Friday, February 10, 2012

I'm Lucky and My Friends Are a Peach

I'm hitting another birthday, and rather than bemoan this milestone, I'm choosing to make an extended celebration of it. Festivities started in January, with these succulent oysters at the "Naked" dinner at Azur in Lexington, a meal so spectacular it deserves its own post (to come, I promise).

Thanks to Stephie of Small Girl Adventures and her boyfriend Brett, I finally ate at A Tavola in Over-the-Rhine. After tasting their wagyu meatballs with goat cheese (truly, The Best Meatballs in the World), I am looking forward to trying their wood-fired pizzas. And everything else on A Tavola's menu.

Dear Stephie even baked me birthday cookies! She is building her own baking and catering business, Small Girl Delights, and you should check it out now!

Stephie's sweet treats were almost enough to mend my broken heart when Chef Edward Lee got booted from Top Chef this week, just shy of going to the finale. But I will console myself by dining at his Louisville Restaurant, 610 Magnolia, next weekend. Ed did a great job of representing himself, his adopted city, and the caliber of cooking going on here in the middle of the country. (Here's the podcast he did with my blogging teammate Laura Kluvo on AllTopChef - one of our best exit interviews all season.) I've been proud to root for Ed, and I can't wait to taste what he does in his own kitchen, free of the constraints of the goofy Top Chef challenges.

My Louisville weekend will also include the Anthony Bourdain/Eric Ripert traveling road show, for which I now have an extra ticket, if you know of anyone who is interested . . .

My birthday happens to coincide with Cincinnati Winter Beerfest, the craft-beer capper to Cincy Beer Week. Lucky me, I'll be spending my b-day at the 5B (Believers in Better Beer, Bites and Blogging) blog conference. Looking forward to seeing old friends and meeting in person some bloggers I've so far only had the privilege of getting to know online.

One of my dearest long-distance blogger friends, La Diva, who also has a February birthday coming up, was kind enough to think of me when she received an extra copy of Lucky Peach, the David Chang/McSweeney's quirky quarterly quasi-food magazine. It's a publication filled with compelling personal writing on topics that go beyond food. The design and illustrations are fresh and fascinating enough for me to recommend it to my artsy friends who aren't foodies. It's a hefty tome of print worth holding in your hands, turning off your phone/fb/twitter/pinterest, and settling in with. It may remind you of where your first love of books came from, and it's edgy enough to keep you flipping the pages.

After one horribly depressing birthday in my early twenties when I lived in NYC, I decided to take charge of coming up with my own ways to celebrate, big or small, sometimes just indulging in nerdy things of my own predilection. It's a strategy that has worked pretty well the last 30-odd years. Still, a true surprise is one of the best birthday gifts ever, and I've received one this year, thanks to Boxer, whose papier mache, puppy porn, gorgeous photos, and big heart always lift my spirits and remind me why it means so much to me to be part of the blogging community. She checks in on me to make sure I'm ok when I haven't posted in awhile, and lookie what she made for my birthday. Yep, it's Eggy meets Mr. Potato Head meets Archie McPhee, courtesy of my favorite PNW gal!

Big thanks to all my blogger friends who share their corners of the world, and the unique corners of their minds. You keep me going through my rough patches, and always inspire me with your talents, your wide-ranging interests, and your kindnesses.

I'll be back with more tales from my birthday adventures. Meanwhile, I'm just gonna experience them :)

xoxo, eggy


LaDivaCucina said...

One of your best posts, Eggy, very poignant and well written. I'm so glad you are enjoying the Lucky Peach, I think it's such a cool concept outside of the typical foodie mag.

The oysters look incredible and I'm trying to guess what's actually on top of them! And of course the meataballs, wow, you just want to dig right in, dontcha?

I'm glad way back when you decided to take charge of how you celebrate how you came into the world, that way there are no disappointments. I think it's important to celebrate life and toot our own horns once in a while.

As we grace this planet for another year, I'm glad to call you my friend. Happy Birthday, Dear Eggy and many, many more! xoxox

Ponita in Real Life said...

A big Happy Birthday to you, Eggy!!! How cool that we share the same day. Hope yours is fantastic! I'm off to breakfast with some friends at a historic fort just north of town. Crank up the festivities!!!

Joyce @friendsdriftinn said...

Nice post! Hoping to meet up in L'ville...I'm hassling with some press creditials so my schedule is still not set. Have a great day!

Velva said...

Happy Birthday Eggy! May your month of celebration be filled with family, friends and plenty of good food and libations!

I agree with laura. This was a great post. The photos really captured my attention too.


moi said...

Whoo hoo! Sounds like you have some fun times planned! YOU are a peach, Eggy, and I'm lucky to share in a little bit of your world. As for getting older, yes, let's be honest, it sucks on many levels. However, living well is the best revenge, and that can be done at any age. Enjoy!

Jen said...

HAPPY BIRTHDAY TO YOU!!! So glad we get to hang out on your birthday!

Jenny said...

I have to agree with LaDiva, this was a really great post to read. The Lucky Peach magazine looks fabulous. I may go see where I can find a copy.

YOU are a treasure to all of your Blog friends and I hope your day is fabulous. Because you deserve it.

Katie D. said...

Happy Birthday! So nice to meet you at 5B/Beerfest!

And I have to agree, eating the meatballs at A Tavola is basically like dying and going to heaven.

Aunty Belle said...

Ditto La Diva-GREAT post!

A month of celebration? Now thar's an idea girl could adopt in a flash!! Hope ya' live in the moment, but com e back to regale us'uns wif' tales of the good times.

Them a\waygu meatballs sound divine, an' so we can share along wif' ya', tell us whar' we'uns can git Lucky Peach??

Cheerin' ya one, Eggy--HAVE FUN!!

LaDivaCucina said...

This post inspired me to get the ingredients to make meataballs! NOt just one but two kinds! Thanks, Eggy!

Roses said...

Happy Happy Birthday to ya!

Happy Birthday!

Hope you've have a brilliant weekend with lots of yummy food!

Have a great year ahead my dear.

Sharon Rudd said...

Thanks so much to you all for the birthday wishes! The blog conference and beerfest were a great way to spend my b-day, and I had a great brunch today at Virgil's in NKY - a tweet that they were offering house-made tasso and pork belly hash was singing my name!

Katie D., it was great to meet you at #5B too! Send me your contact info.

Jen, thanks for hanging with me - sorry we lost each other at beerfest.

La Diva, I wanna hear all about your meatballs, sister!

Ponita, I hope your birthday was as much fun as mine!

Joyce, good luck with those press credentials. I have a spare ticket to Bourdain/Ripert if you know anyone who's interested. I do hope we'll get to meet up.

Velva, thanks so much for stopping by, and for your ongoing friendship.

Dearest Moi, I managed to have a positively revengeful celebration - in the way you meant it :)

Thanks so much, sweet Boxer. Your shoutout over at your place meant the world to me!

Aunty, oh, yes, there will be regaling ahead. BTW, you can order a single copy of Lucky Peach or subscribe to it here (scroll down):

Roses, thanks so much. It has been a brilliant birthday indeed!

Mike Rudd said...

Great post Sharon! And happy b-day again...I look forward to hearing about your Bourdain and Ripert road show thoughts and takeaways...Bourdain is awesome!

Buzz Kill said...

A lot of stuff going on around your birthday. February is not as cold as one might think. Good luck meeting Bourdain and the Ripper, that should be fun.

Sam Hoffer / My Carolina Kitchen said...

You certainly know how to celebrate a birthday. Wow. Would love to meat Anthony Bourdain and see what he's like in person. Hope you'll report.

Marina said...

Happy be-late Birthday!

Ginny Tonic said...

I didn't know it was your birthday this weekend. Happy Birthday and it was great meeting you. I love the writing here, it's funny and honest and it made me hungry. Can't ask for more than that.