Every year the girls have birthdays, and although they always have a party with their friends, we naturally we want to celebrate with our immediate family as well in some way. When they were younger and everyone was far less busy, we had cousins of all ages come for big “kids” parties. But as the girls got older, and people got busier, it evolved into a new tradition with our immediate family – Dinners around the World.
We started one summer with A and have continued ever since! It’s been nice to have both sides of the in-town (or near-town) family over to sit and enjoy a festive meal. At each girls’ birthday, she picks a country to “visit” and I (we) make all the food from that area. We often also try to set up decorations – one year B made a zillion origami cranes for A’s visit to Japan and hung them all over the house! It was crazy!
So far the girls have visited Italy, Thailand, Japan, Vietnam, India – and now France. My personal favorite, because I so often cook French food, but the girls weren’t going to choose it for their “visit” because I make it all the time.
This will be B’s last “visit” dinner before she’s all off being College-y (*sniff*) and we’ll take the opportunity to evolve our tradition further, so I made a bit of an extra special effort. Pates, cheeses, baguettes. Wine, sparkling waters and lemonade. Goat cheese puffs and Escargot. Delicious salad with herbs and pomme frites. (Oh, my mouth is watering just typing this!!!) (How it is possible we’re not all 300lbs is beyond me). Sole Normand and Chicken Tarragon. Cauliflower gratin and Asparagus. Fresh fruit terrine with raspberry coulis and macaroons. Whew!
Three days of planning and cooking everything from scratch (I even had to MAKE my own almond flour), 1 hour to gobble it all up.
Younger daughter A still has about 3 Dinners around the World to go, then I’ll wait a few years before starting a new tradition with the boys. I’m sure there will be a way to tie it into their homeschooling too . And I leave myself wondering what I’d cook from Russia. Or Africa. Or … OHH! The possibilities are endless!
Happy #17, my dear B!