Camille and her boyfriend, Gress, came up last Sunday and I cooked her birthday dinner -- finally. Her birthday was May 31 but she was too busy then with prom and graduation and celebrating with her friends. She wanted steaks, baked potatoes and Caesar salad. Chocolate cake with bananas and whipped cream frosting for dessert.
Gress wanted to know if I'll make him dinner for his birthday in September. Smart boy, knows how to please his girlfriend's mom.
Today I spent most of the day in the kitchen getting ready for the family reunion vacation thing -- we need a name for it -- later this week. I made cookies the other day.
This morning, I made banana nut chocolate chip bread. Kyle eats it for breakfast every morning while we are there. One year, I forgot to make it and he was really disappointed. He reminds me now.
My sister and I make all the dinners. We all bring our own breakfast and lunch food (although there is a lot of sharing that goes on) but dinners are a big effort. There are eleven of us and the kids, five of them, are between 18 and 24. They eat a lot. Okay, we all eat a lot. My sister and I alternate nights. She cooks the main course one night while I make the appetizers. The next night we switch. My dad brings the wine. The kids do kitchen clean up.
One of the dinners I am making will be BBQ ribs. I make my own BBQ sauce -- recipe from a rib place in Shell Beach I loved when I was going to school in San Luis Obispo. My mom got the recipe and shared it with me. A few years ago, my friend Sylvie's daughter came and stayed with us for three weeks from France. The night that I made ribs, she licked her fingers like the rest of us and said "J'adore cette sauce." And, just because I love all of you so much, I'm going to share the recipe. It's ridiculously easy.
Lastly, I made spaghetti sauce. I'll freeze it and use it like ice in the cooler.
Tomorrow, I will pack my clothes and make a rhubarb pie. Then we'll load the growing stack of bags in the "ready to go" pile, get a few hours of sleep, and hit the road Thursday around 4am.