Birthday tome: Volume 1

During my Birthday Week, I welcome the coldest temperatures of the year (proof that God loves me and She wants me to be happy) and generally do whatever I want and eat whatever I wish.

This Birthday Week began with lunch at FIKA, where the parsnip soup was so exquisite that I tried to make something similar at home. (My attempt is documented over at Called to the Table today.) Although I've eaten at FIKA several times this winter, I cannot stop ordering the pork belly. There are plenty of other amazing options, but I return to that pork belly over and over. They've changed it up a bit, substituting prune for the persimmon sauce. I didn't think that dish could be closer to perfect, but they just keep improving it.

"My Last Supper" is a book with essays and photos devoted to famous chefs who describe their fantasy final meal. Some meals are elaborate courses of rich fancy ingredients. Others are simple, often drawing on memories of childhood and beloved family members. If anyone asked me what I'd like my final meal to be, I don't know how I'd answer. I've got too many favorites to whittle down to one occasion. I usually save those favorites for celebrations, like blini and latkes for New Year's Morning and meatballs for Christmas Eve. Something about saving those flavors for special occasions makes the ritual worth relishing.

My annual Birthday Donut and Cheetos is one such ritual. I am such a donut and Cheetos addict that allowing myself consumption at any other time would be opening Pandora's box on my health. I picture myself slumped in an alley, surrounded by empty pastry boxes and Family-Sized bags of cheesy snacks, tell-tale glaze and orange dust on my fingers and face. Not a pretty sight.

Today's Birthday Donut was the Blueberry Bismark from Donut Hut, recently voted a Top 10 donut by City Pages. Somewhere in my near future there is a bag of Cheetos with my name on it, and my Birthday celebration shall continue.


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