Happy Birthday to Me!

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In our family birthdays are a big deal and it is not because of the lavish gifts that we bestow upon each other.  I think that it is because of the care that goes into the celebration.  Take this weekend for example.  My birthday fell on a Friday which typically means that I have a longer break from my computer on some sunny patio with friends.  This year though we spent 2/3rds of the day on the road.  First driving in from Regina and then after a quick turn around right out to our beach house for the weekend.  Besides a salad that I ate in the car and a bowl of chicken soup that we shared with our grandbaby, there was not a lot of focus on food or merry-making.  But on Sunday afternoon, D scooted into the city early so he could start with supper preparations.

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He didn’t have any trouble knowing what meat would be the main, just how to prepare the pork chops that he knows that I love.

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In addition there were savoury grilled potatoes;

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my favourite grilled eggplant

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and also grilled zucchini and onions.

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Sister #3 contributed the salad and everyone loved it so much, that I am sharing the recipe here.

Birthday Salad
Author: 
Recipe type: Appetizer
Prep time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 8
 
Originally titled Winter Salad.
Ingredients
  • Dressing:
  • ½ c sugar
  • ⅓ c lemon juice
  • 2 t grated onion
  • 1 Dijon mustard
  • ½ t salt
  • ⅔ c canola oil
  • 1 T poppy seeds
  • Salad:
  • 1-2 heads romaine lettuce, torn
  • 4 oz. cubed Swiss cheese or other
  • 1 c cashews
  • ¼ c cranberries
  • 1 apple, cubed
  • 1 unpeeled pear, cubed
Instructions
  1. Mix dressing with a whisk. Makes lots. Use about half.
  2. Combine salad ingredients and toss with dressing.

All the food was lovingly prepared and The Frenchman picked up a banana log Jeanne’s cake which is my absolute favourite.  But the highlights of the weekend were the following:

  • Last year I was in Philadelphia for my birthday and although I love to travel to and dine out in various cities, my favourite spot at the end of May is the lake.  The smells of the forest, the surprising warmth of the beach, the new growth everywhere-I can’t get enough.  We live very simply at the beach house and it was only a year ago that we got an indoor biffy.  What a lovely treat when you are all sleepy and cozy from watching movies and drinking wine, to know that you don’t have to make the trek outside one last time before bed.
  • We got to take the Wee One as both J1 and J2 had commitments.  We were thrilled with how easily she just slipped into “lake” mode with us.  In the mornings when D an J1 are off playing tennis and J2 is catching up on some sleep, I walk with the Wee One for her hour nap.  She has this lovely chariot stroller that can be pushed on wet sand and so both mornings, we spent the time on the beach; she singing to herself and watching the birds and the water until she fell asleep and me just basking in the warmth and so happy that spring and the promise of summer had come again to the Canadian prairies.

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  • As is our tradition at a birthday dinner, everyone took a turn sharing what they loved about the birthday girl (me).  This is the most precious gift of all, not only because it is lovely to be in the spotlight every once in a while but because of the beautiful words that my family blessed me with.  Not only was our Mom and Sister #3 there to celebrate with us but Daughter #2 skyped in from Colombia where she is away studying.  Although we felt funny eating in front of her, she visited with us throughout our entire dinner!  I love technology when it brings people together.

In our home, we find something to celebrate most days or at the very least most weekends BUT birthdays are a special opportunity to give and receive love.  Make the most of every opportunity as birthdays also remind us that our days are finite.

Kath’s quote: “That outdoor grilling is a manly pursuit has long been beyond question. If this wasn’t firmly understood, you’d never get grown men to put on those aprons with pictures of dancing wienies and things on the front and messages like ‘Come ‘n’ Get It'”.-William Geist

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Love-that is all.

 

 

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