Happy Day!

Some weeks ago, knowing Sean’s birthday was looming and that it was falling on a Sunday, I suggested he think of what he’d like to do. Often birthdays are an excuse for us to go somewhere special for lunch or dinner and it’s always fantastic. But this year, after so many busy weekends, the idea of leaving the house didn’t appeal to either of us. And just quietly, our new deck is still such a beloved novelty that we don’t really want to be anywhere else.

The day dawned dark and gloomy but well, you just make do, don’t you? That lovely sunny day we imagined was clearly not going to materialise. No matter. Onward and upward. The garden may have been grey and wet, but there was colour to use for table decorations. I don’t make a secret of my dislike of pink but I make two exceptions. Dresses for Alice and the roses that grow in our garden. We didn’t plant them and every year when they bloom I’m grateful for whoever put them there and that my Father in Law taught us to prune.


There was always going to be a lot of food in our day so I figured we should pace ourselves and start light. I chose a simple take on soft-boiled eggs and toast soldiers. I don’t usually go in for such cutesy adornments as faces on eggshells but the recipe, which I got from Not Quite Nigella, did it so I copied and when Sean sat down at the table, he laughed and laughed.


This recipe, Soft Boiled Eggs with Parmesan and Chive Toast Soldiers is going onto our regular weekend breakfast list. I think it took twenty minutes, tops. We did have a word with the chickens yesterday, urging them to give us our breakfast eggs today, and while we think they’re getting close, today wasn’t the day. Oh well.

In act of sheer, bloody-minded optimism, we went on with our BBQ lunch plans – we’d marinated meat yesterday – and the rain held off until mid-afternoon allowing us the pleasure of our first proper BBQ for two on the deck.


Such an eclectic meal – Chinese BBQ pork ribs, Greek BBQ lamb shoulder (which we stuffed with rosemary, thyme, garlic and anchovies and was exquisite), tabbouleh and a cucumber and radish salad. We feasted and thought happily of the left overs we’d be feasting on for the next few days.

Later, after we let lunch settle, I gave Sean the birthday cake he’d requested. Baked Lime Cheesecake, which I adapted from this recipe for lemon cheesecake. I think it’s safe to say a citrus flavoured cheesecake is his favourite dessert and I love an excuse to make it for him. I’ll tell you what was tricky – getting just the right shade of green in the mixture. I wanted very much to give it just a hint of lime-green tint, just for the sake of completeness.  I think I got it right.

lime cheesecake

There’s really something to be said for keeping a day like today low key. Sean’s not one for being the centre of attention or having a fuss made – but he loves a good meal and a quiet day together and with the clucking of the chickens and late the heavy dose of rain, I feel certain I gave him just the kind of day he wanted.

Is there a better gift?



22 thoughts on “Happy Day!

  1. a very thoughtful day i think. i get so irritated when people want to change someone elses idea of what they want to do for their birthday, and its lovely that you were able to do exactly what makes sean happy. and who wouldnt be happy with all that lovely bbq, and the cheesecake! oh my! just perfect.

  2. Lovely!

    And just the same sort of birthday my husband would enjoy, as well. Quiet, at home, with good food, togetherness. Precious!

    And… watch your girls for bright red combs and wattles – they get redder when they’re getting ready to lay. AND… not unusual for them to squwack like crazy a couple of days before they actually lay an egg. It *is* a big deal, afterall! Also not at all unusual for a soft shell to be the first egg. It takes a little practice to get it all figured out! 🙂

  3. No better gift, Bells. It sounds peaceful and loving and wonderful. It is lovely to hear how you enjoy each other’s company so much.

    I’m so glad you had such a lovely time.

  4. Rarely can November birthdays include much in the way of outdoor activities here because it usually rains heavily. And we have two November birthdays. My younger son is 35 years old today, Nov.14. My older son celebrates 38 years on Nov. 24. In the past we have gone out to dinner for their birthdays or they have requested special home-cooked meals. This year, they have both requested that we hold off and save their birthday celebrations for Christmas! What’s a mother to do? We will wait!

  5. Happy Birthday to Sean! The eggs do look cute with their smiley faces, and what a yummy sounding breakfast to start off the day. I love the lime cheesecake, it is one of my favourites too apart from lemon meringue pie. It sounds like you eat such wonderful meals at your house. Hope your chickens give you an egg soon.

  6. What a lovely day, Bells…Happy Birthday to Sean.

    The eggs and toast soldiers recipe looks delish and I shall definitely add it to our repertoire, too.

    As for the lime cheesecake…it looks divine! I check the recipe and see that you made what looks to be one other major change that really appeals to me. What crust did you make instead of the chocolate? Yours looks MUCH better!

  7. There is no better gift than a lovingly planned day that meets the recipient’s needs and wishes! Love your ecclectic, cosmopolitan barbecue. And there is something so cozy about an afternoon rain when you can be warm and dry inside. Your rose is exquisite, and the smiley-face egg made me smile, too.

  8. I had to follow the link to the recipe to find out what a “toast soldier” was. They look and sound delicious and since we haven’t had breakfast yet, they’re on the menu for this morning. I may skip the soft boiled eggs as no one here likes them. I can substitute scrambled.

    I like quiet days, too, and don’t like being the center of attention. I like to have just my family and lots of good food.

  9. Happy birthday, Sean! I like a quiet day myself.

    I thought I couldn’t stand pink, then Grace came along. That girl loves pink. And sparkly. She is, ah, broadening my horizons. 😉

  10. Happy Birthday Sean and what a lovely BBQ and an even lovelier dessert. I am sure by this time next year you will be buried under an avalanche of eggs from the girls: funny faces notwithstanding!!

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