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If you had asked me ten years ago, heck even a year ago, where I would be on my 30th birthday, I can assure you on no uncertain terms I would not have said “In Kansas City, rehearsing a murder-mystery comedy with my husband and Marion Ross.” However the Universe works in mysterious ways, and this is where I have found myself. I don’t question it-I’m just gonna go with it.

Not only did I wake up in a new decade, but it also marked my first day as a free woman from the bonds of my corporate day job.  After working there for two years they were none too keen on the idea of me leaving for three and a half months…so I had to walk away from the whole financial security/ provided healthcare  thing.  We will see how this plays out.  For now I am not going to dwell on it- I am a woman of 30 hear me roar!

Before heading off to rehearsal I had something very important to do: to open my present from my family which had been sitting, wrapped, on my dresser for over a month. My willpower should astound you.  Inside was a necklace of three diamonds from a ring which belonged to my Grandmother. Each diamond represents a decade of my life. I will cherish it always.

Now I figured when I arrived at the rehearsal hall there would be some “Happy Birthdays!” and perhaps even a cake. Nothing could have prepared me for a big poster of(!) my(!) FACE(!) staring right at me.

poster

Friends, meet Blanche. She wanted to be in the picture.

Friends, meet Blanche. She wanted to be in the picture.

However, there were “Happy Birthdays!” and cake.  A delightful Tiramisu cake, in fact, which was wonderfully moist, with a hint of coffee and not cloyingly sweet.  They also gave me a beautiful flower arrangement, some lovely cards, and sweet Marion Ross gave me a darling hat along with some gloves and a watch.

cake

cake 2

Me and Mrs. C

Me and Mrs. C

I was beyond touched by their warmth and generosity.

After a few fun hours rehearsing on our magnificent set, Jürgen and I got ourselves dressed up (in the rehearsal hall bathrooms…classy!) and set off to dine at Bluestem: a progressive American, and highly regarded dining establishment here in Kansas City.  When I told my director where we were going he replied “Oh that’s supposed to be the very best” to which I responded “That’s how I roll.”

What can I say? I like to eat. I live to eat. And it doesn’t have to be “the very best” either. I am just as happy feasting off of newspaper as I am from a white table-cloth as long as the food is cooked well, with soul and has a sense of place.  When I found out we would be spending time in Kansas City, the first thing I did was research the dining scene. Would you judge me if I told you that I have a restaurant spreadsheet with multiple tabs? You are probably judging me. During my research Bluestem kept emerging, plus the Executive chefs spent many years in Chicago…it’s not my fault…the spreadsheet made me do it!

At Bluestem diners have a choice of ordering a three, five or eight course menu. If you go for the whole hog and do the eight the courses are at the whim of the chef, if you go the three or five route you pick. I am a huge fan of chef prepared tasting menus, but having already eaten my fair share of cake I wasn’t hungry enough for the whole hog…this time (we are going back in December…we will see what happens then) so we went with the five course and paired it with a lovely Ayers Pinot Noir.

I will write more about my food journeys later, and perhaps at times I will give full course by course recounts of my dining experiences. However I did not take copious notes during our meal at Bluestem.  Rather I just basked in the glory of being 30 and eating at 5:30 because apparently I am not actually 30 but 60. I have aged well.

Cheers to 30! (Mom-thank you for the bubbly!)

Cheers to 30! (Mom-thank you for the bubbly!)

My handsome date.

My handsome date.

We had a wonderful dining experience. A few of our favorites were:

A divine torchon of fois gras with an array of pear-centric accoutrements.

fois @ bluestem

Beef tartare with beets which was tender and full of earthy flavors.

Beef Tartare

Perfectly cooked hand rolled pasta with crab, garlic cream and prosciutto.

Pasta

We ended our tasting with a cheese plate since I have never had much of a sweet tooth (I don’t have a picture of this one), but they also brought out a whimsical play on a “root beer float” composed of grape sorbet over Prosecco for my birthday (I have a picture of it but the face I am making in the photo is unappetizing).  The meal concluded with a myriad of miniature cookies in all sorts of flavors. I was so full that I grabbed a few and took miniature bites out of each of them, not really taking account of what I was eating, so I can’t say anything about them other than they were yummy. I’m 30 now…my memory is going.

Post meal happy and full shot.

Post meal happy and full shot.

To my friends and family near and far, to my show family and of course to Jürgen thank you for giving me a wonderful start to this new decade.

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