First there was a pre-birthday gorging at Sichuan Gourmet in Brookline. I ate Sichuan style green beans, ma po tofu, fried prince mushrooms, fresh bamboo shoots with spicy wonder sauce, dan dan noodles, Sichuan wonton with spicy chili sauce, tofu with spicy chili sauce, Chinese eggplant with Yu Xiang sauce, cumin lamb, and one that I'm forgetting but that was probably described by one or all of the words "spicy," "chili," "Sichuan," and/or "sauce." And a scorpion bowl. Oh full of scorpions was my mind!
On the birthday proper I awoke to the above breakfeast. Contents: roasted potatoes, whole wheat biscuits with porch-grown rosemary, leftover blueberry compote, herbacious medium-curd, soft and slow scrambled eggs that made me go as weak in the knees as the eggs themselves, slices of a very beefy tomato sprinkled with truffle salt.
But my favorite thing about this breakfast was that E. was completely unprepared for it and bought no additional ingredients to make it. Again, because that's what we had.
The meal was accompanied by two jars of precious stuff. One contained Chole Adams' fiery green salsa, which can only be purchased at a select few farmers markets in the Northeast Kingdom. The other held Japanese knotweed honey, sent by Seth and Maggie from BC. If you can't beat it, make honey out of it. Or rather make bees make honey out of it.
For dinner, fish tacos. But first, the runny, goaty VT cheese pictured at top -- I'll have to add the name later. Atop the soft corn tortillas: tilapia that someone tried to flirt with my wife about while she was buying it, chili-lime mayo, raw corn (probably my favorite taco topping), cilantro, lime, more of Chole's salsa, avocado, diced red onion.
And we finally hit upon what it is that makes fish tacos so excellent, besides the obvious combination of fish and tacos: the perfect balance of richness and levity.
As if these meals weren't enough, I also bought 44 pounds of peaches from Cold Spring Orchard and a canoe and read the last few chapters of Anna Karenina in the bathtub.
Even if the next 364 are sh*t, I'd still call this a good year.