70 Things to Be Thankful For…

We celebrated my Mom’s birthday this weekend.  The hardest part of the event was the pre-planning, of course, and what to get as a gift.  It was a big idea, not mine, and the 3 of us (me, my brother and sister) signed off on it.  We created a scrapbook.  70 pages.  Each page was a page of her life.  Every one in the family had to make their own page (we provided the paper), there were pages of each decade, hairdos, movies/museums, vacations, college, growing up, etc.  It was quite the undertaking.  Some of the pages were coordinated with a gift.  For instance the page on Berkeley (where my Mom went to school), she got a Berkeley sweatshirt.  The page that was museums/theater we gave her subscriptions to three museums and a season of tickets to Second Stage Theater.  The book is in the picture above.  The front said, 70 things to be thankful for.

The event took place in a private room at BLT Steak.  There were 12 of us, and the size and intimacy of the room couldn’t have been more perfect.  All the food was served family style too. 

We began with rose champagne (my Mom loves rose), shrimp cocktail and small rectangular pieces of bread with melted Gruyere cheese and a spot of truffle oil.  They were absolutely delicious.  Our first course kicked off with the signature popovers that the restaurant serves.  Be wary, these popovers are so delicious and incredibly filling.  You can’t help but continue to pick away until your popover is complete and then perhaps start on another one.  Then came the tuna tartare which is excellent.  A square shaped 1 1/2 inch chopped piece of raw tuna sitting over about 1/4 inch of chopped avocado sitting in a soy based sauce.  Really good.  We also had a Caesar salad and a roasted beet, goat cheese melted over small pieces of sliced banquettes and spicy walnuts.  I thought all the salads were quite good.

The main course was steak.  Not the best steak I have ever had but everyone enjoyed it.  The sides are your standard and of course some shined above the rest.  The creamed spinach is beyond rich with a hint of truffle and delicious, big beautiful onion rings that are worth the indulgence, french fries, grilled asparagus which was not that interesting and sauteed wood mushrooms that were nothing interesting either. 

Dessert was delicious.  A chocolate mouse served in a round shaped layered in with bananas and a crispy wafer.  Really good.  Also, a peach raspberry crisp.  The fruit of the moment. 

The celebration was really nice and the book was worth all the effort.  Although we divided up the pages equally the final coordination was major.  My brother and sister probably did more for it than I did at that point and the end finale was fantastic.  Happy Birthday Mom…