Today my parents and I are preparing a little birthday dinner for me and my boyfriend, who will be abroad during our September birthdays, and also for my brother, whose birthday was earlier this month.
Tonight's dinner, moussaka, with carrot cake for dessert, would warrant a post of its own. But it gets me thinking of last week's birthday dinner, in honor of Mallory's 22nd.
We hadn't seen each other since before we started this blog, so it was a sweet chance to do some co-blogging. Somehow we missed the chance, but we did take advantage and do some collaborative cooking. Mallory found a great recipe for vegan, gluten-free "lasagna" made with corn tortillas instead of pasta and filled with a spicy tomato and bean sauce, with layers of avacado and corn in the middle. On top we crumbled baked tortillas to add some crunch, and paired it with spinach salad with a cinnamon-cumin dressing. Between the six of us at dinner, we easily polished off the large pan.
We started at the farmer's market, which is one of my favorite parts of summer in Grinnell, anyway.
It's like slicing butter, only more appetizing.
Halfway through and adding layers.
Halfway through, this time subtracting...
I love the birthday dinner tradition. In fact, I love any excuse for a little dinner party with my friends. Visiting Grinnell last week was a little melancholy, as I mentioned, but writing this post reminds me of a lot of really great moments, from potlucks with Lina and Abby second year and hauling pots of indian food across Mac Field to the German House faculty dinner junior year. From cooking over a makeshift candle-stove when we lost power for five days in February '07 to much-blogged-about summer potlucks last year and grill-outs on the deck this past semester.
I also love any excuse for a little reminiscing.