Food and toys make for one wonderful birthweekend

When we brought our beloved puppy Ellie B, aka Dogamous Pyle, to doggie day care three years ago, they told us that she was Food Oriented and Toy Possessive.

Where did she get that from, I wondered about our rescue mutt.

Which brings me to my recap of my birthweekend.

We shall take it plate by plate.

Friday night, served at Transfiguration Church, a plate of pierogi and carrots.

Friday night, served at the Church of the Transfiguration, a plate of pierogi and carrots.

On Friday night, my dear wife Karen and I attended the Polish dinner set out by the good folks at Syracuse’s Transfiguration Church. The price was right, a mere $5 each, and the smiling people at the ticket table thanked us for helping the church coffers with our participation.

Over the table flew a Polish flag. I loved the sight of the white-on-red eagle.

We were among the last folks to arrive, obviously, but there were plenty of homemade potato-filled pierogi and sugared carrots to fill our plates.

I was hoping for some kielbasa, too, but Karen told me not to complain, we could pick up a ring of smoked at our subsequent weekly supermarket run.

I ate one carrot for taste, and it was way too sweet for my needs.

The four homemade pierogi kicked serious butt, obviously fried with browned onions, just the way I cook them at our house.

When we got home from Wegmans, I boiled the kielbasa and heated up some sauerkraut. I have leftovers designated for Monday’s lunch. Perfect.

I forgot to take a picture of my Red Lobster birthday dinner. Here is my artist's rendition of shrimp three ways.

I forgot to take a picture of my Red Lobster birthday dinner. Here is my artist’s rendition of shrimp three ways.

Saturday night, Karen piloted her all-wheel-drive super Mazda crossover through the falling snow to the Red Lobster on Erie Boulevard.

This continued one of my birthday traditions. I love to go back and forth. Lobster tail? Shrimp? Combo?

It was a good night to be given a table quickly.

I’m accustomed to a wait on my birthday night, but the snow apparently kept many of the people who were not celebrating their birthday at home.

We were not asked to sit or stand in the lobby. We were not handed one of those remote gizmos with the flashing red lights to call you when it’s your turn at the top of the list.

We were told to pause for a short moment while they cleared a booth in the back room.

OK, we'll go with the Red Lobster site photo of my Seaside Shrimp Trio instead. (From

OK, we’ll go with the Red Lobster site photo of my Seaside Shrimp Trio instead. (From

Karen picked from the four-course special menu, with fried shrimp as the entree. She thoroughly enjoyed the lead-in of New England clam chowder and a Caesar’s salad. The key lime pie for dessert was creamy. I know, because she shared with me. I limited myself to several small fork bites.

My dinner had already filled me up.

I took some time pondering my choice, and opted for the shrimp delight. On the menu, it’s called the Seaside Shrimp Trio. I watch enough cooking shows on TV, I think, to take the liberty to call it shrimp three ways: fried, scampi and linguini alfredo. Also known in Bialczakese as freakin’-A-wahoo.

My Slam was grand at Denny's. My oatmeal arrived several minutes too late for the picture. I had to start eating before that.

My Slam was grand at Denny’s. My oatmeal arrived several minutes too late for the picture. I had to start eating before that.

This morning I concluded the meal-o-rama at Denny’s, as Karen and I met my daughter Elisabeth and her boyfriend George for breakfast.

Before we ordered, I opened my presents.

They gave me two Christmas tree ornaments Elisabeth picked up on a recent trip to Manhattan. One is a Mets sleigh. The other is a Jets penguin. They brighten up the live potted tree we have on our front porch. This year, we decided to go with a spruce, which we’ll plant in our yard come spring. Karen bought a great top for it. She also put a picture of Elisabeth and George inside a transparent Christmas ball, and I hung that with the team ornaments. Yes, we did this instead of putting up an inside tree.

The second package revealed a long-sleeved New York Islanders shirt.

My daughter gave me a clean sweep of my three favorite professional sports teams all in one birthday. Nice.

For breakfast, I went with the create-your-own slam. In addition to eggs-over–easy, pancakes, bacon and sausage, I added a bowl of oatmeal. I must be getting old because I could only get down less than half of the two pancakes.

Yesterday, on my birthday proper, Karen gave me a brown Dunkin’ Donuts t-shirt. The front is emblazoned: Friends don’t let friends drink Starbucks. That is a motto I live by. (There’s a good chance that you may see a picture that involves this shirt here on Monday morning.)

This afternoon, Karen took me to the Apple store in Destiny USA to complete the gift-giving.

Right now I am typing this using my brand new iPad Air, with a new Ultrathin LogiTech bluetooth keyboard.

My original iPad 2 is still in great shape. So, now Karen has an iPad with bluetooth keyboard of her own to augment her very busy iPhone 4S.

Food and toys made my birthweekend complete. And I no longer wonder where Ellie B got that from.

37 thoughts on “Food and toys make for one wonderful birthweekend

    • This homemade pierogi were as tasty as those we get from Utica family company Hapanowicz, and Sweet Eva’s restaurant, too. At least you do have a Polish restaurant down there near you guys! Thanks for the wishes, Judy.


  1. I think you may now need to take up jogging! sounds like a great birthday weekend. (Do all pet owners become like their pets? If so we are in trouble – i shall end up hoarding food under the sofa hamster style.


  2. Thanks for sharing a great birthweekend with us. Tell me, what sane creature is NOT food oriented and toy possessive? While you come up with that answer, excuse me while I eat some dessert and watch one of my favorite shows on TV.


  3. Tried to answer your comment before, but my computer doesn’t like wordpress much. Can’t read this entire post, nut like what I could see. Am using 2 fingers now, but still slow going. Guess I’ll have to find a computer geek for some help here.


  4. I saw the Pierogi on the plate and had to stop and comment! Being half Polish on my mom’s side – Garaczkowski’s from North Tonawanda, I dig me some potato, cheese, mushroom and almost any flavor homemade Pierogi’s!


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