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21 Mar 2010

Birthday dinner for Chris's mum: Roast chicken, roast potatoes, mashed potatoes, corn, peas, brussel sprouts, carrots, stuffing balls, and cornbread stuffing; birthday cake (pinwheel cake iced with chocolate buttercream frosting), tiramisu, and trifle for Birthday dinner for Chris's mum: Roast chicken, roast potatoes, mashed potatoes, corn, peas, brussel sprouts, carrots, stuffing balls, and cornbread stuffing; birthday cake (pinwheel cake iced with chocolate buttercream frosting), tiramisu, and trifle for dessert.

Ah, good times :-) Susan seemed to enjoy her birthday dinner, yay! The dinner spread is one similar to what she usually puts out for us on special occasions, with a few modifications. We split up the mashed potatoes, and Chris did half plain the way she and Paul like them, and half with herbs and spices the way Chris and I like them; we made some cornbread and did some stuffing with cornbread (that's the dish of stuffing hiding behind the pepper mill), and some stuffing with ordinary white bread into the stuffing balls Chris's mum usually does - both to the same recipe, so we could compare them side by side. Then, unfortunately, we burnt them a bit, so clearly we'll have to try that again.

We also brought down some of our seasonings. Chris went down first and started the chicken; I stayed here at the house finishing up the buttercream frosting and came down after a bit. Before I went down, Chris asked me to bring along the Slap Ya Mama. Except that it was his mum and I on the phone, so he asked her to ask me to bring it down. I heard him in the background, and commenced dying laughing at the realization he'd just asked his mother to repeat the words "Slap Ya Mama." Imagine with me for a moment, if you can, the words "Slap Ya Mama" said with a British accent. Instead, what I heard was a very confused-sounding request passed along for me to bring down the "Slap Your Mother" ... it caused great amusement, to me at least.

Anyhoo, this was my first try at properly decorating cake. It's ... okay. I've got a lot to learn. And since the cake itself wasn't behaving well, I think I actually wound up with too much frosting, as I used it as a glue for the cake. Ah, well. It was tasty, though I cut too large of pieces, and no one had any room left for any of the other desserts! We were originally expecting Barry and Heidi, so when considering desserts, knowing Barry and Chris would both like tiramisu, I settled on three desserts, as the trifle is similar to the tiramisu and could be done without much extra work.

The last time I made tiramisu, I realized that it wouldn't be difficult to make a dessert alongside it for myself (I don't like tiramisu), now that I've made it and identified why exactly I don't like it. So I layered the ladyfingers, the mascarpone mixture from the tiramisu recipe (without the rum), some grated chocolate, then more ladyfingers, more mascarpone mixture, whipped cream, and then more grated chocolate (which you can totally see in the picture, trust me) - and called it a trifle. It needs more flavor. Sometime soon, when it's appropriate, we'll try whipping cream but adding some of our chocolate extract first to see if it'll give us chocolate whipped cream; I think that'd be useful in this trifle, as in the end it needed more flavor.

Anyhow, like I said, this night only the cake got eaten, but later the trifle and tiramisu both were devoured, the latter to rave reviews from Chris at least :-)

A good time had by all, I think. But next time, we'll plan this a bit earlier, so we don't kill ourselves in the kitchen the day of the meal. The desserts could have been made in advance, if we'd planned better.

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