Suzi’s Blackout Birthday

No, this post is not about boozing so much on a birthday that you can’t find your phone or wallet or even your left shoe the next morning…

It’s much more tame than that.

As you may know, Wednesdays around here are Farmer’s Market Wednesdays.  Brad and I are both off from work.  I take $80 to the market.  We buy ridiculously fresh, delicious goodies that feed us all week long.

It is awesome.

So this Wednesday was a little bit more special.  Our great friend Suzi’s birthday was Thursday, and since both Brad and I couldn’t make it to the birthday festivities, we were having her and her boyfriend James over for a Casa del Mathews birthday feast.

We like to call it shift meal.  What can I say.  We’re restaurant geeks.

So Brad and I shopped around the market, planned a wonderful dinner, got a few extra birthday goodies for the birthday girl, and returned home….

To no power.

No big deal.  We have plenty of light in our apartment.  It was a beautiful day.  And it was 11:30 in the morning.  We opened all the windows, turned on some tunes on Brad’s phone, and relaxed.  The power would surely come back on in enough time for us to prepare the feast (including baking a birthday cake) and celebrate with the birthday girl at 8.

Around 2:30 I started checking the power company’s website.  Yep, the outage had been reported.  I’m sure it’d be back on soon.

Around 3:30, Brad started cooking.  Thank goodness for gas stoves and grills.

The menu?  Strawberry Buratta Crostinis, Grilled Piquio Peppers with Mint, Roasted Beets, Lentils with Wilted Greens, Roasted Sweet Corn, Carrots with Cumin Creme Fraiche and Currants.  Oh, and Ribs.

Oh. My. Gosh.

Around 5:30, we were SURE the power would come back on soon.  The prep work was almost done.  This is also the time I started getting super annoyed.  I really wanted to bake that cake…

Have you ever thought of how hard it is to prepare a feast without being able to open the refrigerator when you’d like?  Not only could I not use my mixer or any electric tools, we must have accidentally opened the door about 18 times.

At 7:30 it started getting really dark around our apartment.  We started searching for candles.  I had to take a break to go out to my car to charge my phone in order to warn Suzi that we would be dining by candlelight.  Neighbors were taking walks in the last bits of sunlight, not wanting to be sitting in their dark houses…

Across the street, apartment lights shined brightly.  I felt like they were mocking me.  What was with our block?  I sent angry tweets to @SocalEdison.

8:30 – Suzi and James arrived with a lantern.  We opened a bottle of red wine.  The party began.

I felt like Brad was on Kitchen Impossible, cooking a five course meal and plating it all in the dark. The leftover tea lights from our wedding that I never thought we’d use came in handy, scattered around the apartment in wine glasses, juice cups, and on plates.

I was only mildly worried at the time that the wax would never come off of any of these things.  I was more occupied thinking about Brad cutting off a finger in the dark.


We ate our first course by candlelight.  The roasted peppers were either super fiery or nice and sweet.  The strawberry crostinis were divine.

Strawberry Buratta Crostinis

We attempted food photography via latern…

It turned out pretty decent…

Grilled Piquio Peppers with Mint

Suzi turned on some tunes on her laptop, which had been charging all day.

It was a really dark, awesome party.

At exactly 9:45, Brad was plating the final courses by latern when I heard a faint buzzing.  The refrigerator!  It was on!

We tried the lights… working!!

Let there be light!!

We enjoyed the main courses of the meal with electricity, letting Suzi blow out the candles and make a birthday wish.

I took a few pictures, but by this time I was starving and too excited for electricity to be all that concerned with my camera.

Roasted Beet Salad

Roasted Carrots with Cumin Creme Fraiche & Currants

Lentils with Wilted Greens

Roasted Sweet Corn

Pork Ribs

Even the leftover Blueberry Tart came in handy.  It converted quite nicely to a birthday tart and held up surprisingly well in the iffy refrigerator conditions.

So although I’m not sure how the end of Suzi’s real birthday ended up, we made sure she had a blackout party all the same.  And although it wasn’t the ideal photo-taking or five course meal cooking light, Brad’s food was just as delicious in the dark.


One thought on “Suzi’s Blackout Birthday

  1. Pingback: Happy Year! | The Key Of Kels

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