Tuesday, July 10, 2007


My birthday present from Brian:

It's a ring, although not one involving diamonds. It's a promise ring. When we're in the same place (because we will be, oh yes, we will), it will be replaced by a different one. :-)

I had a really nice birthday. I never did write about it, so here goes.

But we went to the Queen of Sheba, an Ethiopian restaurant in Dallas, for dinner. It was good. We had the Queen's Dinner, where they just bring you a little of everything. First they had the handwashing ceremony - they brought out a big bowl with lemon slices in it, and we used the lemon slices like soap. Then they poured warm water over our hands to rinse off the lemony bits and dried them. It was nice, and I'd never thought to do that with lemon slices. I don't know if I can remember everything we ate, but I'll try. Our appetizer was a cold salad, lentils with tomato and jalapeno. It was SPICY, but very good. Then they brought out a big platter with little bits of all kinds of stuff - spicy lentils, spicy lamb, mild lamb, cabbage and potatoes, sauteed mushrooms, different kinds of chicken (so tender it just fell off the bone), beef and greens, and their version of steak tartare with fresh-made cheese. I did try the steak tartare - it didn't taste like raw meat, and it wasn't bad, but it wasn't my thing. The cheese was good - almost tart, and like feta in texture. Some things were cooked with a tomato-type sauce, some with a mustard sauce, and I can't even begin to identify all the spices they used.

The interesting thing was, you ate everything with your fingers! They brought out a plate with rolls of a thin, spongy bread called injera - you unrolled the bread, broke a piece off, and used it to pick up your food. After a while, it got tedious, and Brian and I were both wishing for silverware. LOL I had a glass of honey mead with my meal, and that was one gooooooood wine. I told Brian it wasn't something to drink on an empty stomach, because it was sweet and smooth, and something I could easily drink too much of without even realizing it. We had dessert - baklava and a fruit compote with the honey wine poured over it - and we ate until we were just about stupid. I had a tiny cup of Ethiopian coffee with it - black as night, and STRONG. It had an interesting flavor of spice to it - cinnamon, maybe, or cardamom? It was good, although not something I'd want to drink every day (I sure could have used it when J was at the height of his not-sleeping phase, though).

And THEN they brought out birthday cake and sang Happy Birthday! It was a very low-key rendition - no clapping and cheering and standing on chairs. I really enjoyed it. We were stuffed like Christmas geese afterward, and we STILL had birthday cake at the house!

So, happy birthday to me! I do believe my ring was the best present ever, although I must admit to hoping another one can take its place before too much longer.

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