Monday, March 06, 2006

65 Candles

On Saturday March 4th, 2006 I gave my husband Larry a 65th birthday party. Now that in itself is special, but this was his first ever birthday party not work related--obligated to attend--type of celebration.

We spent the week planning, shopping and cooking. A few changes to the menu and we were ready except for a last minutes trip to the store for ice.

Thirty-two of our friends arrived at 5:30 PM to begin an evening of appetizers, dinner, and lots of laughter. The first mistake was assuming that we had enough beer. The last two or three parties we have had leftover beer that I wound up feeding to my plants, which of course they like. So being the good friends they are, Mike and Cis went off on a beer run, just like teenagers.

The ladies of course were content to sip a wide variety of wines we had or some of the many bottles that friends brought, as well as two special libations that Lilly and Barb brought to share.

We brought out the first course of appetizers at 5:30 with nuts, chips and dip, vegetables and dip, chicken wings, marinated Ritz cheese crackers, crab dip with crackers, and porcupine meatballs in gravy. The guests dug in.

At 6:00 we served up crustless quiche, red pepper aioli with crackers, stuffed mushrooms, pigs in a blanket with mustard sauce, bbq sauce, and sweet and spicy oriental sauce. The guests spent more time at the tables digging in to the food.

At 6:30 when we started to served Jamaican shrimp, pizza, and cheese and cilantro quesadillas they couldn’t believe there was more food to come or that they could handle it all.

Our friends were enjoying themselves and feeling pretty full when we began serving mozzarella chicken, spinach salad with feta cheese and dried cranberries, risotto with vegetables, and garlic bread. Most people had assumed wrong that all the appetizers were the light dinner I had advertised in the party invitation. Surprise! I told everyone that they could eat it now or take it home, their choice. The evening was young and most eventually found their appetites again leaving only a small amount of leftovers.

Hot coffee and four desserts followed: French chocolate flourless cake with ganache and whipped cream, a three layer chocolate cake, white cake with raspberry filling and white butter cream frosting, and a biscotti and amaretto torte.

The best part of the evening for me was seeing my husband among his friends laughing and talking. Larry’s study was a warm cozy spot to talk and a visual art gallery with ducks, fishing, and Harley art covering all the wall space. Several of the ladies discovered my art studio and spent their time exploring my altered books and paintings. Some people moved from room to room visiting with everyone, some found a comfortable place and pretty much stayed put, and others just seem to enjoy being in the middle of everything, my kitchen.

I put “no gifts” on the invitation so there were lots of thoughtful cards for Larry, some meant to bring laughter, and two very creative people drew pictures of Larry as a SASS shooter and Larry with his hunting dog, Deuce.

I love our group of friends and feel fortunate to call each one a friend. On the way out the door Dave asked if we could do it all over again next week. Well maybe not next week and maybe a little more casual, but definitely again and we won’t wait for a birthday to do it.

Thanks to all our friends for making this birthday party a special evening.

Happy Birthday to you Larry and many more.

Love me
Forever and ever
Body and soul

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