June 20, 2020


I woke up this morning to a lovely wrapped birthday gift sitting on the dining room table. A sprig of California Buckwheat replaced traditional ribbon. No doubt, Jacqueline’s touch. I shall wait until Jacqueline and Louie wake up to open it.


Then when I went outside with Lola, I spotted fresh blooms of our red roses and Jacqueline’s milkweed plant. I told Lola she’d have to wait a few minutes longer for her breakfast so that I could grab my smartphone to capture photos of the gorgeous flowers.



Another year older today and loving it. Age really is just a number! Last night Louie asked me what I would like for my birthday dinner. Goodness, he made such lovely dishes this week, I couldn’t come up with a suggestion right away. When he’s in a cooking mood we make way.


Earlier in the week he had the itch to make chicken curry, a dish he’s not made before – and happens to be one of my favorite meals. He used the only chicken we had in the fridge – drumsticks. The kitchen smelled of beautiful curry. When he finally asked me to give it a taste, I slurped the soup and bit into a chicken piece. The first word out of my mouth as I looked at Louie: “Saladang!” That’s our favorite Thai restaurant in Pasadena.




On another night, I wanted to give my dish-pan hands a break, so I suggested we make hamburgers as we had all the ingredients on hand, except for the buns. The local market was out of the wheat buns I usually get, but had brioche buns, which I’ve never seen before. It was all they had, so I bought the pack of – 12. Our all-American burgers were all dressed up.


In the late afternoon yesterday, Louie said, “How about I make my pasta al pomodoro? I haven’t made it in a while. We have everything we need.” Out came the chopping boards, a whole onion, garlic, extra virgin olive oil, peeled pureed tomatoes, finely grated parmesan cheese, butter, red chile flakes and kosher salt. Then he hustled over to our neighbor’s garden to pick fresh gorgeous basil (with Mika’s permission, of course). He meticulously followed the Bon Apetit recipe to make the silky meatless sauce that he has been making for years. The secret is in the whole onion and garlic minced and sautéed until they disappear.



So, I have no idea what we’ll have for dinner tonight, but whatever it is, it will be another magical performance by Louie. I’m just grateful that, in this time of coronavirus, we are all together and healthy – the only gifts I ask for.

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