Tuesday, February 9, 2010


Exactly 39 years and 5 hours after he was born, we celebrated SSons birthday this weekend. For a change, it was not snowing like it was the day he was born, and for many of the past 39 years. There were many cars stuck in driveways going out for his birthday activities.

He likes Italian food, really it's all about the pasta and cheese for him. We have just small get-togethers, but he likes it and it always ends with chocolate cake which his SStepmother makes every year now. The joke is "What kind of Chocolate Cake do you want this year Tim?". Now the cake is a low fat and low sugar version, but he doesn't care.
His meal this year was stuffed manicotti (silent i, long o), chicken cacciatore served over whole wheat pasta, ensalate(lettuce salad-I just love saying ensalate-silent e, long a), relish tray, jello with marshmallows, homemade sauce with chicken Italian sausage, lots of Italian bread, cake and Ice Cream. Everyone brought something, so it works out nicely. Help with everything from SSister#1, SBrother-in-law#1, SMom, SSon's SDad and SStepmother, SDaughter, SD'sSigother, SGrandson, SHusband, and of course, SSON. We had many cups of tea and coffee, and we found a "SKINNY" version of carmel macchiato by International Coffee in the dairy dept., we likee very mucheeiato.

Here he is with his SGrandmother and his cake:
I have not made sauce from scratch in way too many years, and this was my first time making chicken cacciatore. The sauce for manicotti was made with tomatoes that I slow-cooked with spices in summer and then peeled and froze. The tomato recipe called for red wine vinegar-I used Carapelli which has only a 7% acid level, and the smell it gave the tomatoes was marvelous with a capital Marve.

The chicken cacciatore recipe calls for chicken with skin and bones, something I have not bought in at least a decade. I needed to cut up larger pieces, way too much anatomy for me. I got through it because a few years ago I bought super-sharp knives, so I carefully made it into a quick project. I don't think I have touched so much raw chicken in many years-I used so much antibacterial handwash liquid that my hands were raw by the time I was done, and then it took a lot of bleach to clean the surfaces. I wonder if those disposable cutting mats work-do they get cut to pieces and put plastic in the food? I think too much.
So listen, the sauce turned out really well, SSister#1 made homemade sauce last month, something she does all the time, but not me and this made me want to try it again. It cooked all day, down to a deep, dark red color and great smell, I even added about another 1/2 cup of that vinegar for some more of that nice smell.
Wait, I almost forgot to mention that I made minestrone soup to start-it really was good-I must have been either brave or stupid to try 3 new recipes with company coming, but hey, nothing ventured, nothing gained. This picture is courtesy of SDaughter who reminded me to take a picture for you before I finished eating it-there was more broth, but it was almost all gone. And that is one of those IKEA bowls from Dollar Tree which I told you about earlier. The best bargain of the year for me.
SS got many audio and video presents, more Sabre stuff, and he always gets shorts and Blue Cheese dressing in his gift bag-he makes a mean list!

And this is a shirt I found online at buffalosportstees.com -thanks to a mention in another blog-can't remember which one unfortunately.

That is his SDand SSM behind him.

The t-shirt refers to the Buffalo Memorial Aud(itorium) which was an icon in the area, and torn down last year. Most of the residents of the area have been in the Aud for either a sports or entertainment event-I even saw Frank Sinatra there in the 1970's-boy, am I old or what!
Tim received many nice cards from thoughtful friends and family-thank you all.

Well anyway, he, we, they, all had a good time, and we are grateful that Tim is in our family. The day he was born it was a difficult birth for his SBirthmother, and he was pretty agitated when it was all said and done. The GYN took SS's SDad and I down the hall, and introduced us, and he was throwing his arms around and wiggling so much that he actually rolled over-towards us. It was an important meaningful moment for me. I felt as though he was turning towards us on purpose, or else God was turning him, affirming the new family.

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