy floss
Turkish pishmaniye, similar to pashmak or Persian fairy floss

Presents galore but the most exciting were the cookbooks that were given in addition to a gift as an afterthought, rescued from the shelves of C's kitchen "because I don't have any use for them anymore and I thought you might be interested."

cookbooks

Culinary jackpot indeed! The Gourmet's Basic French Cookbook was originally published in 1961, and compiled from the notebooks, records and mementoes of Louis Diat, the famous executive chef of the glamorous Ritz-Carlton in New York City. Diat worked as the head chef during the Ritz-Carlton's entire 40-year tenure on Madison Avenue from 1911-1951.

gourmets basic french cookbook

escargots
Beignets and escargots

The other donated cookbook was Cookery in Colour by The Australian Women's Weekly.

cookery in colour
Cooking in Colour

Hours of entertainment here, and I love the Diet Chart at the back that says:

"To maintain ideal weight a typist needs about 1900 calories daily, a housewife from 2,000-2700, bus conductress or laundress, 2500-3000, and shop assistant 2,000."

pressure cooking
Pressure cooking

meat dishes
Quickly prepared meat dishes

I love the paper frills on the crumbed corned beef cutlets!

cake
Birthday cake from Mezzapica Cakes, Leichhardt

I couldn't have asked for a better birthday. Thanks to my wonderful sister for organising such a brilliant surprise, all my friends and family for sharing it with me, and everyone online (that's YOU!) for your lovely comments and wishes.

15 comments - Add some comment love

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posted by Helen (AugustusGloop) on 11/19/2006 11:58:00 pm


15 Comments:

  • At 11/20/2006 12:29 am, Anonymous Tam & Laura said…

    Happy happy birthday! Tam just rang in 29 by eating his weight in pate. Moules marinieres sounds like a healthier way to go.

     
  • At 11/20/2006 8:29 am, Anonymous Kelly said…

    Happy Birthday! and thank you for the fantastic blog.

     
  • At 11/20/2006 8:39 am, Blogger PiCkLeS said…

    how lovely!! you have great bunch of friends and sister! I hope my sister reads this comment *hint* *hint* Sophia =P

     
  • At 11/20/2006 3:53 pm, Blogger Monica said…

    Happy birthday Helen !!
    All the best in the coming years, and keep blogging ;)

    monica =^_^=

     
  • At 11/20/2006 5:47 pm, Blogger Ed Charles said…

    Happy birthday, slightly late.

     
  • At 11/20/2006 9:30 pm, Anonymous Beverly said…

    HAPPY BIRTHDAY Helen, what a lovely surprise!

     
  • At 11/21/2006 12:07 am, Blogger ilingc said…

    Happy Birthday Helen

    Cheers! :)

     
  • At 11/21/2006 2:00 am, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    happy (belated) birthday AG !!! looks as though you had a wonderful day... cheers !! :P

     
  • At 11/21/2006 6:45 am, Blogger Yvo said…

    So sorry I missed this (the post about your birthday)! Happy belated birthday and sounds like an amazing day of fun and great food. Of course, none of that matters as much as great friends/family and conversation, eh? :) all the best and many more!

     
  • At 11/21/2006 1:33 pm, Blogger neil said…

    Another belated Melbourne birthday greeting - I blame daylight saving. Sounds like you all had a great time. And no, changing age brackets is not like changing tax brackets, I reckon the higher you get the more interesting you are!

     
  • At 11/21/2006 3:59 pm, Blogger Su-Yin said…

    Happy Belated brithday HElen!! Great to hear about your splendid celebration! Love your work..your artistic photographs and amazing list of sydney-eats! Keep them coming! Great stuff!

     
  • At 11/21/2006 6:42 pm, Blogger Veggie Friendly said…

    Happy birthday Helen (boy I bet you're over that song).

    Sounds like you had a fabulous birthday and hope you have a food-filled year ahead.

     
  • At 11/22/2006 1:13 am, Blogger Helen (AugustusGloop) said…

    Hi Tam & Laura - lol. Talk about livering life to the full :) Sounds great!

    Hi Kelly - Thank you and thanks for reading!

    Hi Pickles - It was a wonderful surprise. It sure is a low-stress way of getting a party too :)

    Hi Monica - Thank you, and I hope I do maintain the drive to keep blogging :)

    Hi Ed - Never too late to receive birthday wishes :) Thanks

    Hi Beverly - Thank you. It was a great way to start my birthday. Add cake and pressies and we're on a winner!

    Hi ilingc - Thanks and thank you for reading :)

    Hi Anon - Thank you and yes I did. Thanks for your wishes.

    Hi Yvo - Thanks. I agree you can't beat family and friends. It was a lovely day.

    Hi Neil - I like that age analogy. It just gets scary when you start shaking your head at "young people". I used to be one of those!

    Hi Su-Yin - Thank you. Can't compete with you on the cooking stakes so I'm concentrating on just eating up Sydney :)

    Hi Veggie Friendly - Thanks and actually no-one sang that song to me apart from online comments. Strange, I only just realised.

    I did have a great birthday and I'm looking forward to a very tasty year ahead!

     
  • At 11/22/2006 2:37 am, Blogger lilcrabbygal said…

    Happy Birthday, Helen!
    Your birthday meal looked amazing. Congratulations on a very successful food blog. You're constantly making me drool all over the keyboard :)

     
  • At 11/24/2006 1:08 am, Blogger Helen (AugustusGloop) said…

    Hi lilcrabbygal - Thank you :) Yeah I have to be careful not to surf too many foodblogs late at night or before I've had my breakfast - hehe. Thanks for reading and here's to plenty more drooling. lol.

     

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