My mother-in-law started the ‘birthdays’ tradition many years ago as her boys were all born within weeks of each other but years apart.

The tradition started when the boys were young but carried forward as they grew into teenagers then young adults. It was always a family affair, probably born out of the necessity to celebrate once rather than three times in two weeks. The ‘birthdays’ were casual but never forgotten and always included the ‘favorite’ dessert of one of the boys each year. To this day they have conflicting views of favorite desserts. Lightning Cake for Ted, Upside-down Pineapple Cake for Scott (he says no) and I can’t recall or even know what Paul’s was.

I have tried to recreate Lightning Cake for family get-togethers in the past. Each of us has a different recollection, maybe influenced by the flavors we like best. I still believe that chocolate played a role (I like chocolate) but Ted says no, no chocolate.

This year we decided to host birthdays as we have not done so for several years.

Things change, families grow, we all live different lives, but a tradition should be honored, and it always feels good when we all get together, not to mention the recounting of the recollections of the previous evening the next morning.

We did exactly that while emptying the cooler, washing the wine glasses, packing away leftovers and settling down for a day of relaxion.

It was a nice event, great grandchildren if my mother-in-law would have been there with a new great-grandchild on the way.

The ‘boys’ have all grown up but have not slowed down. RV enthusiasts, mountain climbing adventurers, avid golfers and fitness enthusiasts.

The grandchildren have all grown up too and are spread throughout the world pursuing their own version of life. Vloggers, engineers, marketing executives, wellness and healing instructors, each with their own lifestyle and lifestyle choices.

As to be expected, the noise level grew with each family member arriving and getting reacquainted. We started the get together with a charcutier board and some easy nibbles from the grocery aisles. A good way to start as it’s always nice to have a central area, bar and food do get things going.

In spite of best intentions, no family photos again. The only photo is of the small bites, before everyone arrived. I will try for photos the next time when we are guests. In the meantime, here is the very simple family friendly ‘birthdays’ dinner menu.





Charcuterie Board

An Italian Charcuterie Board
Full of wonderful cold cuts, cheeses and spicy savory bites, all from your deli counter.
Check out this recipe

Bits and Bites


Easy Roast Chicken

Easy Roast Chicken
Easy Roast Chicken is perfect for a gathering. I just seasoned it with a homemade blend of spices and a good amount of salt, placed it on a rack and let it roast. I basted the chicken 2 or 3 times while it was roasting just to make sure that it stayed juicy and delicious.
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St. Louis BBQ Ribs

St. Louis Style BBQ Ribs
I just used a dry spice rub, then slow roasted and served plain, no barbecue sauce. A side of store bough Mac & Cheese and a Romaine and Bell Pepper Salad and it was perfect.
Check out this recipe

Mac and Cheese

Romaine and Bell Pepper Salad

Romaine and Bell Pepper Salad
It takes minutes make and it’s usually the first to be eaten as once you taste it, you just can’t stop eating until you finish.
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Vanilla Custard Cream Cake

Vanilla Custard Cream Cake
A creamy sweet delight with meringue on top.
Check out this recipe

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