Happy Birthday Nikki!

This weeks dinner was a little quieter and much smaller than it has been in a long time!  Which worked out for those of us there because we didn’t have to share the cake… I mean we really missed everyone and wish they could have joined us celebrating Nikki’s birthday.

The birthday girl didn’t have a dinner request, only a dessert.  Sin cake.  This cake I have heard go by a few names, some less family friendly than Sin Cake, but basically it is chocolate cake soaked with sweetened condensed milk and caramel sauce.  Then topped with loads of whipped cream, crushed Heath candy bars and drizzled with more caramel.  A piece is clearly a meal on its own but we did eat some real food prior to indulging.

For the main meal we had Chicken Cordon Blue, but instead of individually rolled up, the breasts were breaded and crisped and then laid casserole style with all the other traditional ingredients, an effective and delicious way to feed a time consuming dish to a crowd (my parents were expecting more than the seven adults, one tweenager, two toddlers and one infant that made it).  We also had Cauliflower with Leeks, Roasted potatoes and bread.

Well, isn’t that a fancy dress?!

Yes, at least she is wearing pants and socks with the Tinkerbell dress today!

Did you hear my news?

A little bit…

A store is going be carrying my soaps now!  They just informed me today, and they seemed really excited!

Well its just a small group of us tonight.

That’s ok, more cake for me.

Well she likes the cauliflower

Can you say prayers?

Bless this house, Lord we pray, keep us safe by night and day Amen.

POTTY!!

Ok! Hurry, hurry!

Meanwhile, everyone is settling in with their plates, and I am organizing the children into a position to effectively eat something and not just feed it to the dog.

Can I have a few more potatoes?  You forget I feed these guys off whatever is on my plate!

Oh yeah, sorry!

So, when’s dessert?

What dessert? (Look of shock)

You don’t deserve a dessert after the trick you pulled Saturday!

It wasn’t me! They STOLE my phone and texted you those lies!

How was your dance any way?

It was really good.  Your Dad and his partner did a great job and finished.  My partner and I won “Most Entertaining” (She and the much younger gentleman did a Disco!)

Didn’t Dad win that one last year?

Yes, so now we have matching trophy’s sitting next to each other.

.The guy in the wheel chair did an amazing job.  The strength that had to take…

They really did a beautiful job.

What is it called again?  Frankenmuth Dancing with the Local Stars

dancing with the stars

 

And we talked about the prospective windmills that are trying to negotiate coming to our area, the pros and cons of different energy sources.  Patting sleepy babies to sleep, potty again, Tinkerbell dress didn’t survive that trip.  Is there more wine?

Where can I get Cedar planks?

The Amish usually have some, you just have to go up there, if the first one doesn’t have them he can usually point you to the guy that does.

Do they have  Western Red Cedar?

No, they are only going to have local kinds of wood.  But they are a great price!

And they’re more environmentally friendly, no shipping!

Well, this is the week we are going to get the roof done.

Just one week huh?

Their bathroom started as one week… their project started as a couple days..

Well, we have a week, we’re not expecting help, but if want the entertainment value, comeon over.

Is everyone ready for dessert or should I wait a little bit?

No, we’re ready!

What is this wine?

He couldn’t stay for dinner but brought the wine anyway.

Sweet, I’ll try it (makes a face).  Its not good.

Let me try.. (makes a face), ooh its getting worse as it sits in my mouth

Mom and Dad try a glass… (faces) AH! It does get worse!

You know, I have no desire to try that, you are all making identical faces of yuck.

I think I’ll have to take this back to him…

It must be the Chardonnay blended in that ruins it.

Hey kiddo, you ready to sing happy birthday?

Happy Birthday to you (cha cha cha) Happy Birthday to you (cha cha cha) Happy Birthday dear Nikki! Happy Birthday to you!

Now, how many boyfriends do you have… blows all the candles out.

Alright! High five!

I’m not serving the cake, someone else can.

Ok, one for you and you… and this piece is for you right? (Points to half the cake)

I wish I could!

This first piece isn’t going to be pretty

That’s ok, I don’t care what it looks like.

Oh really?! (SPLAT! Upside down on the plate and everyone laughs)

Well, its not as bad as our wedding, we just about ruined the kitchen.

Not to rush you out, but you should probably get her home.  Shes really tired.

Finishing dessert, change into Pj’s little bits of conversation here and there.

Good night everyone.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Happy Birthday, Pastor Josh!

Last week as you will recall had quite the crowd.  Among the new faces joining us, was the pastor from our church, along with his three children.  And even though the newest faces, less than a week old got the most attention, he had so much fun he decided to come back for his birthday.  Which of course means he got to choose what he wanted for his dinner this week.

In attendance, for the birthday feast, we had 2 itty bitty babies, 1 toddler, 2, 2-year-olds, 4 tweens and 12 adults.  On the menu was Lasagna, Meatballs, Italian Sausage, Asparagus, and a variation of White Bread (I didn’t catch exactly what kind).  Additionally Chef Neighbor brought Pork Tenderloin with a Mushroom Cream sauce.  For dessert, Carrot Cake.

Now, I would love to relate all of the conversation, because I know there were some good ones.  But to be honest, I can’t remember the details.  You see for the two days prior, my littles, who don’t sleep well as it is, had been keeping me up from 2:00 AM on.  The 2-year-old has been experiencing night terrors, which are so bad I can’t comfort her at all while she is having them.  Just about the time she finally relaxes and falls back to a restful sleep, the baby decides she is up for the day at 4:15 AM (who wouldn’t want to party then?)  They also don’t nap, not for any length of time anyway and certainly not together.  So, when we got home after dinner and they were both asleep, I did a swan dive directly into my pillow and stayed there until one of them started squawking in the night.

But, conversations around the table included talks about a city further north in Michigan, which had some common ties for a few people at the table, and a misadventure into a bar that oddly had ONLY men in it…

An update on the worm colony, they are doing well, but their habitat is in a constant state of upgrading and renovations still.  Which lead to some discussion about the benefits of composting for the non-plant grower, reduction of plastic wastes and the newer more decomposable plastic bags.

Our changing table is moving on to one of the new babies, which makes me happy since I have had it forever and wanted it to go to a good home.

Some very prettily decorated leather inspired conversation about going to craft shows as a group this summer (we actually have a lot of home- grown talent at this table!)

And somehow, the formerly elusive birthday candles, of which there have only ever been three on a dessert somehow not only became 4 but were also shaped like stars!

That is about all my poor sleep deprived brain could remember of dinner.  It was delicious, and I along with others ate far more than necessary, but everyone splurges once in a while right?

I leave you with pictures:

Happy Birthday Amanda!

So by now I am sure you are noticing we have had quite a few birthday celebrations.  It gives testament o the number of people that come to Tuesday Dinner.  In fact, November 8th is actually also one of my “sisters” birthday– Happy Birthday Liz!– but she is not home with us so Amanda (my biological sister) got to celebrate this birthday solo.

We had a couple new faces, my cousin, and his son, so happy to see them! And another dear friend of mine popped into play with the babies.  In attendance, there were 11 adults, 3 tweens, 1 toddler and 2 babies.  The meal had a bit of a Greek theme to it, Gyros (made with lamb brats from our lamb) complete with Tzatziki sauce and fresh pitas, stuffed grape leaves, rice with tomatoes and green onions.  The kids had hamburgers, being slightly less adventurous.  For dessert, there was Tiramisu Cheesecake.

Hey! How are you!!!

She was so excited to see her cousin when we got here!

He was pretty excited too!

You’ll have to bring him over this summer, I am planning a kiddie farm camp, get some work out of these kids!  My friend has a little boy who wants to help me garden, so why not?

Just let me know, it’d be good for him.

You’d just have to watch him around the sheep… we wouldn’t want him having a “blueberry” mishap like his father…

…Don’t even go there!… Laughing all away around (My cousin may have mistaken sheep pellets for berries when we were growing up, it’s one of those things you can never live down)

Did you really just pipe whipped cream into her mouth?

So how many teeth does your little guy have now?

You can definitely feel at least four.

Ouch, she’s got two and is working on more… and bites!

Oh yeah, he does too.

(meanwhile said babies are destroying a basket of toys happily together, the older kids and toddler are causing mischief elsewhere)

Kids, come get your plates.  Yes, you are going to eat the rice too.

Hello,

Hey! you brought me jars!  AND gift bags and paper! You are awesome!

The rest of you better sit down. Take a seat or you won’t eat!

Well Hi there! (My friend that isn’t usually with us walks in) We weren’t expecting you!

Oh, I just came in to play with my babies.

There is an extra burger if you want one…

Now you’re speaking my language.

Prayers, please!

Bless this house, Lord we pray, keep us safe by night and day.  Amen!

Thank you!  I wanted to make sure she did it this week, she totally skipped out last week.

No, I heard her.

I think you were imagining things.

Well, Tuesday Table, said she didn’t so it was written in stone last week.

What no bread!?!

The pitas are bread, have two.

Wait! We are missing a bunch of stuff! (Mom runs back into the kitchen, and brings back the stuffed grape leaves, lettuce, and tzatziki sauce).

Here this one doesn’t have cucumber (a tiny bowl) and this is regular good stuff.

So the Tzatziki sauce is made with the real yogurt.

Have you tried the milk yet?

No, not yet.

You should, this is skimmed milk and it is going to be more like whole milk from the store than skim.

So have you noticed a difference with the milk?

Yes, I was having a real issue with heavy dairy product, like sour cream and whipping cream, see even the little bit I had the other day made my hands break all out.  However, the heavy cream from my cow doesn’t do that to me.  I also have a friend that was having dairy issues and doesn’t have the problem with the farm milk.

Why do you think that is?  What’s the difference?

I think some of it is how I treat it, it’s not high pressured anything.  I just gently pasteurize it, and the other is that my cow is an A2 type.  Which basically means she doesn’t have a gene for a protein in the milk that a lot of people have an intolerance to.

(Here is a link to some very basic information in case you are curious)

(BAHBBBAAAAA BAHBHA BHA BHA)

So what made the grape leaves sweet?

Golden raisins.

Hmm, interesting.

So, how does one eat a hamburger with only a bottom bun? ( Toddler was ripping pieces of the top bun off and feeding it to my friend, feel free to insert a toddler/shark chomping sound here)

He is very chatty tonight! I think that is the most I have ever heard him talk!

He sure is, I did promise him a taste of tzatziki sauce too.

I tried to get her to have lasagna for her birthday, but she just wouldn’t do it.

Consider it Greek lasagna.

Don’t forget to write down your birthday’s everyone!  There are getting to be too many for me to just know!

Who’s birthday is in March? I’m sorry, you are just going to have to choose another time.  I am not sharing.

There is some talking about CSA (community supported agriculture)

That is what I would like to do ultimately.  It would really help us get going.  I have stacks of facts and figures and plans.  While I was pregnant I was totally gonna do it!  Then the baby came and I said, well maybe in a couple of years…

So what does a CSA do?

Well it reduces the risk for the farm a little, because the customers are basically share holders and they get a share of whatever they are purchasing like a crop share or a share of an animal.

Right, but if the farmer is bad and isn’t producing obviously people wont want to “buy stock” in that farm.  It also helps provide starter money.  That is our biggest challenge right now.  To provide beef, we have to buy a calf two years in advance out of pocket.

Some more chatter along this line goes on, and can I just tell you, the babies in the back ground are just going wild tonight!  Such volume!

I don’t know that I could do organic.  One its expensive and two, I just could not give antibiotics to a sick animal to save its life.  Even if it is meant for food.  So many of those farms don’t.

Well the one I go to does!

Oh! That’s awesome!

Yeah, and so those animals obviously aren’t organic any more, so they go to a different part of the farm, but really they are obligated to treat the sick animals.

That’s good, that makes me feel a lot better about organic animals, I never really understood how they could not treat dying animals, just to keep a title.

No, they are supposed to, in fact in my next magazine I am planning to write more about it.

I look forward to reading it!

Hey you found “The birthday candle”

Sure did! So lets all sing..

Wait! Where is she at, she was going to sing happy birthday special for her aunt.

She already told me she had a special song for me.

Ok everyone “Happy birthday to you, happy birthday to you, happy birthday dear Amanda, Happy birthday to you!”

Ok, it’s all you!

“Sto Lat! Sto lat!

Niech zyje, zyje nam.

Sto lat! Sto lat!

Niech zyje, zyje nam.”

WHOA!  What language was that?

Polish.

Where did you learn to sing happy birthday in Polish?

My teacher.

It was really cool at their Halloween party, which was also their teachers birthday, one of the other room moms had told them it was time to sing happy birthday to their teacher, and they just all busted out singing with Polish Happy Birthday.

Well, I am going to have to take off, my kids are waiting for me.

Thanks for visiting!  See you soon!

So what kind of cheese cake is this?

Tiramisu

caffeinated cheesecake huh?

You have to at least try one bite.

If anyone feeds this to the small child, she will be spending the night with you. You have been warned.

Can she have ice cream?

That’s fine. (Just imagine a two-year old eating ice cream with her hands)

You eat ice cream the way I want to eat icecream.

Uhoh looks like a brain freeze!

What desserts don’t you like?

I really can’t think of any, I used to say chocolate cake but you proved me wrong there.

(People are moving around, some have gone home, the kids are goofing off and getting in trouble in turns.)

So, I have to say Mom, I am pretty impressed with my body and it took having her help me with the chores to realize it.  Its  pretty amazing that eight months ago I couldn’t even walk and now I am able to carry hay bales with one arm.

You couldn’t walk?

Oh, you probably don’t know the story.

I almost died having this baby.

What!

Yeah (laughing) I am really lucky to be alive.

Well, its good you can laugh about it now….

I know right? I’m just happy to be here really.

(I tell the whole story it, but it is long and graphic and it will emerge in a different article I am working on that just isn’t quite where I want it to be yet.)

Nite nite mama, nite nite.

I guess its time for me to get going, the little one is already down and she is ready to go too.

Lets go get your jammies on.

See you all next week!