27th Birthday French Feast

Last weekend I took the train to my parents house in Oakville to enjoy a belated birthday celebration with my family. Typically we go out to a restaurant to celebrate someones birthday but the notion of doing so when I had just done three restaurant reviews the previous day seemed a lot like work. I thought it would be good fun to enjoy a nice meal at home with a few of my favorite things served at the table. I decided on a “French Feast” with the hope of showcasing a few cheeses I had never sampled, baguette, a few accoutrements, terrine and pork riellettes. I went all the way to the St Lawrence Market on Saturday morning (on 3 hours of sleep mind you) to discover that “my guy” who sells the riellettes was sold out! Scratch that.

I started to prepare the cheese board and salad at 5pm. We all sat at the table shortly after 7pm when my sister arrived from Ottawa. We had never had a cheese board as a central theme for a dinner but I was confident it would be a great way to celebrate. My mother was muttering earlier in the day, “do you think this will be enough food?” Once we finished our warm fig and rocket salad and had pretty much annihilated our cheese board we all felt a bit bloated. Success!

When a Dairy Queen ice cream cake was placed in front of me I burst out laughing. My mother had picked up a cake with the hope that the image would feature a close up shot of a man taking a picture (food blogger storytelling). Instead I was staring down at the creepiest cake imaginable featuring what looked like a stalker-paparazzi taking a secretive picture from a distance. I absolutely loved the cake as it was odd and inappropriate.

My mother used to create elaborate cakes that she would decorate herself for each of our birthdays when we were children. We would go to the cake shop and chose a cake pan (My Little Pony, Glowworm, Sesame Street’s Elmo) and then she would go home and create her colours and pipe them onto the cake. I was known one year for notoriously ruining my cake. My mother had jumped up to answer the phone and in a split second (window of opportunity) I had wiped my hand through Cookie Monsters face. Covered in blue icing I was an obvious target for blame. As we got older we were introduced to DQ cakes through a friends birthday party and demanded for the rest of our lives. I think my mom liked the idea as it saved her time and it made us happy. DQ ice cream cakes are much like oreos (or in my case Viva Puff) cookies as people have a particular way about eating them. I like to first eat the chocolate ice cream on the bottom and then eat the oreo/fudge layer with bits of vanilla ice cream. Type A dining habits have never been more pronounced!

We enjoyed:

Henry of Pelham Cuvee Catharine Rose Brut

Cavallina Grillo Pinot Grigio


Rocket Salad

rogue river smokey blue stuffed fresh figs, sherry soaked pears, roasted hazelnuts, balsamic reduction, olive oil

Cheese Board

brie fromager d’affinois

vache maigre

chevre grand affineur

sartori bellavitano merlot

boschetto truffle


gherkins, cocktail onions, green grapes, sliced gala apples

crostini, fresh baguette

cognac pork terrine

peach red pepper jelly, armagnac pear jelly

Creepy DQ Cake

creeper paparazzi, vanilla, chocolate, fudge and oreo crumbs

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