Thursday, 23 October 2008

Rumble in the Jungle...

Well a bit of a gurgle at least! Yesterday was TBH's birthday, and this year it was a big one. No less than 60 years old. A bit of a shocker that as I still believe he is firmly stuck in his late teens, I know the body is a bit older and worn but his mind is amazing! Always learning and engaged he remains an enormous challenge to live with(!).

So what were we to do to celebrate such a momentous occasion? No question one of TBH's favourite pastimes is sampling good food so with the collusion of Jim and Marco here at Mario's Marina we plotted to throw a superb dinner amidst the jungle setting.

Weeks before the event shopping expeditions were orchestrated to Guatemala City as ingredients were sourced for all TBH's favourite dishes. The catering staff entered in to the spirit as they talked about how to bring the whole thing in to being...

And what a triumph! Thank you so much to everyone. To recreate a world class meal down here was amazing. Mario's found ice buckets and candles, tablecloths and decorations. I was simply delighted with the effort that they put in to making the night such fun.

TBH had no idea that we were going to be joined by a group of friends and was stunned when he saw the magnificent spread that we had prepared for him.

So we began with garlic infused jumbo shrimps, delivered to the marina early that morning fresh from the ocean. These are one of the regular dishes here and absolutely wonderful. Alongside that we enjoyed platters of smoked salmon with freshly baked brown bread.

Our main course was fillet of Nicaraguan beef, seasoned and grilled whole then served in steaks, accompanied by jacket potatoes with sour cream and a selection of fresh local vegetables.

On to Mario's signature dish of Key Lime Pie. if you have never tasted this confection then you haven't lived. The knowledgeable Guatemalans who visit the Rio often drop in with an order for a whole pie when they are here, they know a good thing when they taste it! To help that slide down we accompanied it with Sarita's vanilla ice cream (TBH's favourite).

A short pause and on to a selection of cheeses and fresh ripe local melon. And finally to the birthday cake. A wonderful 'tres leches' cake that is traditional at Guatemalan celebrations.

All with the excellent wines that Mario's now stocks and a toast in the champagne that Jim and Marco sourced in the city.

...we made a bit of a mess with the 'pistole de confetti' that shot wads of sparkly stuff across the table and in to uncovered wine glasses, and a great time was had by everyone, most especially the Birthday Boy, who it was all for.

Happy Birthday!

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