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Brisket + Birthday + Biscuits

Not only have we been observing Rosh Hashanah, we celebrated My Dad's 80th Birthday! Quite a momentous milestone, indeed.

Challah is not braided over the 10-day Rosh Hashanah holiday, but wound into a turban-looking circle to represent the circle of life, the cycle of a year (etc.). Most cooks add a little extra sugar to their Challah dough during the New Year holiday to ensure a "sweet" beginning and often raisins are added to the dough.

The first night of Rosh Hashanah, I served brisket with a sauce made with caramelized onions and fig balsamic vinegar.

Second night I roasted a chicken and served it with my famous Fondue Potato Gratin. Cheesy and delicious. Anyone interested in this recipe?

On Saturday, Dad's family and friends gathered in Sisters, Oregon to celebrate his 80th birthday.

Dad, with his eldest grandson.
(Obviously, our family has exceptionally attractive children.)

The party was held at Brother Rick's log cabin. Rick set up the grill, people brought salads and we had ourselves a fabulous feast.

Me, Ken, Dad, Renee, Steve & Rick

All Dad's children were in town for his birthday! I am the eldest of five.

Photo by Brother Steve

And, of course, if you are in Sisters, you are going to see a few llamas!

I made a pillow for Dad's motorhome for his birthday... because what motorhome is complete without a needlepointed pillow... and... when I was in high school, My Dad caught a monster Brown Trout - so huge his cronies still talk about the fish.

Sunday morning, Dave and I drove back to Portland, dropping Brother Steve at PDX for his flight home to Denver. Traffic on the freeway towards our house was stopped, so we decided to try another restaurant on the east side of the Willamette River - this time the Alberta Street branch of Pine State Biscuits.

The restaurant is in a newly gentrified (sometimes I call it gentri-FRIED due to all the restaurants popping up) neighborhood in northeast Portland. The area has a fresh vibe and we were the oldest customers in the restaurant. Pine State is southern food, with a Portland twist.

It's all about the biscuits. Flaky. Buttery. Stuffed with a deep-fried chicken breast meat and topped with an assortment of interesting condiments. It is also about a massive plate of biscuits and gravy - sausage or mushroom - for $5. This may be the best hipster hangover-food deal in Portland.

My Driver ordered the Mcisley sandwich - chicken with pickles, mustard and honey. $6.

I had the Wedgie - chicken with a fried green tomato and a wedge of iceberg lettuce with blue cheese dressing. $8. It goes without saying, these sandwiches need a knife and fork.

We both liked our food okay. The biscuits were perfect, but the chicken was a little dried-out/overcooked and I'm just kinda over counter service and having to bus my own table - and clean up the mess left from the last table occupants... which probably explains why everyone in the joint was under 30.

Until my next update, I remain, your home-again correspondent.