This year we are taking another break from French cuisine. The theme is "U.S. Road Trip" and we will be making small plates with foods from different regions of the U.S. It's going to be so much fun! I think we'll have close to 30 people in attendance so it will be quite the group. This event has kind of become an early "Thanksgiving" for my mom's side of the family. As everyone's families have grown, we have stopped getting together for major holidays, so I am glad this event gives us an excuse to gather the extended family together!
I thought it would be fun to look back through the ages.
Year 1 - Paella at Aunt Barb's and Uncle Paul's house
|It's fun to see how the kids have grown and changed over the years! This is Matthew in year 1.|
|My aunt, the mastermind behind this event, and me, stirring the paella|
|The main entree - yum!|
|My mom, aunt Barb, and me|
|The main entree with a side of yummy cabbage!|
|The annual apron photo!|
|This little guy, Matthew, has grown so much since the first picture! He's enjoying his ratatouille in this photo!|
|This potato soup is one of my favorite dishes we've made - love the JC garnish, too!|
|The guys get in on the fun, too!|
|The salad this year was a Nicoise Salad, which is one of my favorite French dishes!|
|The main dish!|
|The apron photo has REALLY grown over the years!|
|My mom, aunt Barb and me|
Tomorrow night we will gather together as a family at my cousin Suzanne's house (Barb and Paul's daughter) and joyfully celebrate our love for fine food and family. But there will be a tinge of sadness as this year's event falls on what should have been my uncle Keith's 61st birthday. We planned this event before his sudden passing in August. His birthday will be a sad and heavy day for our family, so it seems only right that we'll all be gathered together. Our signature drink this year is a simple gin and tonic, which we chose in honor of Keith since it's his favorite cocktail. So tomorrow night, we'll raise our glasses and lift our hearts to him, and take comfort in the company of family.