Today is my birthday. I am slightly older than I was yesterday but feel younger than the day before. Usually I dread my birthdays because they are notoriously bad days but this year it snuck up on me so I had no time to fret and I have to say that it’s been one of the best so far. It’s even been a prolonged birthday at that.
My family has taken to the birthday brunch. Since there is a family brunch every Sunday it is convenient for everyone and makes no feel special. We just pick the Sunday closest to the birthday and instead of just donuts, you bring a present. This year I shared the brunch birthday with my sister-in-law since it fell between both birthdays which felt even less special. Although there is something unappetizing about eating cake and iced cream at 10 am on a Sunday morning, I must say the birthday brunch is better than my old birthday dinners. For the birthday dinners everyone would gather at my parent’s house and my mother would make your favorite meal unless it was my birthday then she would not make my favorite meal.
When we little my mother made dinner just about every night. Sure sometimes we had the breakfast dinner, but most nights we had a dinner dinner. She used to make lots of different things and in the winter time she would make porcupine meatballs. I think they are made out of hamburger and not porcupine but rather named fort he rice in the meatballs that is supposed to appear prickly. This was my favorite meal and even to this day I still think back to how delicious it was. The meatballs were big and cooked with rice and tomato soup from a can with a dash of Worcestershire sauce and some onions. I’m not sure exactly how they were made and my mother has refused to divulge the recipe. She served the meatballs over steamed white rice and corn on the side. I love this meal and even now I am thinking happily back on it. So every year when birthday dinner rolled around my mother would ask what I wanted for dinner and it was always porcupine meatballs but then it all ended.
For some reason once everyone grew up and moved away and birthday dinners were harder to coordinate, my mother stopped making porcupine meatballs. We still gathered for dinner, but she would never make my favorite meal but rather haggled with me about what she would make. She would ask what I wanted and I would unwaveringly respond “Porcupine meatballs with rice and corn” and she would counter with “How about ham?” This infuriated me not only because this was my one chance per year to have porcupine meatballs but also because I hate ham. I have always hated ham. I don;y like it. I don’t like country ham, spiral ham, canned ham or even Canadian bacon. I don’t like ham. I would of course say “I hate ham” and then she would say “How about spaghetti?” I would ask one more time for porcupine meatballs and she would stand firm on spaghetti. So spaghetti it was. This made me so mad every year that it has become a running joke in my family. Even my grown nephews when asked if there is something they want for dinner will answer with “porcupine meatballs” and my mother will just say no. They have never even had the great and famous porcupine meatballs. My mother stopped making them long before they could taste the wonder and deliciousness of the porcupine meatball. I would make them myself for dinner every night of the year but I don’t know how and as hard as I have tried to replicate the recipe, they never taste quite the same. It’s probably because of the bitter taste I acquired as a result of the birthday dinner haggle.
Needless to say there were no porcupine meatballs for dinner this year but I did have Thanksgiving dinner with some friends instead. I made a big turkey with a ll the fixings and friends came to watch some football and dine on the tryptophan feast. My friends brought me the most delicious and decedent chocolate cake. They even brought candle and sneakily tried to light them while I wasn’t looking and sang happy birthday. So my Sunday was full of birthday and today, my actual birthday has been spent doing all sorts of things that I love to do.
I took the day off from work and slept in as late as I ever sleep in which is merely 8 am. I got up and made some percolator coffee, checked my fantasy football scores and email and before I was through, happily, my boyfriend woke up too. We drank coffee and played all sorts of Wii games and he gave me a robotic dog pet. He said we were working our way into a real dog. This one’s might be better than a real dog because he walks and barks and growls sometimes but doesn’t poop. We had some lunch and then he was off to work and I went to the salt cave, yes the salt cave but that’s a blog for another day. Right now I’m back from the salt cave, have written enough to remove some the guilt of not writing enough and am going to watch a chick movie while enjoying another piece of my decadent birthday cake for dinner then hit an open mic. Do birthdays get any better?