St. Louis and a Birthday Dinner

I think it was Thomas Wolfe who said that you can’t go home again. Well, I did last weekend.

Wolfe has a point. Everything changes, whether you want it to or not. Sometimes those changes are for the better; other times, you find yourself mourning a memory, a person, or a place.

Either way, there’s something to be said about going back to where it all began (for you) (proverbially). It reminds you of who you are and where you came from.

Last weekend, I surprised my mom for her sixtieth birthday in St. Louis. My siblings are scattered throughout the Midwest, but they all came home for the occasion.

We mostly spent the weekend relaxing and eating, two things that my family does best. We also took some long walks and I went on a run around the neighborhood.

Compared to D.C., my old neighborhood is like the country. We went to a local park and I did a double-take when I saw 10 horses walking out of a stable.screen-shot-2016-09-23-at-7-06-01-pm
I also forgot how big the sky looks when you don’t have buildings poking up into it. When I went on a run by myself, the sky seemed like it stretched out forever over the hills and trees. It’s sobering but also reassuring. It reminds you of your place.screen-shot-2016-09-23-at-7-06-25-pmscreen-shot-2016-09-23-at-7-06-41-pm
The last night that I was in town, I cooked my mom a birthday dinner. She loves salmon so I made a lemon dijon salmon, roasted asparagus, tomato salad and a cayenne rice pilaf. My younger sister played sous-chef and made some amazing chive roasted potatoes. I told her that I wanted to take them in a dark room and eat them all by myself.

Back in August, I went to get my D.C. license when my Missouri license expired. After I got my picture taken and was waiting for the papers to go through, I said offhandedly to the DMV clerk, “well, no more Missouri.” “It will always be a part of you,” she responded, without missing a beat. I’ll never forget that.screen-shot-2016-09-23-at-7-07-14-pm
My brother introduced me to Father John Misty when I was home. Here’s a song I’ve been jamming out to this week.

Lemon Dijon Salmon (slightly adapted from here)


1.5 lbs salmon fillets
2 tbsp fresh parsley, chopped
2 large or 3 small garlic cloves, pressed
1/2 tbsp Dijon mustard
1/2 tsp salt
1/8 tsp black pepper, freshly ground
2 tbsp light olive oil
2 tbsp of fresh lemon juice
lemon slices for topping


Preheat the oven to 450° F. Line rimmed baking sheet with foil.

In a small bowl, mix together: 2 tbsp parsley, 2-3 pressed cloves garlic, ½ tbsp Dijon, ½ tsp salt, ⅛ tsp pepper, 2 tbsp oil and 2 tbsp lemon juice.

Slice salmon into 4 portions and arrange them on a lined baking dish, keeping salmon skin-side-down.

Generously brush top and sides of salmon with sauce and top with fresh lemon slices.
Bake at 450°F for 12-15 min or until just cooked through and flaky. Don’t over-cook.

About Emily Wasserman

Bonjour! My name is Emily and I'm a writer based in St. Louis. I'm also a home baker with a small business, Amélie Bakery. I'm a self-proclaimed francophile and love French pastries and baking.
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