I took a day off from blogging yesterday to mourn the loss of our dearly-departed macro lens AND our three-month-old DSLR camera, the workhorses of this blog. Yes, both are kaput due to my carelessness, which resulted in a tsunami of olive oil that drowned the insides of our poor camera. Fitbomb showed the depth of his love for me by not cursing at me. Instead, he just quietly took periodic breaks to our bedroom to find his zen. When my head touched the pillow at bedtime, it was still damp from his tears. (I kid. Try as he might, the man doesn’t actually know how to cry.)

As an expression of sympathy, memorial contributions can be sent by buying stuff in our Amazon and T-shirt stores. How else am I going to make back enough money to buy new camera equipment? 

Enough kvetching and and self-pity. I still have a back-up camera, so let’s run down what I ate yesterday.

For breakfast, I ate a big bowl of leftover Asian cauliflower fried rice topped with Thai green curry chicken.

I dashed off to the downtown Palo Alto Farmers’ Market to stock up on salts and blends from Spice Hound and eggs.

When I came home, Fitbomb had already wrapped the birthday present for Lil-O’s betrothed.

Check out her form on that sumo deadlift high-pull! My future daughter-in-law is definitely a beast-in-training and I fully expect to cheer her on at the CrossFit Games in a few years.

Since I was in the doghouse for ruining the camera, I did my penance by shuttling the kids to I’s birthday party and then to my in-laws’ house in the outer reaches of the East Bay where the Double-O’s would be spending the night. I didn’t really eat a lunch (just some beef jerky from Primal Pacs) because we had a special dinner planned and I wanted to save room for the feast.

As dinnertime approached, Fitbomb and I prettied ourselves up for a special soiree courtesy of Dr. & Mr. HA. At their kids’ school district’s fundraising auction, they’d won a fancy-schmancy dinner for 10 and had generously invited us to attend. The dinner was so classy that it even had a name – in French, no less: Saisons des Champignons.

We dined at a beautiful private residence in Atherton where Chef Guillaume Bienaime, formerly of Menlo Park’s Marche Restaurant, prepared for us a multi-course mushroom tasting menu accompanied by a wine pairing. The meal wasn’t entirely Paleo-compliant, but I gobbled it all up without any guilt.

We started the evening in the kitchen, where we sipped champagne and nibbled on crostini topped with raw tuna drizzled with mushroom-infused olive oil – all while we gabbed and watched the talented chef and assistant prepare our meal.

Then, we were led to the dining room by the hosts’ adorable and talented daughters where they serenaded us with violins before our feast began.

Our first course was a wild mushroom salad with roasted kabocha squash, frisee, tarragon, and hazenuts…

…followed by a porcini soup topped with a crustacean foam…

…pan-seared scallop with gamboni mushrooms, potato gnocchi, brown butter, and sage…


…prime rib of veal with chanterelles, crispy fingerling potatoes, and a madeira cream sauce…

…St. Angel triple cream with a pickled mushroom relish…

…and we ended our meal with candy cap mushroom ice cream and almond cake topped with apples.

Our hosts for the night, S & P, were so warm and gracious that we all felt immediately welcome in their beautiful home. Little did they know that while their end of the table discussed fine literature and Presidential politics, our side of the table was dishing about spotting Ron Jeremy at a hotel in Dallas.

Dinner was delicious, relaxing, and elegant, and before we knew it, we were way past our bedtimes. The company was insanely fun – I exercised my abs all night with hardcore belly laughs. Thanks, C & H, for inviting us to this special and unique party! We felt so honored and grateful to be included. (And don’t worry: You guys are totally winning the war of gifts.)

About Michelle Tam

Hello! My name is Michelle Tam, and I love to eat. I think about food all the time. It borders on obsession. I’ve always loved the sights and smells of the kitchen. My mother was (and is) an excellent cook, and as a kid, I was her little shadow as she prepared supper each night. From her, I gained a deep, abiding love for magically transforming pantry items into mouth-watering family meals.

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