A Sentiment

God knew what He was doing when He sent a gentle breeze and brought a lovely butterfly to set my heart at ease. The happiness of your friendship and the gentleness of your words have touched my life in special ways and now I feel assured. Thank you for your loyalty and for reading everyday. I only hope you find things to make a happy day.

Monday, March 28, 2011

A Cooking Lesson, Birthday Celebration, and Spaghetti and Marshmallows

Sunday was the day for a big family gathering. It was decided to celebrate at our house, so Joe could give Dan and Melody a cooking lesson. Dan loved fried peppers, like his family made years ago. It is a recipe handed down through generations of Sicilian family members. Joe learned from his Grandma and wanted to pass it on to his son. We decided to make them at our birthday party, so everyone could taste them. Joe started cutting up the vegetables before they came. He had onions and peppers started by the time they got here. Dan and Mel finished up and they started to put things together. I put the recipe in my blog awhile back, so I won't tell it now. Here it is with the master chef (Joe) giving it a stir.
Dan and Mel are still chopping. What beautiful color. The younger kids tasted it too. We served it with bakery Italian bread. Some of them made sandwiches out of it.

Now we get on to the celebration. Joe and I both have birthdays in March. Just a few days apart, so we always celebrate together. This was not a party with a lot of plans. My kids are mostly vegetarians, so they brought the rest of the meal. My daughter started cooking her famous vegetarian chili at 4:30 AM. She planned for us all to have chili dogs. The dogs were veggie dogs...pretty good I would say. She brought fresh strawberries and cream. The boys and I took turns whipping the cream. They were surprised when their old Grandma took that whip and really let go with vigorous beating. They were a little wimpy with their beating skills. When their arms were tired, I brought out the little hand mixer. I just thought that they needed a little exercise :) Now, we get to the next part. Son, John, brought the birthday cake and to top it all a dozen subway sandwiches. What a conglomeration of food! Fried peppers, chili veggie dogs, strawberries and cream and subway sandwiches. Of course, I couldn't have them here without cooking something. My contribution was deviled eggs, shrimp and cocktail sauce, and a veggie pizza. It's a good thing that we all have stomachs of iron...I guess we could have called it A TASTE OF BYRON right here in my kitchen.
We ate a little bit of everything and then cut into that big chocolate cake. Don't forget the strawberries and cream on the side. Joe and I and Collin looking on. We could only find three candles. Glad we didn't put on for every year...it would have caused a fire.
The kids are admiring the cake. They were still hungry...most everyone had dessert. Here is the back of Xoie's head and grandson Tyler looking on.
My daughter LuAnn, is elusive, when it comes to picture taking...She has always shied away from the camera. Here is a side view of her, and then my grandson Collin and I must have had my finger in the frosting...licking my lips.
We went into the living room and opened gifts. Melody is on the floor saving the tissue paper. We are recyclers. Now it wouldn't be a birthday party without some party games. My kids have always loved games. We played lots of games, when they were growing up, endless games of Uncle Wlggley and Candy Land. They still love games today.
I read about a game on Britt's post from Norway...http://brittarnhildshouseinthewoods.typepad.com/ She posted pictures of her daughter, Marta, and friends building towers with spaghetti and marshmallows. I quickly emailed Britt and asked her for information. She was kind enough to email back so quickly...the original post from her archives. I went to the store and bought a couple of pkgs. of thick pasta and a couple of bags of marshmallows. The following pictures show what fun we all had building these towers. Tyler won for the tallest one. It's really fun to do and thank you Britt, so much, for getting back to me so promptly. This is fun for all ages, and it takes a lot of time, so if you are entertaining at a kids birthday party...this would be fun for them to do. Think how you could change it up...mini colored marshmallows and pasta.
Here is my son, John, sitting back and looking very proud of his creation.
Tyler the serious builder...he thought that there was a prize. Grandma didn't think of that.
It was a great day. After the cleanup and just relaxing in my chair...I thought about family and what they all mean to me. My kids and Joe's are such a great bunch of kids. Our grandchildren and great grandchildren are the bonuses in our lives. I think that Clyde and I... and Joe and Sonja did a good job bringing up these kids. It never fails...they come through for birthdays and other holidays and just visits.....and they've been here when we've needed them during health issues...whether they live close by or live far away...they have been here for us. Well, Joe is 75 and I will be 73 on Thursday. We just had a celebration to remember.



Wsprsweetly Of Cottages said...

My gosh...what a neat game...I would never have thought of something like that. THAT is going to be something we do at our next get together. My family will love it. :):)

Wsprsweetly Of Cottages said...

p.s. And..I am right in between. I will be 75 this coming October...and not at all sure I how I feel about it. Grateful I'm still breathing? We've had some difficult health issues, haven't we? Yes..that is exactly how I feel. Grateful! Tell Joe Happy Birthday!...and I will see YOU on Thursday! :) Hugs!

One Woman's Journey said...

what a wonderful celebration. thank you for sharing.
the game I will remember when my little ones visit.
Happy Birthday to you and Joe..
In October I will be a couple of years older then you.
Do not feel like it - but then how am I suppose to feel.

Gatsbys Gardens said...


This looks like a wonderful day, great food and lots of fun.


acorn hollow said...

Happy birthday the food looks yummy and the game looks like fun,.

Anonymous said...

Hi Balisha, I think it is great that you and Joe get to celebrate together. Happy, happy birthday to you both. Your party looks like so much fun and you have some talented family members when it comes to cooking and to building towers from marshmellows! That looks like so much fun.All the food looked wonderful. I am enjoying your painting so much and think of you often when I look at it.