Monday, July 8, 2013

southern fried birthday

My baby sister graduated from college, turned 22, and recovered from knee surgery. So we had a party. Summer parties are the bessssst because you can set things up outside.


Let me tell you, trying to fit 18 people on our deck involved some exciting furniture movement. Thanks boyfriend, for bringing that extremely heavy bench up from the backyard with me! There was also rearrangement of the plants that usually take up most of the deck. An attempt to use a mosquito defogger resulted in some leaf trauma. Blessedly, they seem to’ve recovered.

Foodwise opted for a decidedly non heart healthy Southern theme. The menu included:

- Pulled pork barbecue on buns
- Coleslaw
- Creamed corn with bacon
- Cornbread
- Pimiento cheese with veggies (SO GOOD!)
- Green bean casserole
- Green salad
- Various pickly guys, in a vain attempt to contribute a flavor that wasn’t fatty :)

And then there was a whoooole saga with the baked beans that were also meant to be served. In that they cooked for like 15 hours and showed no softening whatsoever. Bizarre.

Anyway, it was still a heavily laden table. Because when we invite over 18 people, we make food for 50. Just in case.


Everyone knows you have to put the coleslaw on top of the pork, or there’s just no point.


My plate.Yknow, minus the gobs of pimiento cheese I’d already consumed. The cornbread was a definite highlight. So sweet and creamy and moist it was almost like little squares of corn pudding. There were lots of diabolical leftovers calling me from the kitchen at all hours.


Malindi’s godparents were nice enough to get her TWO cakes! One for birthday and one for graduation, I spose. Chocolate, pictured below, and a lovely lemon one as well. They were bee-yoo-tiful!


On Malindi’s actual birthday, I made her pancakes (by which I mean I got up four hours earlier than she and left pancakes for her in the toaster oven). Then I cursed a blue streak in my head prayed to the heathen chemistry gods suffered through took my organic chemistry final.

Blessedly, it was over. I went on a wonderfully carefree shopping spree for my sister. I’m proud of many of my purchases (a Snuggy magnet, attachable snakeskin gel nails, etc.) but the item I knew my sister would both love most and use a great deal was:


Yep. Then Malindi was off hittin’ the club with her friends that night, so I joined Steve’s cousin and we headed off to Freddie’s Beach Bar, the gay bar that employed my boyfriend for a few months this summer (he has now departed). It was a BLAST. There was karaoke! I sang Every Rose Has its Thorn. Naiiiiiiled it.

Since we’re discussing birthdays, why not include a belated Mother’s Day update? Sure! Our tradition is to get Vietnamese food, specifically banh mi at a great deli not too far from our house. Tragically, the last time I ate banh mi I was receiving injections of a medication that caused me to be intensely nauseous. So my stomach needs a little while to bounce back. BUT, I thoroughly enjoyed a Vietnamese iced coffee and the desserts we brought home to share:


On the right is a dish that’ll be familiar to some: it’s just coconut sticky rice wrapped around banana and steamed. That coconut milk by it is for optional dipping- highly delicious.

As for these taco-esque looking items…


A rice wrapper contained layers of rice and sweet bean; some sort of mysterious pancakey thing and coconut. The secret bringing it all together was the little baggie on the right, which contains sesame seeds, salt, and sugar. The combination of flavors (and the sesame crunch) elevates these little tacos to excellence.


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