Ryan turned thirty-nine this week. In between following the protests and trying to have some conversations with our kids (more in-depth with Gareth, obviously) about what's going on and why, we baked and celebrated. We started off the weekend by using up our leftover egg whites to try out macarons. I warned everyone that they sounded tricky and that they were unlikely to turn out perfectly on our first try.
We got better at piping as we went along. But it's a good thing I set expectations low, because we clearly didn't deflate the batter quite enough/it was undermixed. Some of them ended up overbaked slightly, others slightly underbaked (they were all in the oven on the convection setting together, so it's a bit odd), and apparently we didn't knock out any air bubbles sufficiently since some of them had cracks. They still tasted good at any rate.
The next day I made up the chocolate cheesecake for Ryan's birthday. I was nervous about it since I was increasing the recipe to adapt it from a 9" to a 10" pan. It seemed to go well initially, but I think I must've over-mixed it a bit and maybe overcooked it a tad as well, since it ended up with huge crack. Again, it tasted delicous - rich and fudgy and likely impossible for just the four of us to make it through.
Ryan's birthday gift has been sitting in the living room for a few days, and was labelled on the box with what it was, so no surprises here. But he was still thrilled and declared that I think of the best gifts (made me laugh since I have a really hard time coming up with gift ideas for him). We've had a hard time finding pillows that are actually firm and don't flatten immediately, which really sucks when you're a side sleeper. So I got him (and me, because it saved some money to buy 2) a buckwheat pillow to try out, after looking into them and finding lots of rave reviews. We let Gareth try it out a bit and now he's jealous and wants one as well.
In non-birthday news, the cilantro seeds I planted in the railing planter are coming up! It's a self-watering planter with no real drainage, and we've had quite a lot of rain recently (including a thunderstorm, yay!), so I was starting to worry that they'd gotten too much water and not enough sun/warmth and were just being drowned. We'll see if I get to harvest any before winter comes.