Tuesday, October 12, 2010

A celebratory day

Ana and I decided to fête ourselves and to celebrate our nearly simultaneous birthdays. There was an orange theme to our dessert, and a quick-and-easy theme to the main dish. This was not a day for excessive salubriousness – at least where dinner was concerned. The entrée, the quick and easy part of the meal, was one of our favorites, barley soup – this time with mushrooms and butternut squash. Since we planned to spend the afternoon and evening watching movies, I had had intended to make the chocolate and orange cake and orange popcicle ice cream the evening before. I needed Grand Marnier for the ice cream, and so went to the liquor store on the way home from church in the evening. Early evening, like before seven. It was closed! I could not believe it! It had been closed since five, and there was a sign telling me where one was that was open later. I went there and it was closed as well. I even more could not believe it. Not being a frequenter of liquor stores, I am not familiar with their ways, but I know that they do have ways, and that their rules are many and convoluted. Apparently Sunday evening is temperance time in Washington. Frustrated, I went home and debated what to do. Actually, I had mixed emotions about my shopping failure, because I was really, really tired, and since I had been foiled in my cooking plans ….. maybe I should just go to bed. I elected to go with that option, planning to get up early and start. Not too early though, because it might still be temperance time in the wee hours of the morning. When I did get up, I realized that my cake didn’t even need the brandy that I was thinking it did, so I made the cake, and the ice cream up to the point of adding the brandy. Then went to the store with Ana there for moral support.

Later, Ana and I watched Lover Come Back (don’t see relevance of title to plot of movie) with Doris Day and Rock Hudson. The movie was extraordinarily silly, but very fun, and Rock Hudson was almost super-humanly handsome. We could not get over it. He rivaled the cake for utter deliciousness. I had adored him in my youth, but had quite forgotten how absolutely magnificent he was. We now plan to watch the Rock Hudson/Doris Day oeuvre, having nearly completed the Deanna Durbin canon.

Barley and Squash Soup
2 T olive oil
2 medium onions, sliced
10 cloves garlic, sliced or chopped
2 cups cubed butternut squash
10 oz crimini (or other) mushrooms, sliced
1 cup celery, sliced thinly
1 carrot, diced
4 tomatoes, coarsely chopped
½ cup barley
6 cups vegetarian broth

In your pressure cooker pan, saute the onions and garlic till the onion is translucent. Add the squash, celery, carrots, and mushrooms and give them a few turns. Add the tomatoes, parsley, barley, vegetable broth and pepper, and cook under high pressure for 16 minutes. Serve with a nice salad and some hearty bread. Voila! Dinner in about 30 minutes.


SaRi said...

Happy Birthday To You, Happy Birthday To You, Happy Birthday, Dear Joanna, Happy Birthday To You!

Lorette said...

Happy Birthday! I haven't seen a Rock Hudson movie in years. I do adore Cary Grant and Jimmy Stewart though. My favorite movie is Philadelphia Story, since it has both of them!

Laura said...

You baked yourself a beautiful cake for your birthday and it sounds like you had a happy day too! Many happy wishes!!
Rock Hudson was not only amazingly handsome, he seemed so genuinely nice too. I use to love all the gorgeous outfits Doris wore which now look so dated.

Marta said...

Happy Birthday!
Your food looks gourmet and I'm sure it tastes fantastic.
Not to spoil your fun but Rock Hudson belonged to the gay community which is probably why he was so nice.