Yes, I love birthdays.

Happy Birthday, Dad! ūüėÄ

Know what I love most about family birthday parties? ¬†Well—I mean—aside from the food, of course. ¬†I love the quiet excitement before the party actually even starts. ¬†The table being set just so. ¬†A candle or two being lit for a warm ambiance. ¬†That first car that pulls into the driveway and the sounds of voices that are about to fill an empty, silent house.

This is what I love most about family birthdays.

Of course, in addition to all of that, it sure felt good to fire up the oven tonight.  This past week has left me craving a complete, full day of non-stop cooking.

Today: craving satisfied.

portabella mushrooms cooked in a balsamic reduction sauce

Everyone took part in making something. ¬†I stood watch over the veggies and dad focused his attention on the meats. ¬†Honestly, we all felt kind of bad having dad cook on his birthday, but he didn’t seem to really mind. ¬†It would have felt just plain wrong to have someone else cooking the steaks and burgers, when we all know full and well that dad is the grill master in the family.

(p.s. I’m still using up the last of my garden cress…this stuff lasts and lasts, and I’ve been using it on everything from sandwiches to soups to hummus to burgers. ¬†Quite delicious. )

Nicole @ Loving Simple Moments

Meanwhile, my mom was busy cooking the main dessert, which is her own top-secret homemade apple pie. ¬†I’m not even a pie person, and yet I find myself falling in love with this pie time and time again.

The crust is what gets me. ¬†Its tender and flaky, but not overly so (i.e., it doesn’t crumble into dust on your plate!) ¬†And it avoids being dense and boring like some of those beautiful (but sadly poor-tasting) store bought pies can be. ¬†It is, in one word, perfect. ¬†Absolutely perfect.

I guess we all know who the star of the show was tonight. ūüėČ

Yes.  I love birthdays.

I love the excitement, the laughing, the silliness, the games and the¬†elaborate¬†stories. ¬†The feeling of warmth, of home, of happiness. ¬†I love the cooking, the variety of foods and most of all, the sharing. ¬†I love that it’s more than okay to spend 2 hrs at the dinner table.

I love how relaxed and unraveled the dinner table seems, after everyone has finished eating.  Crumbs.  Empty plates and half empty glasses.  That quiet, comforting feeling of being fully content with life.

Yes.  I love birthdays.

Happy Birthday, Dad! ¬†We love you! ūüėÄ

QUESTION: What is your most memorable birthday?