12 October 2010

...here I go again

If you've read here long, you know there's this whole birthday thing wherein I create dinner and a cake of the celebrant's choice. This used to seem like a good idea.

The spouse's birthday is coming up and since it falls on a weekend, I thought, "phew. He'll want to go out."

No such luck. And the dinner he wants is not even as simple as meatloaf, grilled steaks or pot roast.

He wants me to make satay. I've never made satay, ever.

This is really his mother's fault. Or maybe his father's. I think his father was the one who found the recipe in an airline magazine on his travels. So my mother-in-law started making it. And it's pretty good. She always makes it for the spouse's birthday.

Except this year.

I'll grant you, it's a lot of work. I've had a copy of the recipe for 20 years, and I've declined to try it. It's fiddly. There is making of marinades and cubing of pork roast and threading of cubes and weird ingredients...

(Coconut cream. I don't even know where to find coconut cream, which, no, is not the same as cream of coconut. And it's higher in fat that coconut milk. And I refuse to make it from scratch. I have to draw the line somewhere. I haven't even told you about the four-layer cake I'm supposed to make.)

So, this year, the MIL just decided no satay.

This is one of those times when I wish I could live with myself were I to say, "Make satay? Are you joking? Go find yourself a Thai restaurant!"

But no. I'm making it. And fried rice. And peanut sauce. And a four-layer cake filled with marzipan and buttercream.

And I find my eyes sliding hopefully toward the door. I have a lot of frequent flyer miles.

Go listen to some good music: "Mamma Mia" from the album ABBA by ABBA. It's so difficult for me to disappoint someone; the guilt tends to be crushing. And as for traveling, I'm set to go to New York...but not until next May. To get past one big obstacle, I'm taking the daughter with me. And yeah, the failure of that last NYC trip still distresses me, a lot. Hopefully, though, I'll get out of here at least once before May. Hopefully.

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