Today is Mum’s 93rd birthday, and we gave her a lunch party here at home. We invited our lovely friend Margaret, and at the last moment, my cousin – she phoned the other night and offered to come over to celebrate Mum’s birthday and bring a meal! I told her we were already doing a meal and she’d be more than welcome to come and join us.
We didn’t tell Mum she was coming, so it would be a surprise. I gave Mum a lovely bunch of flowers that I bought yesterday, and then another beautiful bunch arrived via Interflora from my sister, and along with the choccies and fudge, she was already feeling fairly spoilt. When my cousin arrived, I went in to Mum’s annexe and said, “I’ve got another really special birthday present for you,” and made her shut her eyes, and in came my cousin, and she said “Happy Birthday!” and Mum opened her eyes and couldn’t believe what she was seeing!
I was really pleased with how all the preparations went. The only way I can manage to do this sort of thing is in stages! I went in and laid the table this morning, and fortunately Mum didn’t notice that I’d laid 5 places instead of 4!
For the starter, we had smoked salmon and some thinly-sliced bread from the bread maker – my own recipe, half wholemeal and half white flour, with added sunflower and pomegranate seeds. Yesterday afternoon, while drinking a cup of tea and watching some Star Trek on TV, I made the rose garnishes from tomato skins.
This is the group – our friend on the left, then my hubby, then Mum with her back to the window, and finally my cousin.
Our friend brought a bottle of bubbly which we enjoyed before we ate.
After this I got a bit carried away and forgot about taking photos, so there’s no photo of the tarragon chicken casserole I made, which is probably just as well, because when I made it the other day, I left it to simmer, and went through and sat down, and went right off to sleep for an hour, so it had too long cooking, which made the meat break up too much! Nobody minded though, because it did taste pretty good! I prepared far too many vegetables and a vast quantity of mashed potato, so it will be bubble and squeak for us tomorrow!
By the time I remembered the camera, we’d made major inroads into the sticky toffee pavlova, but here is what’s left!
Though I say it myself, it was delicious. In my opinion this is the best pudding in the whole world.
After coffee I showed our friend round the house while my cousin chatted with Mum and my hubby had a rest – he’s really tired at the moment as he’s been extremely busy with work. Our friend hadn’t seen the house since before we moved and the builders were just starting, and she was amazed at the transformation, and loved everything she saw! She was amazed that we had done so much, and found it hard to believe we’d only been in six months. After she left, I took my cousin up to my ARTHaven so she could see what I was up to with the teabags – she was here not that long ago and had seen around the house then. She makes beautiful cards and sells them in their local shop, and we always have lots to talk about, crafty-wise. She always goes away armed with various web addresses which I have shared with her because they have so inspired me! I also showed her the (slow!) progress I am making on Dad’s album, and we chatted a bit about our sewing machines – the spare part for mine still hasn’t arrived so it will be at least another week till I get it back.
It was a truly lovely day, and the only thing that wasn’t perfect was the weather – yesterday was such a beautiful day and it made the garden look its best, and today was grey and overcast with a bit of rain.
Mum has had a lovely birthday, and when I said goodnight to her tonight, I asked her how it felt to be 93, and she said, “Oh, don’t mention it! I wonder how many more birthdays I shall have?” I said, “Exactly. That’s why we have to make every one count!” Today she has felt really spoilt, and enjoyed sharing the day with her special friend and her family!