Joie, January 6, 2012

Tonight we had a special dinner to celebrate my birthday. Some years we have other people around the table – friends, family…Some years John takes whomever is still home with us to a local restaurant. I love those events. But this year, it was just the two of us. And it was as sweet as a birthday dinner could be.

There was salad – half an avocado each, dressed with hazelnut oil and Meyer lemon juice, on a bed of crisp greens, a few toasted hazelnuts on top. There was duck breast, sliced into rosy medallions, with a sauce I’ve figured out over the years: dried cherries softened in good port, a little chicken stock, some cream. Baked sweet potatoes. And a bottle of Joie Farm 2010 Rosé, in the Waterford goblets (“Clannad”) which John gave me for a 50th birthday gift and which are still intact. Joie Farm Rosé is one of my favourite wines. It’s robust, not girly, and what the winemaker says on the label is true: “ Drink this wine to inspire the feelings of summer, whatever the season.” Summer in January, on Epiphany, a dream of soft wind and sunlight, golden grass, laughter on the deck as glasses are raised while grapevines shade the table.

A birthday marks more than a year’s passing. It contains hope – that another one will follow – and regret: have I accomplished anything at all of what I planned a year ago? Probably not. And of course you can’t really photograph a meal, not with our little Lumix camera. So much isn’t visible. Two places are set but others are present, in my heart if not in actual person(s). You can’t see that the platter holding the duck and sweet potatoes is decorated with five carp, swimming under the shady boughs of pine trees. Two hover while three undulate in the deep blue glaze. Still intact.

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~ by theresakishkan on January 7, 2012.

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