Sunday, September 30, 2012

Marco's 24th Birthday

Well, my boy Marco is celebrating his birthday today. Or, I should say, I am. He was born on September 17th, 1988. He finished coming out of Chepa on September 18th, 1988, according to my late mother-in-law, who apparently was there and doing the pulling. But they didn't get him to the registry of births until October 1, 1988, so that's his official birthday. You got to remember, this is the Peruvian Amazon, long before cell phones or internet cafes.
    So for years we celebrated two birthdays for him--either September 17 or 18, then again on Oct 1. Until Italo and Madeleina pointed out that Marco getting two rounds of presents was slightly unfair to them.
    Since then I generally give him a long hug in September and then have a party on October 1. So tonight's the night. And while everyone said they'd come at about 7 PM, I'm not sure if they will. Both Italo and Sara work today, and Sunday is Chepa's boyfriend's day off, so they like to spend it together. And Marco has to work tonight at 9:30.
   With that in mind, I made a simple menu: Sauteed asparagus (par boiled, then sauteed with a bit of salt pork and garlic and Julienned red pepper in a balsamic vinegar with a touch of butter. TRUTH: I have not made that yet. That's the last thing I'll do.
    Made good standard Gorman rice: Basmati rice with garlic and olive oil.
    Made a new potato (little red ones) and egg salad with sea salt, cracked black pepper, Hellmann's mayonaise a touch of white vinegar. Totally fattening but fantastic comfort food.
   Made Cuban Beef, Marco's favorite. (Lots of garlic, onion, sauteed chopped beef, diced  Roma tomatoes, a Latin seasoning of half a dozen Peruvian spices I have on hand, cooked like a tomato sauce. After an hour or so, I add vinegar, a fresh bunch of cilantro, chopped, and a nice can of black beans--store bought). I simmer that for another half hour, grace it with lots of cracked black pepper and a bit of a Peruvian hot pepper sauce I make (taught to make it by Chepa in Peru), then serve it over rice.
    Made a rack of baby back ribs (Just cut the rack in half, wash, lightly coat with olive oil and garlic, then pepper them, both sides. Put in a 320 degree oven with a diced onion for 90 minutes or so, add a good brushing of your best tangy barbeque sauce, let cook for another 30 minutes and done--or toss on the grill for five minutes at the end if you want a good smoked flavor. That is, if you're not like me and too lazy to start a fire in the grill tonight).
    I've also got lots of shrimp and broccoli that I was going to marinate and do on the grill, but not knowing how many people are coming, well, I hate just tossing too much Boots' way in the next couple of days.
    Oh, and there is a store bought birthday cake in the fridge. Madeleina and I could not resist getting him the one with the framed picture of Justin Bieber on it. Ohhhh, that could cause a cake fight in the kitchen. I hope it does.
    Happy birthday, Marco. Thanks for being my kid.

1 comment:

Kuchinta said...

Sounds absolutely delish!
Happy 24th, Marco!