Getting ready

I learned years ago that a great meal, be it at home or in a restaurant, is the perfect gift. Like tickets to a concert or play, you're giving an event, an experience, something everyone involved will remember. It doesn't have to fit or match. It won't collect dust, be re-gifted, or end up in the Goodwill basket. If you don't completely screw up, it's close to perfect.

I'm hosting a brunch/luncheon this coming Saturday to celebrate my mother's 66th birthday.

Joy is a sweet woman. That's the first word that comes to mind when I think of her. She is kind, generous to a fault, and puts me to shame with her exercise regimen. Joy is gentle, thoughtful, and loves her family more than anything in the world. Her laughter is large and loud and uninhibited. Sometimes she makes me crazy. The name fits perfectly.

I've been planning this meal for some time, but now that birthday luncheon week is here, I've got to get my game plan in order. Last night I began writing my grocery list, checking, double-checking then triple-checking the kitchen cabinets and refrigerator for ingredients on hand. I also ironed napkins while watching Six Feet Under (on to Season 2) on DVD. I dined on leftovers.

I'm all about doing as much advance party prep as possible, so the cooking will begin soon. I wish, however, that I had a maid. These floors could use a good scrubbing.

The proposed menu that follows is not intended to be innovative, just good. Great, even. With an 11:00 a.m. start, I'm hoping to span the gap between breakfast and lunch with a gorgeous quiche as star, mimosas for all, and a bright, light cake.

Joy's 66th Birthday Brunch

Melon wrapped in prosciutto
Pickled shrimp
Thomas Keller's quiche (spinach or the leek and Roquefort version - TBD)
Green salad with radishes and a light mustardy dressing
Lemon layer cake


  1. Sounds amazing. That quiche is sooooo good!

  2. Cathy -

    It was amazingly good quiche, wasn't it?

    I opted for Quiche Lorraine this time. As much as I enjoyed the Leek and Roquefort combo, I thought it best to err on the side of caution and assume one (or more) of my guests may not like blue cheese.

  3. Yum! I love Quiche Lorraine - classic.

  4. Cathy and Kathleen - I misspoke. I made Quiche Florentine. All spinach, all the time.