Thanks for all the good wishes

Yes, yesterday was my birthday. I didn’t post because I was still feeling guilty about my total failure to respond to the birthday wishes from last time around. So first of all, thanks for every birthday wish you gave me last year. I’m lousy with birthdays and I don’t have the will to change this, I suspect, so I’m probably not going to remember your birthday in advance unless you tell me. In any case, your wishes were all so wonderful last year that I reread them this year with equal pleasure. And thanks to all of those who remembered unprompted and sent me a message here or there.

screen-shot-2017-02-11-at-8-13-01-pmDad was sturgeon spearing as he always is this time of year (no fish yet, in case you are curious) and the political news hadn’t left me in the mood for a celebration anyway.

At left, my birthday treat to me. This is an “heirloom tomato napoleon.” I would call it more of a stacked up Caprese salad. I get the version with fresh basil leaves and they leave off the air-dried beef. (This wasn’t my photo.) The one I had had red and purple tomatoes and it was really pretty. And delicious. Such a luxury — juicy sweet tomatoes on my birthday in the depths of winter. There’s something about the mixture of fresh tomato juice with the creaminess of cheese.

My mother would have been horrified. Her credo: you only eat tomatoes in season, or if they are stored or preserved (canned are fine), but you don’t pay for fresh vegetables out of season — not good for your pocketbook, not good for the environment. I mostly agree with her, I have to be honest, but there’s something about this particular dish that is so inherently cheering to me, when the tomatoes are really ripe, that I make an exception on this one. The tomatoes come from a hothouse in Canada. I asked. It was really good, even at a price for an appetizer that is off the map for around here.

Then I went to Starbucks and had my gold card member birthday treat: a quad venti cascara latte made with ristretto shots.

oldchublogo_1One thing I always find remarkable on birthdays is the segments of one’s life that make themselves visible on that day. Dad was gone early in the morning but he left me a package of my favorite candies in the world — when I was eight. Obscura and I chatted a bit about our parents’ computer problems. Ex-SO and I had a long conversation about life, the universe and everything — he and his wife are buying a house. I felt a little left behind (as one does at these milestones) but then I thought about the responsibility of owning a house and felt relieved again. I saw the pictures of the speared fish start to stream across my facebook. A colleague from my last job sent me a long email — it’s graduation certification time. And some long time Armitage fans dropped messages that also made me think about my blogging longevity — approaching seven years now. Which was how long it took me to finish my doctorate.

And then I read some more news. And poured a can of Oskar Blues Old Chub. And drew my conclusions. Historians are starting to get very worried. Studying German history, I always used to wonder how people perceived a horrible development from the inside. Particularly bystanders. And now I am starting to see, on a very personal level.

~ by Servetus on February 12, 2017.

62 Responses to “Thanks for all the good wishes”

  1. Well, a happy belated birthday to you!

  2. Thank you for this well worth reading ‘Geburtstagszustandsbericht’. I’m not good at birthdays either. Thinking of you a lot in these times in particular. Noch alles Gute nachträglich and hopefully there are some more treats for you in the coming year. It is badly needed!
    BTW You cleared the 7 million bar !!! 😉 😀 Wow!! Bravo!!

  3. Happy Birthday!

  4. Happy belated birthday,Servetus! and Sto Lat!
    Hope your worries are premature.

  5. I’m pretty sure I never wished you a happy birthday last year or any year. I am not a big fan of them for myself. They always remind me another year of my life has gone by with many of my good intentions left behind. Sort of like New Year’s but worse. Anyway, happy birthday to you. Glad you were able to celebrate with fresh tomatoes. Decadent, but healthy. I hope you put a candle on top.

    • I should have asked them to set that clove of garlic on fire, I never eat it 🙂 [this dish is pretty much the main reason I go to this particular restaurant ever]

      I was stunned at how quickly this year went past. I was looking for sour cream in the fridge this week, convinced we had some, and after going all the way through it, discovered the last container I had bought was still there but expired in June. Ah well.

  6. Belated happy birthday wishes Serv!

    • Thank you very much! I hope your weather is not too unbearable.

      • We’ve had hot days but nothing like they were getting further north. A cool change came through mid weekend, bringing some lovely rain, which I, and the garden, appreciated!

  7. Happy belated birthday. Wishing you many happy returns. That “salad” looks amazing although I’m struggling to equate the word salad with it hence the quotes – looks too nice. Tomatoes with cheese is always a winner. What sort of cheese is it? Looks a bit like mozzarella.

    • LOL, a Caprese salad usually looks more like this:

      But it’s Wisconsin and we really like cheese 🙂 It was mozzarella, domestic, organic milk, from a local cheesmaker. Sadly not buffalo.

    • Sorry, wrong link. Like this:

      • Oh my goodness, that is actually hilarious. Over here, in restaurants, that is quite literally sold as “tomato and mozzarella”. Caprese makes it sound far more interesting. As I have just demonstrated, if they put Caprese salad on the menu none of us Brits would have a clue what it was 😉 Of course, I might be doing those who dine at the posher end of the market a disservice.

        • I encountered this dish for the first time in Germany, so I don’t really have a credible opinion. I have only been to Italy once and don’t remember eating it there 🙂

  8. I’m really so sorry missed yesterday! But wishing you personally a good year with happy things to come and surprise you and warm you from the i inside and the love of people you feel close to family and friends. Many many hugs!!

    • Thanks and hugs back to you — sounds like you need them. I hope your friends and relatives are feeling better soon.

  9. Boo, I forgot this year. But when I saw the post I remembered I have two sisters with birthdays TODAY…ugh. I do so enjoy making you squirm on your birthday too…half my fun this year, down the drain…

  10. To be honest: ich wusste nicht mehr so genau 11. oder 12. und hatte auf eine Reaktion deinerseits gewartet, um mich vor selbstgestrickten Peinlichkeiten zu bewahren (zu früh, zu spät) 😉 Deshalb jetzt in vollstem Wissen und von Aquaria zu Aquaria: Alles Gute nachträglich!

    • Happy future or past birthday to you, too, Aquaria!

      • Bereits abgearbeitet 😉

      • Ach so, nochwas zu “Gaudy Night”: findest du nicht auch, dass es dort kolossal viele Charaktere gibt? Ich habe diese gefühlt 100 Dozentinnen kaum auf die Reihe gekriegt. Ich nehme mal an, mit akademischem Hintergrund geht das ein wenig leichter. Die Titel sind dem Unkundigen schon eher fremd. Jedenfalls ist mir das jetzt wieder aufgefallen, als ich mir (aus gegebenem Anlass) das Werk nochmal vorgenommen habe. Zur Abwechselung mal Hörbuch. Ich konnte manche Passagen fast mitsprechen 😀

        • yeah, I think if you know what all their “jobs” are it’s easier to keep them organized in your head. But I agree, it’s a lot to keep track of.

  11. Happy belated birthday! Auf ein gutes neues Lebensjahr.

  12. Happy Belated Birthday!

  13. A belated happy birthday!

  14. Well Happy Birthday to you!

    I can be quite contemplative on my birthday – my father died on my birthday and for years I couldn’t celebrate but now I can think of him without pain and he is part of the day. It is also a day for thinking of milestones and what I haven’t achieved that year!

  15. Happy belated birthday from one ‘Geburtstagsmuffel’ to another 🙂

    • Thank you 🙂

      I feel like Germans have this organized right. With the birthday person as the host, you never get surprised by what happens on your birthday.

  16. Happy belated Birthday, Serv.

    I don’t celebrate my own, and am absolutely terrible at remembering other people’s birthdays, so a “belated” wish from me is usually the norm 🙂

    II’m following developments on both sides of the pond very closely, but I’m also on vacation at the moment. It’s been a long time coming, and took a lot of scrimping and saving, so I’m trying not to let anything get to me so I get the most out of it!

    • Thanks for the good wishes. You need to enjoy your vacation as much as possible. Stock up energy and beauty.

  17. Auch von mir verspätete Geburtstagswünsche!

    • Vielen Dank! Ich denke noch an dem was Du gesagt hast über meinen Beitrag zum Thema “Tod.” Vielleicht kommt da noch was.

      • Oh danke, liebe Serv, lass uns an solchen Tagen aber nicht an den Tod denken. Gerade oder weil man da kontemplativ ist…
        Lass es Dir gut gehen mit viel Cheeeesse & RA – und halte Dich von Meteoriten fern 🙂

  18. Buon compleanno cara Servetus.

  19. Happy belated birthday, Alles Gute nachträglich! 🥂

  20. Sorry I missed your birthday. I’m so glad that you had just the right sort of melancholy, contemplative, undecadently, decadent day that seems just suited to you. Happy Birthday.

  21. Happy belated birthday to you! (Your description makes me crave a caprese salad.)

  22. Sto lat! Belated best birthday wishes, Servetus!

  23. A belated happy birthday wish! Sounds like you had a nice day and treated yourself well.

  24. Happy belated birthday!

  25. Happy belated birthday, Servetus! 😀

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