often, simple things delight us most. like watching Elroy’s jowls quiver as he snores through a power nap. or sitting in front of a 1940′s MGM musical with a bowl of butter-drenched popcorn. or a little hike, where you can breathe in crisp, clean Colorado air at 9,300 feet on a sunny, summer day. or those evenings my dad would enthusiastically serve us an appetizer of half a grapefruit, sprinkled liberally with sugar and majestically topped with a maraschino cherry.
it was with that kind of simplicity in mind that i went about to create mom’s birthday tribute dinner. i began with her childhood favorite, lamb rib chops. on the occasions i had the privilege to make them for her, our little bird would daintily pick up a diminutive broiled chop and eat every bit—until only the bone remained. she’d then look up and grin that signature grin of pure satisfaction. no lamb in my experience has been as tender and buttery as the Sea Breeze Farm chops i discovered this weekend. i was fortunate to meet the Vashon Island-based Sea Breeze team at the U District Farmers’ Market in Seattle—i appreciate the knowledge they willingly share and admire their farming practices. mom loved meandering through this market; i know she would have adored these chops.
to accompany the lamb, i served grilled asparagus on a bed of fresh linguini—tossed together in a sticky, rich balsamic reduction. simple, for sure, but packed with flavor. i like to think mom would have been grinning from ear to ear had she been at the table with us. she definitely would have enjoyed an accompanying glass of Vignalta Fior d’Arancio Colli Euganei. loved that bubbly.
for dessert, a melt-in-your-mouth Montmorency cherry shortbread cookie, sprinkled with a little organic cane sugar bling. it just wouldn’t be mom, without the bling.
for those of you who revel in the simple things, you can find the basic recipes here:
i’ll be seeing you in all those old familiar places, little bird. like tonight, i plan to grab a patty melt at our favorite burger joint. not as elegant, perhaps, as our special birthday dinners at Ken’s Steak House or the Wayside Inn (and you can cool believe i won’t be wearing a dress), but my Vanilla Coke toast will be straight from the heart. cranking up 40′s on 4 and sending you a humongous hug and smooches on this birthday and always. with love.