Wednesday, April 24, 2013

A True Milestone

This past Sunday, my Mom celebrated her 85th birthday with her family and closest local friends. My Mom has lived such a long and interesting life. As a child born right before the Great Depression, her family moved all over the Pacific Northwest for my grandfather’s jobs before finally ending up in Northern Virginia right as the United States was getting involved in World War II. She has travelled the world and has friends in many places.


Mom wasn’t born in the South but she considers herself a true Southerner. She is a true lady and knows Emily Post’s etiquette rules like no one else. As a child, she taught me to bake cakes from scratch, to cook, iron, clean, set a table, which fork to use and on and on. Of course, Mom was ahead of her time and also taught my brothers to do the same! She also taught all of us how to fish, to garden and to sew a button on a shirt. And she taught us how to play a mean game of poker! In college, apparently most young ladies who attended either learned to type (to have a skill in case they did not marry), studied nursing or became a teacher. My mother the maverick rejected those ideas and instead majored in Art History. Throughout her life she painted and enjoyed many crafts.

It wasn’t surprising to me when Dad told me he wanted to plan a special party for Mom. For her 80th birthday, he hosted a party for over 200 people, which took place at their home, under a tent. This party was smaller but no less special. Mom’s had some new health problems so we kept it low key and at the house. We didn’t tell her who would be there but she knew that there was something happening and looked forward to it.

Spinach balls 
The party was expertly catered by the C & O Restaurant, located in Charlottesville, VA (see their website here). Dave Simpson, Proprietor of the   C & O, created the most delicious menu for the party. Servers Diana and Duke served cocktails and passed wonderful starters, such as warm Irish cheddar scones with Virginia ham, spinach noisettes with Chinese mustard, and crab cakes with dill aioli. They were delicious!!! For the lunch, Chef Chris prepared chicken breast medallions stuffed with soubise and served with a tamari, ginger and scallion sauce; grilled salmon fillets with a tamarind relish; grilled asparagus; roasted new potatoes and oven roasted sweet potato fries with olive oil and truffle salt; bread and butter and last but not least, birthday cake (made by me) and vanilla bean ice cream. Lunch was AMAZING!!!


Mom and cake 
Not only did the C & O staff cook and serve their wonderful food, they also took care of all of the rentals (linens, chairs, all of the plates, glasses and flatware) and moved furniture so that all nineteen guests would fit into one room. In addition, they did such a great job of cleaning up and putting everything back that when they left, you would never have known that they’d been there. I was amazed! Needless to say, we were all thrilled with the job that the C & O did for us. If you are ever in Charlottesville, VA, check them out. I highly recommend them!!!
Chris and Duke Chris and Duke


My parents were both thrilled with the party and I know Mom will be talking about it for days. It’s so wonderful to see her so happy and loved. Happy Birthday Mom!!! We love you!!!

Me and Mom closeup