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Happy Birthday to Me!

My birthday was last week and Art surprised me taking me to the bar we go to just about every week.  Needless to say, that wasn’t really surprising.  What was surprising was that he had not only arranged for them to get me birthday cake, in the form of cupcakes from Buzz Bakery, but also got the bartenders to sing me happy birthday.

Apparently a perk of tithing my income to Churchkey is that the bartenders will take odd requests.  *Note to self….(dirty thoughts).   It was seriously awesome of them to do this, and the cupcakes were amazing!

I took a few pictures with the “Retro Camera” app on my phone using the polaroid like filter, which I love but for some reason turned CKDC into a Blade Runner-esque looking place.

Birthday Cupcakes

Eric at Churchkey

Paul at Churchkey

Churchkey - Distopian version

2010 – The Year that Was

Happy Thanksgiving!

7th Anniversary

We took this lovely self-portrait on 12/31/2007. It was our 11th anniversary of “togetherness” and our 7th wedding anniversary.

We decided to continue our tradition of dinner and a movie for our anniversary. We saw “Atonement,” which was fabulous and then had dinner at Zola, which was okay.

Night of the Radishes, Part Deux

We threw a Night of the Radishes themed holiday party again this year. We did this a couple of years ago and it seemed to be a hit. So after a holiday party hiatus last year, we went hollywood-style this year and released a sequel. Why the attendance was down this year, the creativity was not. Check out the phenomenal crudite creations from Night of the Radishes 2006.

Crudite Creations

Click to see larger views (on Flickr)
The Angel Gabriel appears before Mary to explain her sudden craving for pickles Jay Ferguson, Seagull Gabriel, in your face Adam, Eve, and that slut Lillith Herbert Ashley & Eric's Menagerie Seagull? or Ternip? Frosty Night of the Radishes

[tags]night of the radishes, party, vegetables, crudite[/tags]

Thanksgiving at The Restaurant at Patowmack Farm

Art and I took a major departure from our usual Thanksgiving experience and went to The Restaurant at Patowmack Farm for Thanksgiving dinner. Yes, instead of cooking enough food for 25 to feed 15 — we ate carefully proportioned food that someone else prepared. The meal was fantastic, with the only problem being I was so full by the time the main course arrived that I could barely eat it! I was also sick, but my taste buds understood what they were being treated to and perked back up for the occasion.

This was our third time at Patowmack Farm, and Chef Christian Evans has not failed us yet. The restaurant always has a prix-fixe menu that is either a 7-course tasting menu or a 5-course. They also throw in delicious breads and palate cleansers — so there’s always at least two extra dishes. Thanksgiving followed tradition and was prix-fixe menu with a choice of main course. There was also an option to have a wine pairing added to your meal, which we opted for. I mean, if the chef is going to go to the trouble of picking wine to compliment each course who are we to spurn it? One of the things I love about Patowmack Farm is not only the lovely organic, cruelty free food — but the way it’s presented. As much care is put into the presentation as everything else. I think you eat more slowly when the food is presented in an elegant fashion, and then you can eat smaller portions.

I’m also astonished that the owner, Beverly Morton Billard remembered us. Well, remembered Art. That was only our third visit and you just don’t see service like that normally. Don’t worry Beverly, we’ll remember you and be back again for our next special occasion.

Sadly my phone died so I couldn’t grab any pictures. You’ll have to use your imagination.

Thanksgiving at Patowmack Farm 2006 Menu

“Green Bean Casserole”
Creamy bean soup with exotic mushroom ragout, crispy fried onions and white truffle oil.
Paraiso 2004 Chardonnay, California

We really liked this upscale version of green bean casserole. It was really amazing what a little drizzle of truffle oil makes, too!

Venison Carpaccio
With baby greens, blue cheese, toasted pumpkin seeds and mulled apple cider vinaigrette
R. Stuart Big Fire 2003 Pinot Noir, Oregon

We discovered that this dish was best if you got a bite of venison, greens, dressing and blue cheese all together. As the entire dish was about 4-5 bites — I’m glad we figured this out quickly!

Pan Roasted Duck Breast
With parsnip puree, roasted brussel sprouts and red wine sauce
Santa Rita 2003 Cabernet Sauvignon, Chile

Duck good — parsnip puree not so much. Art gave it a thumbs up. But I just didn’t dig the parsnips.

Entrees

Bacon and Sage Roasted Wild Turkey
With pumpkin pecan stuffing, batonnet of autumn vegetables and herbed gravy
Porter Behmann 2003 Shiraz, Australia

Art had this one and definitely enjoyed it. He did pause long enough to offer me a bite, but I was happily eating my own.

Corn Meal Crusted Rainbow Trout
With root vegetable gratin, wilted greens and maple sage reduction
Southern Rigth 2003 Sauvignon Blanc, South Africa

Oh, Patowmack Farm you had me at maple sage reduction. The main course was a full-sized portion, although more European than American in size. I just couldn’t do it. It was so good, and I was so full! Art got more than a good taste of this too.

Wild Rice Crepes
With wilted chard, autumn vegetable ragout and herbed cream

Neither of us had this, but I wanted to document it because it was on the menu.

Dessert

Sweet Potato Tart
With bourbon ice cream, nutmeg tuile, vanilla caramel and candied nuts
Samos Vin Doux 2003 Muscato, Greece

Gee — you think we liked this? Bourbon ice cream? Yum!

Art’s Birthday

We hiked Old Rag for Art’s birthday again this year. Thankfully for me it had rained the night before and looked like it might rain that day — which means once again I escaped the ridge trail. We hiked the other trail up, which is a bit longer — but not evil like the ridge trail.

It started to clear up pretty quickly and turned into a really beautiful day. We made crazy good time up the mountain! As we approached the top, we started to feel the wind. I’ve never understood what “rushing wind” sounds like until that moment. It was so loud and so strong. Gusts must have been 30-40mph. We found a nook at the summit and tried to get the tea house to serve us.

The tea house nearly blew away in the wind, but we persevered and had tea and scones. Then we got out of the wind and back into the forest area, where the wind died down. We hiked back down, once again in record time. Drank some cider that we bought on the way from Williams Orchard in Flint Hill and went home!

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