Sunday, August 9, 2015

SC Saturday

I slept in until an amazing 7:30 a.m. on Saturday. I guess I was beat.

Everyone else was up and about downstairs, so I threw on some shorts and a tee and went downstairs for a cup of coffee. We discussed today’s plans.

After months of broken promises, today was the day the landlord was supposed to have the replacement stove delivered. So, we had to work around that (if, in fact, it occurred).

We had to leave by 8:30 a.m. for a trip to Whole Food. Birthday weekends are special, so they require special food.

Sidebar: I wore one of my PR outfits. I bought them to wear in the tropics, but it’s a hell of a lot hotter and more humid here!

We got there and Carla pulled out her list. We stuck to it (no impulse buying!), except when Carla saw some “beautiful” chanterelle mushrooms, LOL!

When we got back, I left them to put away the groceries and went upstairs and changed back to casual clothes.

When I came back downstairs, they looked at me like I was crazy. Carla “reminded” that her and I still needed to go to Kroger’s to finish shopping while Jake went and got his haircut. I guess I missed that part…

So, I went back upstairs and changed again. Then we did just that!

We all returned from our errands, and I changed clothes (again). I called my daughter Melissa back. She was busy making a walkway with 80-pound bags of cement!

Jake pulled out the old stove (to speed the install process along) and then Carla cleaned out the empty stove spot. I, on the other hand, read on the couch.

We were now in the delivery window timeframe and, as time moved on, they both became convinced it was just another empty promise. But then a Lowe’s truck pulled up! Wild jubilation reigned!!!

It took considerably longer than I thought but the Lowe’s guy was thorough.  He not only installed it and leveled it, but he set the clock, checked that both the oven and broiler worked and that every burner worked. Finally satisfied and the delivery papers signed, he drove away.

Sidebar: we had to restrain Carla from broiling “something,” “anything!!!”

Later in the afternoon, we all showered and got dressed again for Carla’s official restaurant birthday dinner. Note: There will be an official home-cooked birthday dinner of course, on her birthday.

We went to a high-end restaurant and wine tasting bar in Columbia.

Sidebar: I don’t remember the name and everybody else is still asleep as I write this, so I can’t ask.

Our reservations were for 5:30 p.m. and it was already crowded with people waiting to get in, so it’s quite popular.

We started off with glasses of wine (so we could toast Carla), a charcuterie and some lightly roasted oysters in the half shell.

Sidebar: There were no pictures taken. This was a private ceremony.

Carla had explained to our waitress that she has a nut allergy, so please leave off the chutney with pecans. Our waitress told her not to worry, it was “on the side.” Another waitress brought it, but there was the chutney, nestled with the rest of the food! So, we had to send it back (Carla didn’t have her epi-pen with her). That waitress apologized profusely and took it away.

Speaking of waitresses, ours either was new (which I could forgive – but she should have had someone with her) or should consider a new line of  work!

It took a while (hell, all the food took a while) but they eventually brought another platter out with the chutney in a dish.

The oysters were great (I’ve had them raw and fried before, but never roasted) and the charcuterie excellent. The pate was great, as was the small sausages. I didn’t try the roasted bone marrow as I had more coming on my entrée.

They both passed on a salad or soup, but I ordered a salad wedge. I had made one once for my Mother and Brother Carl and failed miserably. This was Romaine lettuce with a buttermilk ranch dressing. It was deconstructed, meaning there were little piles of small diced cucumber, cherry tomatoes cut in half, apple wood-smoked bacon bits and blue cheese on the side. I just added as much or as little as I wanted. That's how to make a great wedge salad!!!

Jake and Carla ate from the bread basket while they waited for me.

As I said, the food took forever, but they made up for it by bring us an amuse bouche of a small toast round, topped with basil aioli and a little bite of pork belly. Delicious!

Finally, the food came.

Carla got a buttermilk fried chicken breast, with smoked gouda mac & cheese and spinach (substituted for green beans) on the side.

Jake had a peppered hanger steak with a Brussel spout hash and I had a flat iron steak with bone marrow butter and spinach on the side.

We all agreed the food was excellent, except for poor Carla. The mac & cheese was a bit odd. I tried it and she was right. The smoked gouda tasted good, but had a very weird texture to it. But she said the spinach made up for it (and it did – it tasted great).

We passed on dessert and left there fat and happy!

Back home, we all changed into more comfortable clothes and then watched TV. They introduced me to a new series on the History Channel called “Alone.”

Carla made it through two episodes before going to bed. Jake and I watched another one and he was starting on the fourth when I went to bed.


  1. Happy Happy Birthday Carla, and many more to come!

  2. Thank you Uncle Carl! I really appreciate it and have a great day!