Wednesday night there was a gathering of the Quails at Mary Joan's house. No matter how hard I tried to dissuade her from toiling in the kitchen, getting out all the fine china, and hiring a doorman, she would not be swayed from preparing a birthday dinner for me.
There were garden tours, wine, flowers, and lots of storytelling. It's important to do lots of laughing with friends when you are celebrating.
Jamie described in detail how to get a gnat out of your ear if one crawls into your ear when you are lying on a beach. At least it looks like that is what she was saying. I was too busy sneaking in the kitchen to get another sweet pepper and tomato bruschetta to give it my full attention.
There was an impromptu "year in review book club session" which consisted of all of us talking at once about the best books we read last year. We ate large quantities of spinach-strawberry salad and a rich savory chicken farfalle pasta that had us all moaning with delight. We discussed the merits of using fine silverware even though it must be hand washed and decided we should do it more often.
The evening concluded with a three layer carrot cake, specially made by Joan using Lori's recipe which called for freshly grated carrots. It was the epitome of carrot cake perfection. Moist but not too heavy, with a sweet, buttery cream cheese frosting with pecans. Lord have mercy it made me want to have a birthday every month. Luckily Mary Joan sent me home with a giant piece. I told her I would share it with Chris. Which of course I will.
Thank you quail friends for a memorable evening and thank you to honorary quails Marti and Jennifer (aka the Huff girls) for joining in the celebration... and thank you to Chuck for opening the door, clearing the plates, washing the dishes, and wearing your best sport coat to do it all in.