Thursday, December 22, 2022


Another birthday has come and gone. I started this one out like I have for many years: with a bottle of bubbly. This time a Champagne, courtesy of friends Peter and Jill from California who offered us this bottle when they visited last summer.

Champagne. Taken with the Pixel 6.

Our appetizer was escargots (snails in garlic and parsley butter). Those are the snail dishes next to the bottle. Each little cup gets a snail that gets topped with the butter mixture. Then they go into a moderate oven until the butter sauce is bubbling. They were delicious. We haven't had snails in quite a while.

The rest of the meal was our standard steak au poivre (pepper steak) in a calvados cream sauce served with French fries. Ken and I have been making this classic bistro dish on my birthday for forty years now. It never gets old. The tradition started in a restaurant in the south of France in 1981. The next year, when I told Ken how much I enjoyed that dish, he said, "I can make that!" And he's been doing it ever since.

I took a couple of photos of the steak in the pan, but I'm not happy with their quality. I'll see if I can clean them up a little, but I'm not optimistic.


  1. A belated happy birthday. I think I could eat snails if prepared as you described.

  2. Happy Birthday! I am going to celebrate my 70th on the 29th. I can't remember the date which determines if you are a Sagittarius, an archer, or a Capricorn, a horny goat, like me. When i was young and foolish a birthday was a wild and crazy day/night but now it's just another day in paradise. You do celebrate well with snails and bubbly!

  3. Happy birthday again. Champagne and steak, yay. Snails (in any language) are not for me. So more for you.

  4. That looks like a fine bottle of champagne!

  5. Happy Birthday again! I will gladly have Mitchell’s share of the escargot.

  6. How lucky to have Ken provide your favorite dish (and to perfection each time, is my guess!) on your birthday each year. I know that is one of my daughter's favorite french meals as well.

  7. Happy Yesterday Birthday! I always enjoy reading about that steak. -- Chrissoup, AKA admirer of your littlest reindeer.

  8. Oh! That sounds so delicious and special! Belated happy birthday, Walt!

  9. andrew, thanks! Snails are a good excuse to eat garlic and butter.

    woody, I'm a Saggitarius. Hide your arrows!

    mitch, I wonder if Moose and Dudo would like them...

    travel, thanks!

    evelyn, it was tasty!

    bettyann, you got it!

    mary, there are little variations, including one made with hamburger. All good.

    chris, aha! And thanks!

    judy, thank you!

  10. Moose and Dudo would play with the shells after they'd been cleaned. Otherwise I think they’d sniff the snails, grimace, and turn away quickly. SG made fish ball soup yesterday. Fresh monkfish. The cats never came in from the terrace. Go figure.

  11. He he, 1 out of 10 get's no answer ;-)?

  12. jan, OMG! How did I let that happen? Thank you!

  13. I've not been on line in over a week (worse luck!) and I was anxious I would miss 'big events' and lo! I have. Happy birthday and may the next twelve months be marvelous.


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