Birthday Parties

As you get older, birthdays take on a significance that you don’t necessarily feel or understand when you are younger.  It is great to just have another birthday.  Now I am not that old, but I am glad for each and every birthday I get.  Part of what makes me happy about my birthday is that my daughter was born on my birthday.  One of my first thoughts after our healthy baby was born was “There goes my birthday.”  It didn’t take long to get over that and of course it is the most awesome birthday present any parent could get.  And the irony is that now we both get to have bigger, better double-birthday parties.

And speaking of birthday parties, I have helped to celebrate many birthdays with birthday cooking parties.  I have done birthday cooking parties for kids and also for adults.  I remember one birthday celebration for a young man in which we made pizzas.  I had a whole array of ingredients with which to top the pizzas.  Kids prepped peppers, mushrooms, olives, sausage, pepperoni and a variety of other pizza toppings.  When the elaborately-garnished pizzas came out of the oven perfectly golden brown, all but one or two of the kids (including the birthday boy), wanted to know where the cheese pizzas were.  That simplified future menu options.

Adult cooking parties are a fun way celebrate any event or simply have an excuse to get together with friends, neighbors and even relatives.  More than once I have seen people walk in to the kitchen and suddenly realize, much to their horror, that they are going to be doing the cooking.  I remember one group particularly well because two older gentlemen–the father and uncle of the birthday “girl”–sat and literally scowled at me during my opening presentation (in the defiant crossed arm position). “This,” I thought “is going to be great.”  I have noticed one thing throughout the many years I have been doing private cooking parties (and general cooking classes too), however:  the person who scowls the most at the beginning of class usually has the best time.

Sure enough, it wasn’t long before these two brothers who had never cooked, let alone helped in the kitchen in their over 70 plus years, began to take charge.  It was a pure joy to see and a pleasure to help them stumble their way through the dishes they worked on.  They were so proud of their work and had indeed done a great job, even helping to clean up their space.  It wasn’t until they were getting ready to leave that someone brought them back to earth.  “You know that you are going to have to help at home now, don’t you Dad?”

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