Yesterday was my darling brother's birthday. Also, a public health symposium. But that doesn't matter right now.
Caleb turned sixteen (Sixteen! Only a year younger than me, now!) and we celebrated in style. Because he loves food, we had something like four courses and wonderful presents. I think it went something like (1) tortelli of butternut squash with sage brown butter (courtesy of the Olives cookbook)
(2) coquille st-jaques
(3) rack of lamb with sour cherry sauce, creamed spinach, and jerusalem artichokes
(4) chestnut souffle with brandy creme anglaise.
The chestnut souffle was our attempt at a dessert we tried in Paris at a restaurant called Le Cosi, and is honestly the best dessert I have ever had. And I adore sweets. Our version wasn't exactly the same, but perhaps the best dessert we have ever made (including, you know, years of Pavlova and chocolate cakes and pumpkin bread puddings...). And then we had presents. Caleb is really really difficult to find gifts for. My father is the same way, but he generally asks for "music we're currently listening to," which means Radiohead or Belle & Sebastian or something. Caleb has very specific music tastes, so I don't really buy him music anymore for fear that he'll laugh at me. So I got him two shirts, a tie from the 1930s, and an IOU for tea at Laduree the next time we're in Paris. It's also difficult to see what kind of clothes he'll like, but he bought me a sweater that I wear basically all the time for my birthday, so I figured I'd return the favor. And then, you know, he got cookbooks and serving dishes and a computer since his was stolen a while ago. I'd say it was a pretty successful birthday.
Happy Birthday, Caleb! I love you! Thank you for promising to beat up my ex-boyfriends, for spending that five days with me in Paris by ourselves, for making the same jokes that I do and putting up with the fact that I have long telephone conversations in the next room basically every other night. You're the best brother anyone could ask for.