Close to Nowhere
Sunday we celebrated daughter Dana’s birthday. My brother, and her uncle, Dennis drove down from Memphis, Tenn., and granddaughter Remy and her husband Mitch drove in from Oxford. We all met at Clancy’s Cafe in Red Banks, a favorite place.
It’s turned into a habit taking birthday honorees out to dinner. Although sometimes I cook a favorite meal for whomsoever’s birthday. For Mitch’s birthday last year, I texted Mitch and Remy and asked what his favorite meal would be. Remy answered with meatloaf and mashed potatoes. Come to find out later that Mitch wasn’t sure what he wanted, so Remy picked her favorite meal. Well, her second favorite meal. She always wants ribs for her birthday. Oldest granddaughter Merideth usually just picks whatever sounds good that minute. She does always want my version of Lava Cake (dark chocolate cake, with holes punched in it as soon as it comes out of the oven and sweetened, condensed milk and butterscotch ice cream topping poured over while it’s hot, so it all soaks in --- then you serve it with ice cream and chocolate topping – it’s totally decadent and delicious).
Tim, Mere’s husband, loves Chicken Rotel Spaghetti, so he’s easy. Son Kris usually wants enchiladas. This year though, as a reward for being an exceptional caregiver for me, we all went to Marshall Steakhouse. He loved it.
Brother Dennis usually wants an old recipe I’ve made since Pop and I first married. I got the recipe for cheeseburger casserole from my best friend in high school’s mother. I guess I’ve been making it for 45-plus years now. Brother Danny usually wants spaghetti and I always make him some tuna salad to carry home. Even though I taught him how to make it, he says mine is better. I think that’s just so I’ll make it and he doesn’t have to.
I usually pick some place out for my birthday. I keep hoping my granddaughters will cook for me, but so far, not yet. I love Chinese/Thai food, so it’s much easier to go out than try to cook that.
Pop’s favorite by far was beef liver cooked with onions and gravy to go over rice. That wasn’t on any kind of diet he could eat, but I’d make it for his birthday anyway. Along with homemade banana pudding. He wasn’t supposed to eat that either, but I’d make it that one day anyway.
Ruby June, my great-granddaughter, will be 1 on Aug. 20. She’s a glutton, so anything her mom Mere fixes will be gobbled up. When she and her big brother Shepard (he’ll be 3 in December) get a little bigger, I can include them in the favorite meal for their birthdays. I really enjoy making birthday dinners!