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There are birthdays and then there are BIRTHDAYS!!

This was a BIRTHDAY!! and not even a milestone year.Four young adults cooking in a kitchen

First of all, all four of them (my two sons and their girlfriends) planned, shopped and made the complete dinner, fire in the fireplace, and Polish style entertainment, plus an awesome gift this past Saturday.
Mary Frances totally surprised, receiving her KitchenAid gift.

I got a KITCHENAID!!!!

A beautiful blue one that looks so pretty sitting on my counter upstate.

Remember when I was trying to win one? Well I have a confession to make. I have a white one but we keep it in the NYC apartment and then when I want to bake upstate, we haul it up and then haul it back. So I wanted to win one to be able to have it in both places.  I know it’s a bit spoiled but hey, I do like to use it. So now, no more of that. I have a big beautiful blue one sitting on the counter there. Yipee!!

The way they gave it to me was so great. I had come in from working in my studio while all of them were in the kitchen cooking and they said, “ Mom, your birthday present is here in the kitchen, you just have to find it.” At first, I walked right near it but with all of the commotion going on, I didn’t notice because they put it in the place where my white one was all through the holiday. Then when I saw the beautiful blue machine, I literally screamed! What nice, thoughtful kids!! I am so, so lucky.

And here’s what they made for dinner.
Roasted eggplant salsa with Parmesan pita chips with a straight-up martini.

Roasted eggplant salsa, Asian style, served with Parmesan pita chips and my martini!
Pernil finished on the grill on a board ready to serve.

Pernil – Puerto Rican style pork shoulder, slow roasted in the oven and finished on the grill.
Dinner plate with peril, sautéed kale and Swiss chard with Jasmine rice and black eyed peas.

Jasmine rice with saffron, black eyed peas, (from dried), onions and green peppers along with sauteed Swiss chard and kale in olive oil with garlic and white wine.
Homemade shortbread cookies topped with Polish hazelnut chocolate chunks.

Shortbread cookies with Polish chocolate hazelnut chunks on top.

EVERYTHING was sooooo delicious!!!

After appetizers and cocktails we had their entertainment portion of the evening. We celebrated the Feast of St. Andrew  – Andrzejki  – as it is called in Polish. Always celebrated on November 29 or the 30th,  depending on what region in Poland you are from as it is either celebrated on the day or the eve. You melt wax and pour it through a hollow key handle into a bowl of cold water. The wax solidifies while you douse some more water on it. You then take the wax shape that forms and look at its shadow and interpret it. It is a prediction for the upcoming year. Mine was my face, Steve’s face in glasses and Australia. Steve’s was emu – an animal native to Australia.
Feast of St. Andrew celebration from Poland. Birthday celebration - wax of me from Nov 30, 2013 Birthday celebration - Australia from Nov 30, 2013

Maureen!!! – here we come!!!

These kids did so much work to make an awesome birthday celebration for me. Besides planning the menu, shopping and cooking, they went to ten places to find the keys with holes in the handle and finally found them in an antique store in Millerton.
Wax shapes and keys for the feast of St. Andrew celebration.

Here are all of our wax shapes.

It is great to be loved!