If you read my last post, you may remember I mentioned going to a BBQ today. Now that I won't be giving away any secrets, I can tell you we were going to my father-in-law's surprise 85th birthday party.
I thought I'd share one of the dishes I made with you--a tomato salad.
This was so simple to make. I just diced up some tomatoes from my neighbor's garden (yes, she actually GAVE them to us--I wasn't over there stealing them!), added a container of marinaded mozarella cheese (cut the little balls in half first), tossed in a jar of marinaded garlic mushrooms (drained first and both liquid and jar not added!), and minced up some basil. To all that, I added a couple glugs of balsamic vinegar and maybe about a tablespoon of sugar. Finally, I tossed it all together and then I drained off some of the dressing so it wouldn't get too soggy. Oh yum! To tell you the truth, I forgot I took this photo until I downloaded photos tonight.
Besides the tomato salad, I also made a potato salad--pretty standard variety and no photo to share since you've probably seen potato salad before. Hubby had fun, though, telling everyone who would listen that we brought the "toe" salads: "toma-TOE" and "pota-TOE." Goofy man! One of my sisters-in-law brought a great macaroni salad and another sister-in-law brought chocolate cake and ice cream. The third sister-in-law brought chicken and tri tip. We ate rather well, I think!
We were all supposed to arrive at 2:30 in the afternoon and surprise my father-in-law, the birthday boy. Hubby and I were running about five minutes early, so I asked him to do a drive by first to see if anyone else was there yet. There was a car parked outside and although we didn't recognize it, we figured someone had arrived before us. Nope! We were the first. My father-in-law was standing, looking out the front door when we pulled up. "What are you doing here?," he asked. Hubby, always the quick thinker, replied, "We're just out for a Sunday drive." Meanwhile, I'm still sitting in the car, holding the TOE salads on my lap, wondering why we'd be driving around with salads. After all, gas is too expensive these days for the kind of long aimless drives that require us to pack side dishes! Father-in-law didn't really seem to question it though, so it worked out okay. Everyone else showed up about five minutes later, I yelled "SURPRISE!," and the festivities got under way with the ritual exchange and passing around of birthday cards.
It was just then we discovered that it wasn't his 85th birthday after all--it was only his 84th, and he seemed a little put out that one of the birthday cards wished him a happy 85th birthday. Men are so vain about their age, I swear! I suggested we all go home and come back next year, but everyone thought that since we were already there with all that food, we might as well celebrate. So we did. And some kind of magic was done in the kitchen with that chocolate birthday cake so it said "Happy 84th Birthday" instead of "Happy 85th Birthday."
Besides the birthday party and making TOE salads, I found time to run down to the quilt shop today and get another charm pack of the Portugal fabric as well as some background fabric. So that little stack of textile love is sitting in the Sweat Shop, waiting for me to pay it a little attention. First, though, I'm kind of hooked on this Thimbleberries mini. Tonight I made the fourth part of the quilt, so here's an updated photo. The center section will have some applique in it--a sailboat I think. Well, you'll see, I'm sure!
Sadly, my vacation is over and it's back to work tomorrow. I suppose this means I can't stay up until 3 a.m. tonight and sleep in until 9 a.m., darn it! All good things must come to an end, though, and I really enjoyed relaxing and playing with whatever I felt like playing with for the last several days. I hope you had a lovely weekend doing the same sort of thing!