HAPPY BIRTHDAY MAYBELLE!!!
Today we once again celebrate the birthday of my little mother, May Rose Salkin. It seems like just yesterday that I was composing last year’s tribute to her. Even though I’m not there with her on her actual birthday (for, shamefully, the fourteenth year in a row,) I just paid her a two-week visit in New York, and threw her a birthday party. Most of her favorite people in the world were there, thankfully. (Some, like Mr. X, were just too far away, and a couple had last minute emergencies.)
But the whole shebang worked-out perfectly! She was thrilled with the party, thank goodness. I waited till I arrived in town to take her out for Mother’s Day, (something I also haven’t gotten to do in over a decade,) and broke the news of the party with our good friend, Carol Rampino. When Carol enthusiastically stated that it was time for another house party, (I try to come up with a fun function there at least once a year,) my mother couldn’t help but agree. [Note: I use the term “broke the news” because she, like Mr. X, usually fights me on all my brilliant ideas. And then afterwards, when she has a fabulous time, she says, “How great! I’m so glad I thought of it!”)
Not to give myself props, but I am amazed that I managed to pull it off in less than a week, including inviting everyone, (mostly by phone since I have no computer access in New York,) conceiving a menu plan, ordering and buying it all, cleaning the house, and decorating it for a soiree. It made me hark back to being a teen-ager and throwing my parents a surprise anniversary party all by myself, which was really a much taller order. That memory gave me the impetus to keep going, bad back and all. (Geez—I sound like a Dancing With The Stars contestant, with all this whining!)
I went with a simple, and healthful food plan, (except for the over-abundance of desserts,) with something for everyone. (We had vegans, Kosher guests, lactose-intolerant ones, dieters, big meat-eaters, and just plain pain-in-the-neck eaters, like me!) In addition to putting out junk goodies like popcorn and marshmallows, I went with five kinds of Subway sandwiches, with all the fixings on the side, and a pre-packaged veggie tray with several dips, and I made my own fresh fruit tray. That last part was the most satisfying.
For dessert, I had an over-sized, decorated, chocolate mousse birthday cake, a big round carrot cake, Junior’s cheesecake, three kinds of giant cookies, and bite-sized cream puffs, that I wish I had right now. I was surprised how much dessert I had left-over, but I always get way too much food for all my events. I’d rather have left-overs that have even one guest left wanting.
I want to thank my little mo for agreeing to the party in the first place, her parents for having her, Carol for helping talk my mother into it, Hossain Lokman from the Kings Highway Subway store for being so helpful, patient, and lovely, my sister (there’s a shock) for picking up the sandwiches day-of when an emergency came up for me, and absolutely every single guest for showing-up. Some people came from over an hour away, some are friends with ambulatory limitations, and all are very busy, so we really, really, really appreciate everyone’s efforts.
I know I said it a lot at the at the party (we even gave her a bear who sang it about a hundred times already,) but here it is on her actual day: HAPPY BIRTHDAY MOMMY!!!
[Note: for more on my mother herself, please read last year’s birthday column about her: tinyurl.com/3pdm492.]