So my boyfriend just turned 25 a few weeks back. And if you know me at all, you know I love a good birthday party. In fact, I'm downright obnoxious when it comes to birthdays. I think you should be celebrated every minute of the day you were born. And when it's my birthday I like to turn it into a weekend long event (ok, sometimes week long). Justin is not of the same mindset. Don't get me wrong, he loves other peoples birthday- every birthday I've spent with him has been amazing. Last year was my first birthday away from my family in Atlanta, and he surprised me by doing everything that my family does on my birthday at home. I showed up to his apartment and he covered my eyes, walked me into his room, and he had laid out sweatpants and a birthday card (it's a rule on my birthday at home that every one has to wear sweatpants).
After changing into my *super chic* birthday outfit, he handed me a glass of wine and pulled a crock pot out of the laundry room (at which point I almost cried from laughing- he had hidden the crockpot by the washing machine to make sure I didn't see it beforehand!) and he made me BEEF STROGANOFF!
This was huge for 2 reasons:
1. It's what my mom always makes for my birthday, even though it's the middle of August.
2. HE NEVER COOKS!
(It might not look like much, but it honestly made me smile from ear to ear- and it tasted good too!)
After that he took me out for wine and dessert at the cutest little local gallery/bar and it was just the most perfect day. The year before that he surprised me with a trip to New York and The U.S. Open (along with a whole Gossip Girl themed day- we even went to Bergdorf's and tried on $17,000 coats pretending like we were rich kids.)
So you see- he's pretty fantastic. And he does love birthdays, just not his own. He's not one to draw attention to his birthday (did I mention he has zero forms of social media? He hates it. So no one except his family and close friends remember it's his birthday.)
Usually I'm fine with letting his birthday pass in obscurity and to celebrate it quietly with just us and a few friends. Not this year. He was turning 25 and I wanted EVERYONE to know. So we had a night at The Ritz (Blog post coming soon!) and the next day we had a surprise party at The Peculiar Rabbit. Bar tab, food, pool, you name it. He was thrilled (I think).
And on Sunday... I cooked Fat Girl Sunday Dinner. Usually Fat Girl Sunday is reserved strictly for fast food and to-go orders. But for this special day I insisted I cook. What did he want?
I am not kidding. Spam. He grew up in Hawaii and used to eat Spam all the time as a kid. I was raised thinking it was a nasty fake meat you didn't want to go near and only ate on a dare. But alas, it was his birthday and not mine. So I made one of his favorite childhood snacks- Spam Musubi.
We made a special trip to Super G Mart to find all the necessary equipment and honestly that was half the fun in itself. We strolled up and down aisles and discovered all sorts of unusual foods I'd never seen before- and many that he ate as a kid in Hawaii. We snagged some Korean food from the restaurant inside the mart (SO GOOD- if you live in Charlotte, it's worth the drive), and headed back to the apartment to commence the birthday feast.
I have to say. Spam is good. Weird, I know. And I wouldn't recommend being the one to take it out of the can... it's an image I'll never forget. But I think it's something everyone should try.
I didn't even know what spam musubi was, much less how to make it, so I got my recipe from All Recipes.
- 2 cups short grain white rice
- 2 cups water
- 6 Tbsp rice vinegar
- 1/4 cup soy sauce
- 1/4 cup oyster sauce
- 1/2 cup white sugar
- 1 (12 oz.) container of Spam
- 5 sheets nori
- 2 Tbsp vegetable oil
- Soak uncooked rice for 4 hours; drain and rinse.
- In a saucepan bring 2 cups water to a boil. Add rice and stir. Reduce heat, cover, and simmer for 20 minutes. Stir in rice vinegar, and set aside to cool.
- In a separate bowl, stir together soy sauce, oyster sauce, and sugar until sugar is completely dissolved. Slice luncheon meat lengthwise into 10 slices, or to desired thickness, and marinate in sauce for 5 minutes.
- In a large skillet, heat oil over medium high heat. Cook slices for 2 minutes per side, or until lightly browned. Cut nori sheets in half and lay on a flat work surface.
- Place a rice press in the center of the sheet, and press rice tightly inside. Top with a slice of luncheon meat, and remove press. Wrap nori around rice mold, sealing edges with a small amount of water. (Rice may also be formed by hand in the shape of the meat slices, 1 inch thick.) Musubi may be served warm or chilled.