Wednesday, October 12, 2005

Planning the Birthday Dinner

The Composer's father has a birthday in mid-October and somehow we have fallen into the routine of serving an elaborate Birthday Dinner for him for the last few years. It is fun to plan and cook for--I get to be as extravagant as I want with ingredients, recipes, etc., as it is really the only gift we give him. He and his wife are well off and not likely to be in need of anything we could wrap up, but he really does enjoy being the guest of honor at this feast.

October is a lovely time of year to have a dinner party--still lots of good produce, but the weather is cool, so rich foods are not out of place. We have set the table outside on mild autumn nights, lit with lots of candles in hurricane glasses. The faces around the table look even more beautiful lit by candlelight and moonlight.

I think this year we will have:

•Grilled mushrooms filled with bacon and Brie, on a bed of alfala sprouts

•Beef Tenderloin or Standing Rib Roast
•Garlic roasted potatoes
•Steamed broccoli with lemon
•Angel biscuits

•Salad of mixed greens and herbs with balsamic vinaigrette

•Butterscotch Layer Cake with Fresh Pear Slice Garnish

The Composer's father is a lovely man. He is unfailingly courteous and respectful and affectionate--a wonderful father-in-law. It's a pleasure to help make his birthday special. And, as Clara says, finally, we're having a dinner with courses!

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