Monday, May 30, 2016

Lobster? Rhubarb? It must be a spring-time birthday

It isn't that we don't like the month of May; we definitely do. It's just that when it's over, we're surprised and thankful that we've survived it once again.

Just to remind you, here are the cards that have ended up on our mantelpiece over the past month:

Here's a different view, same cards:

And here's one, with Grizzly "helping" because cats always "help" in these situations:

We started with Mother's Day on May 8. We celebrated my birthday on May 14 — a lovely birthday.

We marked our 28th wedding anniversary on May 26 with a low-key enjoyable celebration.

And as the calendar ticked down, it was Dan's birthday yesterday. It was a milestone birthday and we had special friends join us to make a simple party fun and memorable.

Valerie tried to get Dan to make a speech; he didn't but he was gracious about it.

(Photo by Valerie Mansour)

Friends Claude (Goulet), Lynn (Stewart) and Douglas (Blackmore) listened politely.

(Photo by Valerie)

We had lots of cheese and paté and olives and crackers and some of Chuck Hughes' no-knead bread but even when you're keeping things simple, if you tell people there will be lobster rolls, that becomes the high point. Because I always like to have things done in advance, I spread the making of the lobster roll filling over a couple of days. Shelling the lobster is the most time-consuming so I shelled a bit on Friday and a bit on Saturday. It's hard work but someone has to do it.

The lobster rolls were do-it-yourself. Here's Lynn.

And while everyone likes a lobster roll, I thought the cake would be well-received also. It was made (by me) with luscious fresh rhubarb that Valerie brought from Amherst. Valerie is very generous with rhubarb throughout the season and it's become an annual challenge to come up with new recipes to enjoy the tart treat. We've made cakes and crisps and crumbles. We've made chutneys and savoury sauces and muffins. We've made jams and jellies. Pies, of course.

This was the latest creation:

William did the honours and we all sang lustily.

(That's William and I and Cousin Dale — photo by Valerie.)

And Dan took care of the candles:

He did a lovely job of cutting and serving:

Valerie seemed to enjoy her cake and Ann (Roman) opted for take-out. She was going to take her cake to work for lunch the next day.

And that's about it. It was a joyous occasion and I know we were all happy to fête Dan on his birthday. After the guests left, he decided that he might as well finish the Prosecco — a sparkling wine — because if he didn't, it would go flat. Then he listened to La Traviata from the Metropolitan Opera and he listened to it nice and loud.

So with the month of May once again behind us, we have a good six months to prepare for the next family birthday when William turns 22 in November.

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