Our Jack adores my mother and it makes us laugh because Jack just throws himself on top of my mother without asking a by your leave or anything. My mother likes dogs but more from afar than right up close and personal and Jack isn’t very perceptive to my mother’s reticence. It is so very adorable. We came to New York to celebrate our son’s birthday and hence Jack’s presence. Jack might adore my mother, but he still prefers his backyard in Blandford.
23 years ago at 11:41 a.m our son was born. He had a rocky journey into the world, but we were so overjoyed by his arrival. The poor guy had a black eye and a broken collar bone. We were so in love with him.
Fast forward 23 years and I made him veal scallopini with a lemon butter sauce, sautéed green beans with garlic and we bought him an ice cream cake which he isn’t eating but I am!
Today I am 47 years old. I know that I should not complain, the alternative is so much worse. Cameron Diaz said it extremely well “growing old is a privilege” so I am privileged today.
It is amazing to me what seeing the signs of getting old does to one’s inner dialogue, it raises all sorts of questions. I am often thinking of what does it mean to age and what does wisdom have to do with it, if one gets more open to ideas or more closed off? I hope that I stay open to new ideas and new styles, I don’t want to close myself off from new trends, that wouldn’t be any fun.
I wish that my memories didn’t feel as if they were rapidly fading and that I could remember more things crisply and in color, instead of the sepia toned memories that I am still luckily clinging on to or perhaps my failing memory bank is simply a symptom of menopause, I hope so because that means that as soon as I am done with the menopause, my brain will start to work again. I am keeping my fingers crossed on that one.
Late last night after midnight, I got to open my cards and my presents; I got so spoiled for my birthday. My cards were very funny and also very sweet. I love cards, they show that someone took the time to find something just right to wish you a joyful feeling, just the act of looking means a lot.
I love all of my presents; my gorgeous new handbag, my spiffy M&M lounge pants and my beautiful white shirt. I am incredibly lucky and privileged to add another year under my belt and to have such a wonderful family to celebrate it with, life is truly wonderful.
Today was my husband’s birthday and I hope that he had a nice one. He asked for a bouquet of love which I was more than happy to go harvest from the backyard.
We went golfing with my husband’s cousin and his son. I didn’t play, I watched because I was way too exhausted, but my impression of golf was that it is really, really hard to play. There are so many different strokes that you have to master, so many ways to hit the ball and too many variations in terrain. Watching the three of them play definitely impressed golf’s difficulty in my head. John, our cousin hit a sign and made a huge dent.
Finally, when we got home, I rushed around to get the two remaining pizza doughs rolled out and assembled with sauce, cheese and other toppings and into the oven. I am not sure what happened, the only thing that I can think of is that the dough being at rest for so long, maybe needed to be kneaded some more or it needed more flour, because for the first time, both pizzas stuck to the pizza grate. However did that unfortunate hiccup stop us from devouring the pizzas? No, it didn’t.
I was a little stressed with the pizzas being stuck, but no one cared, we dug in however we could and honestly the pizzas tasted really good.
I hope that my husband had a good day.
My sister hosted my mother’s birthday party yesterday at her house, she lives in Westchester, New York. The four of us drove to my sister’s house, a roundtrip ride and I brought the birthday cake; my mother’s favorite dessert of all time cheesecake!.
I remember, during my teenage years, making cheesecake very often for my mother; constantly experimenting with different recipes, eternally looking for the perfect cheesecake. It only took practically 3 decades and it actually was my husband who found the perfect recipe: here it is
What I have found over time is to heed the cooking times; when I inadvertently left it in longer, the cheesecake wasn’t as creamy as when I adhered to the time specified n the recipe.
We had such a lovely time celebrating my mother’s birthday. My sister had a great menu, Vietnamese themed, we had summer rolls and the Vietnamese sandwich Banh Mi. That was fun because my sister had set up a buffet and we all got to make our own rolls; my niece and nephew are huge fans of the summer roll. My poor nephew was feeling under the weather, but even sick, he is very entertaining. My niece was out and about roller-blading, but she came in when necessary, at food time. The Vietnamese sandwiches were easy to make and quite tasty; my sister and I assembled them together. She had two long baguettes warmed up in the oven and we split them in half, took out the insides to leave room for the filling, brushed the insides with a dressing of oil, fish sauce and soy sauce, then we spread a French pate, added a layer of rotisserie chicken, a slaw of daikon and carrots, sliced onion, and lettuce, my sister cut the baguettes into 4 inch sandwiches and we dug in, they were excellent sandwiches.
Dessert time came and we had the cheesecake, my mother was very happy, I left the rest of the cheesecake and I am sure that my mother made it a point to bring some home with her so that she could have cheesecake for breakfast. Cheesecake for breakfast is a very good idea; you have the eggs, cream cheese and sour cream, what isn’t good for you in that mix?
Actually, when my sister offered to wrap up some cheesecake for us to take home, I sheepishly admitted that when I made the one for our mother, I had made another one for us and it was waiting for us back home in our refrigerator. I did it for the kids and my husband, they are huge fans of the cheesecake.
I highly recommend trying the cheesecake recipe, it hasn’t let me down, not once.
You’re 12 years old. It’s your birthday. Write for ten minutes on that memory. GO.
Why couldn’t it be 13? I can’t for the life of me remember my twelfth birthday so therefore I am making an executive and I will share my memories of my thirteenth birthday, trust me it was a good one.
My mother is the baby of the family so I have older cousins and that can be a very good thing at times. One of my oldest cousins Martine, who is fourteen years older than I, was married and had a baby, she lived near Marseilles in France and for four years running, during my teenage years, she would take in myself, my little sister and her younger sister and brother for a period of six weeks. Can you imagine spending six weeks near the French Riviera when you are a teenager? It was glorious. It was a family affair and my cousin Martine spoiled us, she cooked these special meals and there were fun parties on the weekends with her husband’s business colleagues/friends.
My birthday, Martine and her husband decided, was a perfect excuse for a big party. Did I mention that Martine’s house was right on the Mediterranean, her backyard led right to the private beach and the Sea. We always ate on the terrace and the Mediterranean was right there in all of her glory. Those years were idyllic.
Anyway, the presents were standout one of my favorite presents ever received; the Tommy album by The Who and the Rubik’s Cube. I played my Tommy album ever day for what felt like forever and I played with my Rubik’s cube everyday until I solved it, three months later. I still have it in my bedroom, right on the mantle of the fireplace. Martine made my favorite dessert at the time, homemade rice pudding, on top of all of the other things she was making for the party. Our other cousin Didier was also staying with us and he is the family favorite; he should be a comedian, he is so funny. At every family gathering we all try to make sure that we are within hearing distance to Didier because you are always guaranteed to laugh, outright belly laugh when he gets going.
We ate, we drank, we laughed and we danced. That was one of the best birthday party’s ever in my memory.
Write a post inspired by your sixteenth birthday.
It was August 7th 1983, my sister and I woke up in the hotel right off St Mark’s Piazza in Venice, Italy. I was very excited because here I was 16 and in Venice, one of the most intriguing cities that I had ever visited then and even now. The gondolas, the canals everywhere, the bridges leading one here and there and the works of art littering the entire city, literally turning your head to the left or to the right and BAM! a work of art. It was heady, spending my birthday in Italy surrounded by beauty and history with my family. I wonder if it means more to me today then it did thirty years ago; I don’t know because I distinctly remember feeling happy, anticipatory and excited on that day, walking around Venice with my parents and my sister. I was wondering what my present was going to be besides being in this glorious city. We took a ride on one of the gondolas and our gondolier was charming and very funny, he dropped us off somewhere and I think that it was at the restaurant that we had a spectacular meal with waiters wearing white gloves and the food was top notch, I remember enjoying everything and I remember my parents raving about how superb the cuisine was and that they had never had Italian cuisine at this level of expertise and talent. I don’t remember any desserts during this time in Venice which is surprising because at 16 years of age and my sister being 12, we were big fans of dessert so I don’t know how I can’t remember any dessert whatsoever but I don’t, maybe we didn’t have any to write home about, I’m not sure. I do know that we had fantastic pasta dishes and one really great calzone. What really stuck in my head was the walking, there was something to see at every turn, Venice was a visual feast and I hope to be able to go and revisit that grand city. The Italian sailors were definitely something, I remember I was wearing a very pretty white dress and a handsome Italian sailor caught my eye or I caught his, either way my mother put a kibosh on that one very, very quickly. I walked with my head turned the wrong way trying to keep eye contact with him for as long as I could, I’m surprised that I didn’t walk into something or someone. Lastly that evening my parents gave me my present and it was a lovely ivory bracelet with gold thread woven around the bracelet, I felt so grown up wearing it, I wore it for a long time afterwards. I treasure all of my memories surrounding my 16th birthday and that entire trip.
As I am typing these words, my iPad is showing the time to be 11:39, in two minutes twenty two years ago, our baby born was born at 11:41 a.m. Those numbers are emblazoned in my mind, the clock was right in front of me it seemed. It was 36 hours of hard back labor and 11:41 was the minute that I felt him liberated from my body and then silence. I asked why isn’t my baby crying and more silence, finally there was a cry and he was whisked away as was I, to a room with the nurse taking care of me. Eventually they brought our baby boy to me and I nursed him, my mother was there as was my hubby. My hubby had been with me the entire time as was the entire hospital, or so it felt like it. At one point I had two midwives, two nurses and a bunch of student nurses, Saint Vincent’s hospital was a teaching hospital so I guess my case was more interesting than others for the length, pain and natural aspect of it all. We went completely natural, which somewhere in the throes of pain I asked my hubby for something, anything to take the pain away. During those seemingly eternal hours of pain, I felt out of my mind with pain, I couldn’t formulate a single coherent thought, word, or anything, I felt reduced to instinct and animal feeling. So I begged him to go out to seventh avenue and find me anything that would take the pain away. He nodded and didn’t move, lol. Mother Nature is miraculous in her ability to release amnesiac chemicals in women’s brains that make them forget exactly how labor goes because women do it again. I have to say that the end result is completely and stupendously worth it. My hubby and I fell in love with our beautiful baby boy, the minute that he was a bump in my belly. We talked to him and used to watch him do his acrobatics in my belly, that was part of the problem in the delivery, he had tangled himself up with the cord because of his shenanigans, the little dynamo. He spent three days in neo-natal, all nine and a half pounds of him. After that he and I were inseparable, I was his food and he was hungry all the time, he grew it seemed exponentially, he eventually got the nickname the Michelin man. He had all of the rolls that make babies so cute and you want to just nibble on them. Now today he is a grown twenty two year old young man. Time flies incredibly fast, I remember his birth as if it were yesterday. It is truly amazing. Happy Birthday baby boy!
Part of the reason for our New York weekend was to celebrate our baby boy’s birthday, since he will be turning 22 during this week, we wanted to celebrate together as a family and weekends are the best time for those. It still amazes me that my hubby and I have a son who is 22 and a daughter who is 19. However no matter how adult they think that they are, they still get all excited for their birthdays, they are so cute with their excitement. Our baby boy had a few requests for his birthday dinner; my brother-in-law face-booked him with questions as to what he wanted, since we were having the dinner at my sister’s house. First our son wanted the usual as a starter; rillettes de saumon (salmon spread) and then he picked roast beef, he asked for string beans, his favorite and my mother decided to get some tiny Yukon Gold potatoes to roast in the oven at the same time as the roast. Now for the best part, the baby boy asked for cheesecake, I didn’t have the time to make it at home so my mother went to our favorite patisserie La Cannelle to buy it.
When we got to my sister’s house the first thing that we all did was introduce ourselves and Jack to the newest member of my sister’s family, Harry their puppy. Harry is a rescue puppy, a mix of Retriever and either Beagle or Basset Hound, he is 8 months old and he is adorable. He is a little on the shy side and he and Jack played outside for a while and at first it was all play until it wasn’t and Jack felt it necessary to lay down the law. He didn’t like Harry sniffing at his backside and he made it known loud and clear. My brother-in-law and sister were really understanding about Jack putting his foot down, I was feeling as if Jack should have been more understanding but I realize that I was projecting unreasonable expectations onto our little Jack, a dog, not a human. They had some time in different rooms and then we they were reunited, it was all back to nicey-nice and sniffing and being together.
When we got around to the food, the roast wasn’t just any roast, it was a standing rib roast, all majestic and such, quite a sight to behold when it was pulled from the oven. The string beans and the potatoes were beautifully prepared and the juices that came with the rib roast were so delicious. When the rib roast was carved and brought to the table, it was mouth watering to look at, the slices were all cooked to rare to medium-rare and they were so tender. My niece and my nephew were watching the baby boy dip his bread into the accumulated juices on the platter which just happened to look like blood and they decided that they wanted to do the same so they kept asking the baby boy to dip their pieces of bread into the blood. My nephew was saying out loud and proud, blood tastes real good. It was funny, our little man has the gift of making everyone laugh. After a nice salad and great cheeses, dessert was served. We ate our cheesecake though we had one criticism, it was too sweet for our palettes, and like I said, it didn’t stop us from eating it.
We had such a wonderful dinner, I think that the baby boy was very happy with the weekend all around. I do have one thing to say, our Jack is sooooooooo happy being home. He is caput on the couch and probably will be tomorrow as well.