Birthdays are always very special in our house. I am happy to cook a magnificent meal of the celebrated’s choice, served at the dining room table with china, crystal and sterling. However, this year, my oldest son requested a surprise. Dinner was to be of my choosing, so here’s what I made:
A cheese board with a variety of cheeses, dried apricots and walnuts
Crab cake on a bed of Boston lettuce and organic watercress with chipotle mayonnaise (search this blog for the recipe)
Center cut pork chop with a grape and tarragon sauce (a Food and Wine recipe)
Homemade gnocchi with grated Parmigiano Reggiano cheese (a Food and Wine recipe) – this was divine!
Roasted asparagus with olive oil and fresh mint (my simple recipe)
Vanilla pots with fresh strawberries (a Mark Bittman recipe)
Our evening was just great – a special time for just us to catch up on each others lives, watch funny You Tube videos together and of course it ended with viewing the return of Mad Men.
You know, it’s always wonderful to do a special dinner for just your family. When the kids were young, we used to do this every Sunday night. My husband insisted on this tradition, saying that we often entertained our friends specially and why shouldn’t we do it just for us. It gave us a time to regroup before starting the week and taught the boys how to behave at an elegant dinner. The conversation was slower and more interesting, providing a time for all of us to unwind. I hope you do this with your family, creating wonderful stories and memories along the way.