Thursday, May 19, 2011

Chapter 71 - My Birthday

    Today (April 27th)  is a special day for me.  I have celebrated my 78th birthday.  Melaney and I spent the whole day doing whatever we wanted.
     I was awakened early this morning with a small dog barking below my window.  Sometimes I want to get up and throw a shoe at it, but I would just lose the shoe and I don’t have that many anymore.  I used to have a shoe obsession, and must have had at least as many pairs of shoes as my age. Now I am hoarding what I have left, and won’t spare one for an errant dog.
     It was oatmeal day for Melaney this morning.  She says that is the world’s most perfect food, next to lasagna.  After taking care of the morning chores, we took off for the big store in Alajuela.  Just for my birthday, we splurged on a standing fan machine that has variable speeds, and oscillates. After loading up our truck with food, we started home and stopped at our little friend with the produce stand.  She really treats us well.  We wanted the tomatoes and peppers.  She reached under the counter and bagged us some of the prime, fat tomatoes.  Those which were prebagged were small.  When she brought them to our truck, she smiled and Mel told her it was my birthday.  She held up her finger, and grinned and went back and brought me a lush fat avocado.  I can barely wait to fix it tomorrow.  They are just for me.  I love them, but Mel doesn’t care for them at all.
     For the birthday meal, I had purchased a beef loin.  It was difficult to explain to the butcher that I wanted the whole thing, as the locals really only buy minimal things.  Finally he understood that I wanted to roast it.  I did it in the toaster oven in a pyrex baking dish with potato, carrot and onion.  It made a nice brown stock, which I made into gravy and we enjoyed the meal.  The beef is tough, unlike Canadian beef.  I thought until today that it was primarily the way it was badly cut, but I bought the whole tenderloin and cut it myself.  When I do another one, I will marinate it for 24 hours before I bake it.  The beef here is mainly range fed cattle.  They aren’t the beautiful grain fed tender beasts that I am used to eating.  To top it off, they are Brahmas.  I have never heard of using them for beef, only for rodeo riding.  The part of the meal that was best was dessert, a nice fresh key lime pie….yummy…..
      It’s nice to feel special once in a while, and I feel special today.  Pretty soon, we can have turn around because it is only two and a half weeks till Melaney’s birthday.  I’ll see what she can really enjoy…Oatmeal for breakfast and lasagne for dinner…………Pie of course, too.  She has always preferred pie for birthday to cake.  It will be a fine excuse to enjoy another key lime pie…..
     The day isn’t finished, and I am in my chair enjoying the nice breeze from the fan.  We had a downpour of rain this afternoon.  It came down in earnest today, not just a shower.  It didn’t last more than an hour though.  Soon we will have to turn on our new dehumidifier.  I set it up in my bedroom yesterday and turned it on long enough to check the reading of the humidistat.  It was mid 70’s and that’s not bad.  When it crosses 80 I will turn it on.  We can’t give mould a chance to form.
     So much for another day……….

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