This spring our family has had an unusual number of reasons to celebrate together: a wedding, a sweet sixteen, a milestone birthday and next is an upcoming graduation. I am extremely lucky; not only do I love my family, but I actually enjoy them and look forward to being with them. To say we are a diverse group would be an understatement, we have artists and an actress, a lawyer, a cook, and a glass blower, just to name a few. We are noisy, chaotic, sometimes loud, and usually laughing. It’s a wacky group that is filled with love and support for each other, and the line between family and friends is an encircling hug.
This weekend was my mother’s birthday, and another chance for us to gather, and share a meal. Because in all these gatherings, mealtime is the time we all sit together and everything else takes second place, it is family time.
We started the meal on Friday. Not literally, I don’t mean that we ate for two days straight! I do have my limits. We started marketing on Friday, my sister and I heading up to the Greenmarket on Union Square and we began to fill our bags. This was followed by a long stroll to Little Italy to find some faro and special salumis and finally we took a well-earned stop at little Cuban restaurant in Soho. There we were rewarded by some of the best tasting mojitos. I said ‘some’, I’m not saying how many! Our final reward was a pedicure. Oh, the sublime pleasure of a foot bath after a mojito. I highly recommend it.
By Saturday evening, we were ready to start popping Proseco corks with my mom and her friends. I had a ball creating, making and serving this meal.
I had a ball with my sister helping me every step of the way, my husband was the sommelier, the florist, and the apple slice arranger for the pork roast. Everyone pitched in, and at one point as I was plating a course, the decibel level of laughter coming from the dining room was a pitch perfect roar. Could you ask for any sound more wonderful?
As the magnificent tarte tatin came out with candles blazing, I realized that my sister had made the perfect tarte tatin. It was conceived in a spirit of adventure, executed with care and shared with love. Happy Birthday Mom!