White Dog gathered the others for a planning session. This is Steve's Birthday Week and they have a lot in store. The actual day is tomorrow and Steve has taken the day off of work so that we can all celebrate together during the day. In the evening friends have insisted on feting him at one of our favorite special restaurants.
The plan under production now was tonight's dinner, a homecooked, family-celebration, featuring some of Steve's favorite dishes. Steve enjoys cooking and rarely gets the chance to just fuss for fun. White Dog knows that and cleverly planned a menu that we would partially prepare during the day and would finish up all together when the Birthday Boy got home from the office.
So right after he left this morning, the White Dogs and I started the all day slow cooking process of making authentic Mexican barbacoa. Everyone volunteered to supervise the trimming of the beef. Only White Dog, who was experienced, assisted as we made the spice rub of garlic, red chile powder, peppers, cumin and vinegar.It was a beautiful deep red as we massaged it into the meat. We covered it and started cooking; within a few hours the house smelled like heaven. When Steve came home later the WDA helped him shred the meat while I made a tomatillo cilantro sauce fragrant with garlic. YoYoMa was the one interested in the garnishes of chopped cilantro, diced onions, and minced jalapeno to be piled on the warm tortilla filled with the barbacoa and sauce. He even tried the hot pepper.
Next we mashed perfectly ripe avocados with garlic, tomatoes, and lime juice to make a chunky guacamole. Quinn and White Dog were the tasters here; both are guac specialists. The others just sampled the tortilla chips.
This afternoon we made a blueberry pie, Steve's favorite dessert to accompany the meal. Blueberries are one fruit all of the pups enjoy and the prospect of warm pie and vanilla ice cream almost superseded the barbacoa's allure.
Tonight we made a spinach salad sprinkled with Mexican semi soft farmer's cheese, mangoes and roasted corn kernels and warmed corn tortillas for the barbacoa. Every pup and person got a plate and we shared a meal of celebration honoring the quiet but constant voice who is always there to fill our water bowls, to take us fun places, to scritch the right spots, and to love us in every way imaginable.
Steve has already told us to expect a special birthday breakfast...us?...wait a minute, it is YOUR birthday...but he insists and has hinted at bacon. that is just the kind of dad he is...incredible. We are SO lucky. Happy Birthday Eve, Dad! We hope you liked our dinner and after-cuddle.