Saturday, March 13, 2010

Birthday Bash!

(Candles, decked out with rose rings, were part of the birthday bash table setting.)

Yesterday was my husband's birthday. Because he is such a special guy, I decided to have a birthday bash for him. It was lots of work on my part, but soooooo worth it.

Preparation actually started Thursday when I went out and bought ingredients. Thursday night I spent making homemade New England clam chowder and Sicilian vegetable soup, and a four layer French vanilla cake with penuche frosting from scratch. Unfortunately, I didn't wait for all the cake layers to cool long enough. When I put them one on top of the other, one in the middle cracked all the way to China.

Did you hear that blood curdling scream coming from my kitchen? So I had to disassemble the whole shebang, opened the back door, and threw out a sweet treat (the cracked layer) to the neighborhood squirrels. Boy, bet they called in reinforcements to help eat it. They probably thought they died and went to heaven. (By the way, does anyone know a humane way to get rid of squirrels? Sometimes I think our front lawn is their convention headquarters. Of course, throwing out a fresh cake layer with penuche icing is probably not the way to get rid of them, right? hmmmmm)

Went to Dollar Tree and got 10 lovely birthday balloons. They are a real steal there for $1 each! They add so much to a festive atmosphere.

Set the table and brought down lots of Easter decorations from the attic (oh, trust me, you'll be hearing about them in the next few days.)

(See the balloons bobbing in the dining room? The chandelier provided soft lighting to set the festive mood of the evening!)

Made a delicious Greek salad out of the Rachel Ray cookbook my daughter bought me for Christmas. It had a great dressing with lemon juice, olive oil, garlic, and a touch of allspice! I added a tad of sugar, too. That salad got scarfed and there was a heaping ton of it so guess it's safe to say the guests liked it. A lot!

Made another recipe out of the cookbook, too, namely, cheese tortellini with spinach/toasted walnut pesto. No kidding, it was great! Everyone seemed to love it.

Bought three dozen soft snowflake rolls at the supermarket, warmed them up in the oven, and served them with butter. Not a single roll was left (thank goodness).

So the birthday bash is now over. Kaputski. No one guessed the French vanilla cake with the penuche frosting was almost a washout and they ate every last crumb.

Had everyone sign my guest book,which, to me, is a great tradition. One can go back and read about events such as the birthday bash, long after they are over. Think I'll start putting down the menus, too. It will be interesting to look back and read what I cooked in the past when I'm too old to cook. I'll sit in a rocking chair near some fireplace and read my guest book from days gone by! Ha!

Nights like last night fill me with immense gratitude. First of all, I feel so blessed to have a really wonderful man for my husband. We've been through a lot together over the three-plus decades of marriage. I am also grateful to have been able to buy the ingredients for all the food and to have family and friends join us to eat it. Also, grateful to have a home in which to celebrate!

No one knows what the year ahead will bring but last night shone as bright as the birthday boy's candles and for that, my heart is thankful beyond words!



A New England Life said...

What a wonderful evening! You really put your heart and soul into it too. Don't you just hate when recipes mess up? I threw a pie crust against the wall once. LOL!

As for getting rid of the squirrels, I'd suggest investing in a squirrel trap. After you catch one you can just drive them to a local park or woods ... someplace a few miles away. We have done the same in the past with Chipmunks.

Hope your husband enjoyed his special day!


Linda said...

What a great birthday celebration. I love parties! Balloons do make it cheerful!

middle child said...

Your hubby is lucky to have you. Mine is lucky if I even bake a box cake. Anyway, the squirrel thing? Get a dog. Or maybe not. Ours messed up her ACL chasing one and that was like a 1500.00 surgery. Peace.

diane stetson said...

Oh happy day..wish I was there to celebrate with the birthday boy..but he was in my thoughts as all of you were! I know he appreciated everything you did for him Susan. xo

Anonymous said...

Aren't you a sweet wife. If you find out how to get rid of squirrels, could you let me know?

Adrienne said...

Beautiful party and the food sounds luscious. I would have moved the cracked layer to the bottom where the plate could support it.

Serving cake to your squirrels was a sweet gesture, though.

My birthday is New Year's Eve so I just sit back and watch the whole world celebrate it.

I get a whole day shopping trip to all my favorite stores and hubby has to come along and not complain. Guess who ends up having all the fun and buying "stuff?" Last year I bought nothing and hubby filled the trunk from Big Lots, TJ Maxx, Ross, and Michael's (mostly with decor items.) But the fun is just hanging out together and having coffee somewhere.

On his birthday he gets his "druthers" on the menu. We don't do the party thing.

Susan J. Reinhardt said...

Congrats to your hubby! I love your guest book tradition. Wouldn't that be a nice Bridal Shower gift?

Susan :)

Susan said...

Hi Sharon! Hi Linda! Hi Middle Child! Hi Di! Hi Rosie! Hi Adrienne! Hi Susan! Loved seeing each of you visited while I was out in the freezing cold rain going to a moving sale! Got a goregous brand new crystal bowl from Ireland, though, as well as a few other incidentals.

Thanks so much for stopping by and commenting. When I get back to the computer and check my blog, I always go "YIPPPPPEEEEEE" when I see someone commented. So see? You all made my day! Take care and please come back soon! Sincerely, Susan

Carolyn said...

Hi Susan,
It sounds like a great party for your husband-all the food looks good and it is good to be thankful for all we have!

Susan said...

Hi Carolyn! You are so right. It is SO good to be thankful for all things, large and small. Thanks for visiting and commenting. Sincerely, Susan

Chatty Crone said...

Happy birthday to your wonderful husband. You really threw him a nice party.

Be caredful not to feed the squirrels too close to home. lol They may want to come in.

So you have a guestbook that you use for when your have guests over - that is a cool idea.

Sincerely, sandie

Susan said...

Hi Sandie...Yah. I've kept a guestbook for years and years. It's fun to go back and see who came to visit, when, and why! Like I said, think I'll start adding the menu of the event, as well. You KNOW I don't want the squirrels inside OR outside. Just read one humane way to keep them from eating your bulbs is to crush up habanero or hotter peppers and put them around your plants. The little bushy tails DISLIKE hot things to eat. That just might be a solution, come spring! Take care, Sandie, and thanks for stopping by. Sincerely, Susan

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