Thursday, July 28, 2011

Let Them Eat Cake

Today, we hosted a birthday dinner for our youngest daughter, Michele.  Her birthday was July 21, so getting her birthday dinner on the calendar within one week of the date was pretty darn good.  (Contrast that with the fact that we celebrated Tracy's birthday in January this year - and her birthday was July 22, 2010!!!!)

Ever since they were young, the girls have been allowed to choose the menu for their birthday dinner.  I always worried about lobster taste/hamburger pocketbook, but the closest we got to a "lobster" request was Tracy's love for shrimp which developed when she was in junior high.  Shrimp dishes come in lots of different varieties, so pocketbook sticker shock wasn't too bad.  Colleen and Michele were more traditional ... chicken dishes or tacos with corn on the cob, etc.

Michele became a vegetarian during high school (studying about trichynosis in biology did her in), so I don't have to worry about her choosing lobster.  Her birthday dinner now consists of a lot of "sides" that she can eat, along with a meat that she knows the rest of us like.  The last couple of years, it's been "kabobs."  Emily and Nathan love special event eating so kabobs are right up their alley.  However, when Grandpa Ed is involved, practicality rules, and so "kabobs" become trays of meat and vegetables cooked on the grill and then dumped into a big bowl for serving and enjoying.  Not quite the traditional visual image of "kabobs" that most people picture, but, Michele, being the good mom she is, lovingly threaded vegetables and meat onto skewers for Nathan, artistically alternating vegetables and meat on the stick.

Strawberry shortcake ala Sornsen
Dessert for Michele her entire life has been angel food cake.  When she was younger, it was confetti angel food with pink buttercream frosting.  However, maturity brought a move to "plain white" with no frosting.  Not crazy about ice cream, but bowing to tradition, she acquiesced to having vanilla on hand for anyone who might want to indulge.  The kids love strawberries and whipped cream with their angel food cake, but they like each food separate ... not stacked on top of each other.  Being an accommodating grandma (have you noticed?), I wanted to make sure they got what they wanted, and they did ...

Michele and Terry recently bought a beautiful new camper and so her birthday wish list consisted of things you can use while camping ... a picnic basket, gift certificate to camping world, folding lawn chair that you can carry as a backpack, etc.  A couple of those found there way to her birthday dinner ...  here's Michele all decked out for a picnic on the beach!  By the way, she was especially happy to discover the lawn chair has a cup holder ... must be to hold those Sweet Tea Vodkas that she's particularly fond of.  Happy camping, Mick!  We love you.

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