Yesterday was Jason’s 30th birthday and I, with the help of some amazing friends, pulled off a pretty spectacular surprise.

It all starts about 3 months ago, when Jason and I were casually talking over a glass of wine by our fireplace. I asked him, during a lull in conversation, if he could have any meal in the world what would it be. I expected a normal answer…that is not what I got. Instead, this is what came out of his mouth. He did not pause to contemplate, he did not second guess himself. He simply said:

“Well, it would start out with oysters Rockefellar and a shrimp cocktail. Then French onion soup. Next would be a duo course of pad thai and chicken curry. Then the main dish, steak and a baked potato. After that, I’d want a cheese course, like the French do. Then scotch…an entire scotch flight. I’d finish it off with some key lime pie.”

It took all the energy in my body to contain myself at this moment. Instead, I acknowledged the absurdity and excused myself to the kitchen while picking up my phone. Then I wrote all that down. It was too good to forget.

Jason's 30th Birthday Fantasy Meal | Things I Made Today

The idea to make this his 30th birthday surprise came a little bit later. Last year, I indulged Jason’s fantasy with a week of potatoes for his birthday (here, here, here, here, and here). But this year, I wanted to top it with this ridiculous meal. With the help of our friends, we pulled it off.

The best part was that although he was home this week and most of the ingredients to make these meals were very, very visible in our fridge, Jason had no idea what was about to happen. Only once the shrimp cocktail and oysters were placed on the table and I lovingly announced that what we were about to eat was a menu that he himself once created, did he put it together. We watched as he processed this information. You could literally see in his eyes when he realized what was about to happen.

So here it goes. The photos are a mix of crappy photos from my camera and Instagram photos. Despite the bad quality, I think they capture the evening properly:

Course 1: Shrimp Cocktail (made by our friend Sam) and Oysters Rockefellar (made by me, using this recipe). Photo courtesy of Anne Kroeger:

Jason's 30th Birthday Fantasy Meal | Things I Made Today

Course 2: French Onion Soup (made by me, using this recipe). Photo courtesy of Anne Kroeger:

Jason's 30th Birthday Fantasy Meal | Things I Made Today

Course 3: Pad thai was ordered from Bandung (if you can’t beat it, just have Marty and Anne buy it). And chicken curry (made by me using a version of this recipe).

Course 4: Sirloin steak (prepared by Sam) and a baked potato (I handled this one).

Jason's 30th Birthday Fantasy Meal | Things I Made Today

Let’s pause here for a snapshot of the birthday boy’s happiness:

Jason's 30th Birthday Fantasy Meal | Things I Made Today

Course 5: At this point, we passed through to the living room because we couldn’t sit at the table any longer. Then, a selection of cheese and fruit (brought by Kendra).

Jason's 30th Birthday Fantasy Meal | Things I Made Today

Jason's 30th Birthday Fantasy Meal | Things I Made Today

Paired with the scotch flight, and likely my favorite picture from last night:

Jason's 30th Birthday Fantasy Meal | Things I Made Today

Course 6: And finally, key lime pie from Hubbard Avenue Diner (brought by Becky). Once again, if you can’t beat it, just enjoy the hard work of others.

Jason's 30th Birthday Fantasy Meal | Things I Made Today

Oh and as for the other part of his present, here it is. This will only mean great things for the future of this blog.

Jason's 30th Birthday Fantasy Meal | Things I Made Today

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