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A Birthday Feast

The morning of July 13, we (my parents, brother and Jorge) woke up at Lazy Acres camp, enjoyed a giant breakfast of giambotti cooked on the fire and then spent a few hours kayaking on the lake. And then it was time to go home to one of the most relaxing places I know: my parent’s front porch.

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It was my dad‘s 60th birthday – the main reason Jorge and I went to New York a few weeks ago. He didn’t know we were coming and was pleasantly surprised to see us.

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Since he travels so much for work, we decided to make it a small family affair, full of delicious food – a finger food feast that my mom prepared with a bit of help from me, Jorge and my grandma. It started with the creation of a watermelon boat – a first for Jorge, but something we enjoyed most Summers growing up in New York.

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It turned out quite well in the end. Next time maybe we’ll advance to a watermelon shark instead.

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Soon, the dining room table began to fill up with goodies in my mom’s mismatched array of bowls and dishes she’s collected over the years that I love. We had lots of nibbles…

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I’ve never liked pickles much. Do you?

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Brie, on the other hand? I’m all over that.

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Gram, who just celebrated her 80th birthday a few months ago, was busy in the kitchen slicing up all sorts of different types of cheese. Someone obviously snitched one of the smoky wedges…

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We also had some fresh garlic cheese chunks that we found in the North Tonawanda Farmer’s Market. (A post about the market coming soon…).

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There was, of course, a bowl of olives.

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My dad is a huge fan of olives. He even took me olive picking in Greece a few years ago. That was an authentic cultural experience I would recommend to anyone.

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We had some spreads and dips like hummus.

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And pâté.

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Something to spread it on…

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There were cold meats.

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And more.

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From the oven, we had some delicious stuffed mushrooms.

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We had one of my favorite British appetisers, “angels on horseback” made with bacon and oysters.

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There was some ham and cheese puff pastry with a nice golden top.

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And who could forget the Greek salad? I love this Israeli feta. I haven’t been able to find it in London so if anyone knows where to look, let me know. I’m thinking the Whole Foods cheese room, but other suggestions welcome!

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We mixed up some sangria, grabbed our plates and headed to the dining room.

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Stocking up, we then made a beeline for the front porch to enjoy the beautiful Summer evening.

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We had to leave room for dessert – a fruit tart.

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Happy birthday Dad!

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Cheers to an excellent year ahead.

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