Birthdays haven’t been a big deal for me for a very long time. Turning 30 didn’t bother me, although I’ve had troublesome 22nds n’ 33rds for some inexplicable reason. I’m more concerned about 44 than 40. Go figure.
The day itself started with me waking to the high-pitched sounds of my niece and nephew bounding up and down the hallway. Ugh. Who needs an alarm clock?
Things unfolded as they usually do when grandma and granddad have this particular pair over. Thomas the Tank Engine plays in the DVD, pillows and blankets litter the floor, toys of their father end up being played with once more.
The real fun began at lunch; my sister-in-law along with her two arrived with birthday cookies for me (chocolate chocolate chip and pecan) and to break bread with me. Mom set out a spread of sandwiches; fresh buns, deli meats, lettuce, grain mustard, plus potato chips and fresh fruit.
As usual with one of my mother’s meals it proved scrumptious, and as usual when there are for grandkids around it proved riotous. I love Aisling and Kylianne, but oh how competitive they are – especially for grandma’s attention.
Instead of a cake, Mom served up a plate of mini-cupcakes, chocolate and vanilla with three standard candles and one special candle. The candles lit, the tray set before my plate, three sets of toddlers’ eyes trained upon the candles and cupcakes.
“Wait a moment,” calls out Mom. She plucks the special candle from its cupcake and twists the bottom. The candle starts to play a jaunty melody… only the battery must be nearly dead as instead of a midi version of happy birthday I get the sound I can only believe are a tinny recording of ants screaming. The adults laugh, the kids just want to get on with the blowing out of candles and the eating of cupcake. Sure enough and soon enough the kids munched happily upon their treats.
The afternoon, the boys had naps, the girls got to stay up and play with grandma… and grandpa and Uncle Byron, their parents took them home and for dinner Dad treated us to a steak dinner at The Keg. The Keg started in BC and now stretches across Canada as well as south into five states. Since returning to Canada five months ago, the only steaks I’ve enjoyed have been cooked by my family, luckily my brothers and I now how to grill a good steak, but this would be a treat.
The Maple Ridge Keg used to be a dark throwback country-ish themed restaurant but sometime in the past year or two it underwent a renovation. It remains dimly lit, but this is an attempt to create ambiance. It mostly works.
Our server proved to be a lovely young woman and due to it being a sluggish Wednesday night we established a bit of a rapport with her and she joined us in two lengthy (by restaurant standards) conversations.
We placed our order I’ll give a quick breakdown of the the meal; we all opted for Keg Classic meals because this rewarded us with a ‘starch’, vegetables and a salad. It was quite funny as all three us selected the twice baked potato and Caesar salad.
If not for selecting the Classic option, there would have been either a starch or the vegetables and no starter salad. For what the Keg charges, that’s pretty chinchy. The extras would be available but they cost would go up… and up.
My sole complaint about the food itself, we hadn’t finished our starters before the mains arrived, even our charming server seemed surprised at the speed with which the kitchen prepared our steak dinners. (It was a timing miscue by the chefs).
I love a simple Caesar salad; just Romaine lettuce, crutouns, Parmesan slices, wedge of lemon and some freshly ground pepper. Perfect.
For the main, I selected a Sirloin (medium), the double stuffed potatoes (parboiled, scooped out, cheese and garlic mixed in and baked once more) and the veggies. And every now n’ again, a properly cooked and presented dinner cannot be topped. And so it was tonight.
Due to the banter with our server, she found out it was my birthday so I received a complimentary slice of Billy Miner Pie.
All in all, a fine birthday.