Wednesday, December 28, 2011

This Gift Of You

This annual month-long holiday stretch from Thanksgiving through Christmas has been utterly extraordinary AND exhausting this year; hence the reason I'm so delinquent in posting lately. I honestly haven't had an extra minute to write. So, bear with the next round of posts, reflecting on moments about a week late, not least being our celebration of the K-Man's birthday back on the 20th.

We were able to enjoy a rare advantage on Keith's birthday this year...both of us had the day off. Gifts were opened that morning and we made a point of making the day as leisurely as possible. We had a light breakfast of one pancake each at First Watch...mine a hearty banana-granola crunch pancake. Midtown soon beckoned with its always-cozy holiday atmosphere and soon, we were embarking on a day that was as much fun for me as it was for Keith. We have been determined to find a flatbread maker similar to Jim's as we love that screaming (the sound the maker makes) pita bread he serves with his feta dip. Sure, we could have just searched the internet sites for it, but this was somehow more gratifying.

Our search took us through many of our favorite culinary retail spots. First, we hit locally beloved Pryde's Of Westport; that unique den of all things kitchen-related. We moved on to wishful strolls through Williams Sonoma and Sur La Table at the Country Club Plaza. Eventually, we concluded our shopping day at World Market; taking in all of the global retail food offerings. In the end, we found various utensils, unique munchies and bottles of wine for Christmas gifts but no flatbread maker. No matter...the search indeed was the thing and we had a great time not reaching our goal.

We celebrated K's birthday with lunch at one of our favorite spots: Blanc Burgers and Bottles at the Plaza. We dug our succulent burgers...I went with an old-school style Classic Burger topped with housemade pickles, red onion and made from scratch ketchup and mustard on a sesame brioche bun. The birthday boy reveled in his Inside Out Burger...a bleu-cheese stuffed burger topped with applewood smoked bacon and an onion ring. We split an order of hand-cut fries that we dipped in chipotle aioli and I sipped on a frosty bottle of IBC root beer.

We concluded our awesome birthday tour at Christopher Elbow Chocolates, where K created a box of handmade delights to take home. We also sampled the decadent European-style drinking chocolate...we both swooned over our Cocoa Noirs; rich, dark chocolate with Tahitian vanilla bean topped with homemade marshmallow. They were crazy good. We are still digging the chocolates themselves. As each one is an eye-rolling treat, we take our time savoring each. I've had a Fleur De Sel salted caramel and an amazing Caramel Apple chocolate in a shimmering emerald shell. Its a kick to visit the store and watch the chocolates be made through the window. You can also order direct from Christopher Elbow and I highly recommend doing so...I honestly haven't had one that I didn't rave about. There's a chocolate in the box we haven't tried but one that I'm greatly intrigued by: dark chocolate ganache infused with 12-year-old scotch.

Finally, we returned home and reflected on the day. K had a great day and that was the important thing. As for me, my birthday card for him said it all:

How wonderful it is...this gift of you.


Anonymous said...

Beautiful!! Sounds like a perfect day. Happy Birthday Keith.


Lisa Mandina said...

I love Christopher Elbow Chocolate!

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