My brother-in law, Joe, and his wife Suzy both take a week to celebrate their birthdays. Suzy’s week is in June while Joe’s is in November. Laurel and I don’t get a week to ourselves. Our birthdays are bunched together. 365 days separate us in age and Laurel’s birthday is the day before mine. I’ll give you a moment to ponder that statement…. Yep, Laurel was born in a leap year.
On Saturday I was at work and at the end of the day one of my co-workers, Elly, came by and we started taking. She said her and her husband were going to the Nelson Stone Barn for pizza. Wood fired brick oven pizzas to be exact! They were going to meet other family members and enjoy their time together with family. She told me it was very relaxing and you will have to wait to be served, but there is no rush.
I came home from work and asked Laurel if she had any plans for the evening. She said no and I suggested the Stone Barn. She responded with pleasure and said call some friends. I made a few calls and everybody was busy. I said “how about just the two of us?” She agreed and we got ready and made the 45 minute drive to the Stone Barn.
The Nelson Stone Barn is not a stop and eat place, its a destination. The Stone Barn is located near the small town of Nelson Wisconsin. It is tucked back in between the bluffs in Norwegian Valley. When we drove up to the farm the parking lot was full of cars and a couple of dozen horses and their riders. We found a park spot and walked to the barn. As we were walking I spotted my brother Mike. We walked inside and Mike, Jodi and their children along with their friends were sitting together. We were asked to join the group. Mike and friends had already ordered so Laurel and I looked over the menu and ordered our pizza and drinks. We all went out in the main part of the barn and found a couple of tables we could push together and enjoyed the conversation. We waited for our pizzas but the time just slipped by without notice.
The main part of the barn is just four stone walls and no hayloft above. All the wood portion of the barn had been removed. I’m sure over time the roof had leaked and started rotting the wood. The owners salvaged the stone walls and used it as ambiance for a new restaurant. They put up small coverings over the tables to keep the sun and light rain off their guests. As we sat there we greeted other people from Menomonie who came to the barn that evening.
The first round of pizzas showed up at the table. The pizzas were 16 inches square and super thin crust. There meat for the pizzas is locally raised and all the herbs are grown on the farm. What a treat! The pizzas were excellent! A few minutes later our pizza appeared. We had ordered a Muffaletta Pizza. Canadian Bacon, pepperoni, cheese with green olives. Made me think of the Muffaletta sandwich we got down in New Orleans last fall. We wrapped up our evening at the Stone Barn and headed back home.
My mother-in-law, Fran, gave me cedar grilling planks for my birthday. What should a guy do?… I know, Planked Salmon. The perfect way to continue celebrating the birthdays. I went on the internet looking for a rub to put on the salmon and came across nice easy recipe. Grilled Salmon with corn and black bean salsa. I pulled together the ingredients at home and went to the store to pick up the remaining items. I got things prepped and went to the gym for a class workout. When class was done I scanned the gym and spotted Laurel. I went over and asked her how long she had left and it wasn’t long. She asked what was for dinner and a didn’t respond except for the look on my face. The look of, its a surprise. I got back home and fired up the grill and took a quick shower. Laurel arrived shortly and took a quick shower also and the meal was assembled. I had set up a table in the backyard for us to eat. Outdoor dining at it finest.
I cover the table with a small white cloth with a red runner. I also add a candle to the center. The salsa was cooked and plated and we headed outside and plated the salmon. We walked over to the table were we enjoyed a tasty birthday dinner. Celebrations in Wisconsin don’t get much better!
Happy Birthday to Us!