So, Brent turned the big 4-0 yesterday. The Big Milestone.
Usually, the tradition is that I make him his favorite meal. Naturally, right? For the second year in a row, he asked for lasagna, breadsticks, and French Silk Pie.
Okay. It's his birthday, so what he wants, he gets. Some year, though, I'd be uber-delighted if he asked for chateaubriand or something, but as he said when I made that comment:
I don't even know what that is.
Indeed. The 40-year-old's got a point.
In a moment of carried-away fancy, I began to ruminate on ways to "spruce" up lasagna (not that lasagna needs sprucing up, really. It's pretty amazing stuff. I'm just projecting my own desires onto the dish). Kale and squash, fried, breakfast lasagna, lasagna cupcakes, tuna lasagna, ad nauseum....
and when I mentioned all these amazing possibilities to him, his face got that..oh, polite little scrunch to it. He was trying to think of a nice, supportive way to say No, please. While I love most adventurous, crazy things you make me eat, for one day out of the year, I just want a straight-up, no frills lasagna.
Fortunately for me, I'm adequate at reading non-verbals, so I backed off...all the while vowing to save Chili Cheese Fries Lasagna for another day.
Straight-up, no-frills. The meat mixture is a beef, spicy sausage, stewed and diced tomatoes and seasonings (much in the manner of a Bolognese). The cheeses include SLICED mozzarella and a ricotta-parmesan-egg concoction. Good stuff, although don't you think there could be more cheese on top? I thought so too, but the Birthday Boy was in charge of sprinkling, and I'm not going to criticize him on his birthday.
Anyway, delicious all-around. Even better on day two (one of the firm food corollaries I stoutly stand by: Lasagna is even better on Day Two).
For dessert, French Silk Pie. The only thing I wish I'd done differently is use powdered sugar instead of granular, because I did get that grainy, gritty mouthfeel when I ate it (although, the Birthday Boy and his offspring did not complain one jot). I didn't make the crust, because I was a little pressed for time, but the whipped topping, the chocolate shaving, the piping...all my labor of love for my love.
And this really is kind of the sad part of the birthday. The spiced carrot cake. I refrained from adding raisins (which I love, but Birthday Boy does not), but I couldn't help from adding shredded carrots and crushed pineapple. The icing is a homemade pineapple buttercream. But as you can see, my cake decorating skills feature at an all-time low here. In my sad defense, this icing was colored and piped on, like, five minutes before dinner and twenty minutes before we were to take our oldest son over to his basketball game. Cake decorating takes time and patience, people, and that is the gospel truth.
Fortunately, Birthday Boy is very forgiving and didn't say a word about my super-sucky decorating skills. Probably because the lasagna had just rocked his face off.