For those of you who don't Facebook - or the odd few who Facebook but refuse to put their birthday on their profile - you are missing out on a day of virtual hugs! When I rolled over this morning I had already received two texts and 15 Happy Birthday posts. And as of this writing FB tells me that 69 friends had posted birthday greetings to my timeline - and 9 more people wished me a great day via my status update (where I wished MYSELF a Happy Birthday!) For the whole day - whenever my phone buzzed - instead of wondering "what now?" I got to wonder "who now?" - as in who wants me to have a great day!
People from all of the strata of my life touched base - Kings Dominion folks, relatives, work friends, theatre peeps, friends from the Loft years...it was a great day. And then it was topped off by a great dinner with my two favorite folks.
Some of you may know that I share a birthday with my Mom. That's why I'm her favorite (just kidding siblings!). Most years the three of us enjoy dinner out - sometimes accompanied by a special friend or two - but this year I just felt like enjoying their company alone. I kid with them about being the ponies that live upstairs (aka "horsemates") but I truly love them both. During the time in the fall when I was struggling - neither of them faltered in their love and support of me. I can't imagine what life would be like without my wonderful family. From time to time I have tuned into shows like "Maury" or "Jerry Springer" and seen families that have splintered and scattered. In fact I personally know people who aren't sure what state their siblings are living in - or what they do for a living. Although our closeness can drive me batty - I love every member of my family. Biological and otherwise.
Dinner tonight was a relaxed affair at Jimmy's on the James - a relatively new restaurant in downtown Lynchburg. I had heard good things and was not disappointed. I had a really nice glass of Zinfandel (no - not white Zin...don't get me started) and ordered a Pinot Noir for Mom. Dad got a beer from his favorite brewery on the east coast: Abita Springs. He had to settle for a Purple Haze because they don't have his favorite: Turbo Dog. Note to Jimmy: get some Turbo Dog.
We started our meal with the Pork Bites - which are slightly battered pieces of lean pork loin that are fried and accompanied by a Thai inspired sauce. My only note there is that the pork loin is SO lean...they tended toward being overcooked. But they were still delicious - especially in the slightly spicy sauce that was a great balance of sweet and savory. I know there was sesame oil...but I stopped trying to deconstruct it and just enjoyed!
Mom ordered the lamb, which was perfectly cooked and paired with a succotash. I don't eat succotash, but they both enjoyed it immensely. She also had spoonbread - but since she is allergic to eggs...I got to enjoy that. Dad got the crab cakes and they were excellent (yes, I tasted all their food too!). I got the Tavern Pie which is a sort of cross between shepherds pie and pot pie. It contained pork, beef and lamb...and veggies...and was coved with a square of pastry. It was stupendous. Perfectly seasoned. It was surrounded by a giant moat of haricots verts (aka skinny green beans). Pretty. I didn't eat many. Most of them are wrapped up with my leftover Tavern Pie in a delightful foil swan. I haven't seen one of those in years.
During our dinner Jimmy (Jim Dudley) sang and played the piano so beautifully that I forgot sometimes that it wasn't a recording of Frank Sinatra or Dean Martin. My only problem was that I had to put my fork down to applaud!! He was a great performer and a gracious host. He made a point to stop at each table and chat at length. And our server, Terrie, was simply charming. She answered my inevitable question "what's your favorite?" with sincerity. It didn't feel like she was just suggesting whatever the kitchen was pushing (or the most expensive items). She was friendly without being cloyingly sweet.
And the last course - along with great coffee - was deep fried Oreos over creme anglaise and whipped cream with berries. Damn. That was perfect. It was a set of three Oreos - so we got one served for Mom away from the creme anglaise (egg allergy) and it was just right for the three of us.
The perfect end to a great day.
Happy Birthday to US!
I love you all!!