Sunday, January 20, 2013

29 1/2 Forever

Yesterday I drove to my friend A.'s home in Idaho for the afternoon.  It also happened to be her 1/2 birthday, you know the day 6 months after/before your actual birthday?  Yes we're old enough to know it is silly but still too young to care.  We celebrated by going for a snowshoe hike.  The property that she lives on is several hundred acres of farm/grazing land and it borders a national forest.  It was a really beautiful place to spend the afternoon.  Her partner B. drove us up to our starting point on his snow machine, and he only tipped us over once, thanks B.!

A. pointing out where B. tipped us all out into a snowbank, thanks for breaking my fall A.!
Their adorable dogs, Junie and Sara, chased us up the road.  MWD (Molly the Wonder Dog) would have loved this hike, but she doesn't get along with other dogs, so unfortunately she had to stay home.

Junie inspecting the snowshoes.
Sara saying "Hey, wait for me you guys!"
I was impressed that she caught up with us.
I hate to rub it in, but it was just so gorgeous up there!  And aside from some gunshots coming from the ice fishing tournament at a nearby reservoir, it was really pretty quiet.  Because it was private property there were no groomed trails or roads for us to follow, we just meandered up and down hills, across meadows, and along side the creeks.

Getting ready to go.

Andrea breaking the trail for me to follow.  For some reason I was humming the theme song to Bonanza at this point in time.
Animal tracks, we were thinking they were probably something small and fast like a hare or rabbit.  Do you know what they are?
First tracks through pristine powder.
We came upon one of the two family campsite on the property and I decided to sit down and take a rest.  You better believe that I'm going to be heading back up there in the summer to do some camping and dutch oven cooking.

So comfy.
The only thing that would have made this better would have been a roaring fire in the fireplace, oh hold on a second...

Ahhhh, that's better.  Now, where are the roasting sticks and the marshmallows?
The creek at the second campground. 
It is like Where's Waldo, only it is Spot Our Tracks.  At this point I had a Thanksgiving song running through my head "Over the river and through the woods..."
After we made it up the last hill we came upon a really cool old tractor graveyard where there were all kinds of farming tools and machines.  I really want to come back here in the spring and shoot some more photos with my nice camera, instead of this little point and shoot that I was carrying.

After that we headed back to the main road where we were able to take off our snowshoes and just hike out in our boots.

It didn't exactly blend into the landscape but I did find this cell tower beautiful in its own way.
Self Portrait
A. and Me.
One of the barns on the property.
I never get tired of looking at farm buildings and tools.
When we got back to the house we shed our snow gear and drove up to Lava Hot Springs to soak in the pools.  We started with the coolest and worked our way up to the hottest.  The only problem was that I didn't want to leave, but we were both really hungry so we reluctantly got out and dried off and headed up the hill in search of food.  For dinner we chose the Riverwalk Thai Cafe.  This is a great Thai restaurant in a former gas station at the East end of town.  The food was good (The Tom Kha Kai was the best I've ever had) and after dinner I surprised A. with half a cake for her half birthday.  It was a really nice way to end a great day.

Happy 29 1/2 birthday A. (give or take a few years), you get the other half of the cake on your real birthday.
The recipe I used for the cake is based on this Hershey recipe, but I did make a few changes.  I added 2 extra egg yolks, buttermilk in place of the regular milk, 1 cup of hot black coffee instead of the boiling water, and I used extra dark cocoa powder instead of regular cocoa powder.

For the base frosting I used this recipe for White Mountain Frosting, except I under-cooked the syrup slightly to make the frosting a bit thinner and lighter, so that I could pour it over the cake and have it set smoothly.  That plan backfired a little, it ran more than I wanted it to and didn't set as firm as I had hoped, but it still tastes great and that's all that matters, right?  Then I covered the whole thing in ganache.  The writing is store bought frosting, the road is crushed oreos, and the flames are fruit roll-ups.



tenacioustinkering said...

This is crazy but sooo cute all the same! I want to celebrate my 1/2 bday too. If only someone would make me 1/2 a cake.

<3 Jayne

The Suzzzz said...

Just tell people you want to celebrate your half birthday. Use it as a fun and silly excuse to get together with friends or family, or just have a general un-birthday party. I never would have known it was A.'s 1/2 birthday if she hadn't talked about it. Why wait for fun to come to you? Go out and grab some for yourself! Good luck!