It’s really hard to believe that you turn fourteen on Saturday. I still can’t help but think of you in your blue soccer uniform, dribbling down the field to score another goal for the Diamonds. Now you’re the captain of your team. I remember sending you off to kindergarten at Olds Elementary, worried about you. You’re now a freshman at Broughton, taking classes with upperclassmen without even worrying about it. I remember when you taught your younger brother how to read when he was 3. Now you help a young couple take care of their infant triplets. You’ve gone from that cute chubby toddler (oops, I shouldn’t have written that) to the beautiful young lady you are today. I’m so proud of you. And I am so pleased that you asked me to cook for you and your friends on Saturday.
I know you don’t care for red meat and really dislike seafood, but that’s not a problem. It’s your birthday, and I’m going to serve you what you like. We talked about the menu last night, and I think it’s coming along quite nicely, a nice balance between sophistication and familiarity. Yes, there will be a lot of courses, but it won’t be a problem. I’ll keep them small. And no, you can’t have any wine with your dinner.
I promise I won’t try to embarrass you or try to act extra-goofy, I’ll just try to get out some good food and make your guests have a great time. There’s going to be 12 of them, right? Wow, that’s a lot of dishes! And I really can’t believe that we don’t have a single soccer game on Saturday — what are the odds?
Anyhow, this is our menu, but let me know if you need me to make any changes.
Hors D’oeuvres: Foccacia with rosemary, olive oil and sea salt.
Amuse: Fried bocconcini (mozzarella balls)
Soup: Summer minestrone
Salad: Watermelon, mint and goat cheese with aged balsamic vinegar
Pasta: Fresh ricotta raviolo with vodka sauce
Main course: Grilled chicken thighs with pomegranate vinaigrette and sweet corn/orzo
Dessert: Cherry chocolate cake with dark chocolate ice cream
Don’t worry, the portions will be pretty small, so hopefully no one will be too full after the soup course.
Fourteen. Wow! Happy birthday, Ryan. I’m really, truly touched that you want me to cook for you and your friends.
I love you.