Wednesday, August 11, 2010

The Party That Never Was... the Birthday Stories Continue...

One fine day, back in June, as I sat on the porch looking at my flowers, I had an image of a table set with my mother's linens - an array of wild, exotic colors that match and complement the flowers growing in abundance in containers all around us... or... an all neutral color scheme of white table settings and pillows with a score of white candles burning to set the mood or to just ward off mosquitoes... I liked the picture I had in my mind and decided it was definitely doable... only... we needed an occasion.  The whole family tends to tred reverently when it comes to my mother's linens, so I definitely needed to find an auspicious occasion  for such an indulgence and, find it I did... my birthday dinner... I was quite smitten with the idea and decided that we would be a big happy crowd of the whole family along with a few friends or neighbors.  It didn't quite turn out that way.. but still, I got my wish.

As it turned out, my husband wasn't able to come back from Turkey with us and my mom was extremely busy as she always is around this time of year rushing to get ready for her trade show in New York at the end of the week and the people I wanted to invite weren't available.  I did not let any of this dampen my enthusiasm and went on with my plans of a big birthday dinner for myself; I wanted to cook and eat at home and was determined to make a good show of it. 

Two days ago I asked my mother, Nuko of Nuko Creations, if she had six matching pillows that she could spare for the house; a definite advantage of living in such close proximity to a home textile designer; she came home from work last night with a bag full of such vibrantly colored pillows that they made me jump.  I ran outside to the deck to put them around the table but was a little deflated to find it so hot and humid that it would have been impossible to eat outside.  Having already baked the cake and cooked and prepared to my heart's content, I decided to play around a little bit.. the boys were still at the gym anyway... we had plenty of time. 

So, as my mother was setting the table for us to eat inside, I set my fantasy table outside.  The linens she had at home for our use were perfect with the pillows she had brought home, a very deliberate coincidence, I am sure... and of course there is always an abundance of  materials in any of her homes for hundreds of different table settings.  So I played around for a little bit, the heat making it almost impossible to linger for too long, and created the picture in my mind.  After taking a couple of pictures, I went in to enjoy the meal I had thoughtfully and lovingly prepared for my family. 

Everything from the guacamole I prepared for Hasan to the steamed vegetable salad my mom loves, to the cookies and cream ice cream for Murat and pistacio ice cream I bought for my father were all thought thorough with care.  And of course I baked a gluten-free chocolate cake for myself from a cake mix that my amazing husband had found for me some time ago.   (This is my classic cake that I have been making since 8th grade, that everyone, absolotely loves.Due to the consistent success of these ready cake mixes, I have never really learned how to make a cake from scratch; I will go to any length for any other recipe but I refuse to make a cake that may never live upto the results I get from this.)  My frosting for the cake was Jello instant pudding - in this case it was the sugar-free Cheesecake that turned out wonderful.  And it was topped with fresh strawberries and banana slices...yummm... Oh, and of course it went great with the three different kinds of Haagen Dazs ice cream. 

So I blew out another candle, my third so far, with my sons and my parents; I am taking my pink candles with me to LA to light them on my fourth cake and celebrate with my nephew, brother and sister-in-law tomorrow.  It will be Prometheus' first month and my 44th year - I can't think of a better reason for a celebration.

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