All birthdays are worthy of celebration, but some are more significant than others. My birthday last week was one of those. A big part of my celebration was a trip to Atlanta for a long weekend. Jessica had planned lots of surprises.
Friday we had dinner at one of the top restaurants in the city, where the best chefs cook with only the finest ingredients. Every bite was better than the last. It was all wonderful. A once-in-a-lifetime experience, for sure.
We got up early the next morning to go to the Farmer's Market at the beautiful St. Phillips Episcopal Church. In addition to the fresh winter vegetables, we were tempted by crafts, jams and preserves and baked goods. A bacon scone for breakfast worked for me!
Saturday's dinner was a home cooked meal. Not cooked by me! That was pretty spectacular, just to be the guest for a change. This meal was delicious. And the company even better.
Now while Friday's orange souffle was the perfect end to a gourmet dinner—Saturday's dinner had cake and ice cream. And a candle. There are reasons celebrations at home are special. Birthday cake is one of them.
The weekend was full of so many special treats. Shopping in the city. Pinkberry. Lunch in Serenbe. Hallmark movies at home. But Jessica saved one more surprise for the last night.
Garden Nights—Holiday Lights is an annual event at the Atlanta Botanical Gardens. We bundled up and braved the cold to walk through the gardens. Lights. Music. Hot chocolate. Holiday spirit everywhere!
We beat the rain by minutes, leaving the garden as the first drops started to fall. What a great way to end my birthday weekend.
Now I'm back here at home, where I'm the cook. No gourmet dinner for us tonight. It's back to reality. I pulled out a recipe I used to make years ago. After all the rich food for days, I just wanted plain and simple and easy for supper.
1 can (10-3/4 oz.) condensed cream of mushroom soup
1-1/2 lb. lean ground beef
1/2 dry bread crumbs
1/4 cup finely chopped onion
1 egg, slighty beaten
1/3 cup water (for the gravy--not the meat mixture)
Mix thoroughly, 1/4 cup of the soup, ground beef, bread crumbs, onion and egg. (I used my hands to mix it.) Shape firmly into 6 patties. In skillet, brown patties (use a little oil if necessary and pour off excess fat, if there is any.) Blend remaining soup and the water. Pour over patties. Cover and cook for 20 minutes, or until done, stirring occasionally.
Serve with rice or mashed potatoes.
City lights and gourmet meals are fun for a few days. But it's nice to be back here, sitting in front of the fire with Daddy-O. There's no place like home.