A Simple Celebration

This weekend I threw a birthday dinner party for my mother. For her, I wanted it to be fun, delicious and lovely. For me, simple. It was all of these things.

The menu was built around the main course: Rose's Moroccan chicken, chock-full of olives, apricots, capers and prunes. This yummy, super-easy meal was made complete with whole wheat couscous, roasted organic vegetables and a crisp green salad adorned with colorful Nasturtiums (edible flowers) from my local farmer's market. For table settings, I pulled from all around my home. For the tablecloth I used a batik cloth I usually keep in the car for picnics and beach visits. It's muted jewel-tone, elephant print set the ethnic ambiance. Combined with straw place mats, gold dishes, golden stamped cloth napkins and bougainvillea clippings from the yard, it was a cheery, fun table. Before dinner, a glass bowl full of tangerines served as a fragrant, natural centerpiece. To add to the eclectic, ethnic feel, I served the veggies and couscous in covered, hand-thrown ceramic bowls and the chicken on a fancy sterling silver, lidded platter. Finally, the table was lit with a scattering of votive candles. The kids sat at a decked out kiddie table next to us. For dessert, I called on Rose again, requesting the recipe for her delicious chocolate cake. She even lent me her beautiful fleur-de-lis bundt pan, which made for a gorgeous presentation. I served it with fresh raspberries and Edy's Raspberry Chip Royale ice cream.
A warm fire, several bottles of wine and adorable children made the night complete. Simple. Lovely. Fun. Everything I set out for it to be. Happy Birthday, Mother!

An ode to Rose: She is a fabulous cook, who makes everything from scratch. Her creations are almost always dairy-free, dye-free and low-sugar, made with organic and locally produced foods. And they are quite delicious. She has a collection of fabulous easy-to-make meals and desserts that fool everyone in terms of effort, and blow them away in terms of flavor. She is an inspiration in the kitchen.


Anonymous said...

just lovely!

Anonymous said...

Awwww, shucks! You are too kind! *blush*

And your party looks LOVELY!!! Happy Birthday!

gana said...

how fun! did kanga tell you we had a bday cookout for our mother as well? a tribute to mom's all around this past weekend! :)

Anonymous said...

It was a truly special birthday and as beautiful and delicious as it looks. Thank you! Mother