I feel like I am doing Dinner Impossible getting ready for this birthday party tomorrow, but I had three days instead of one. I’ve been shopping/cooking all day. The birthday menu is finalized and I am working getting it all together. My friend Walt is grilling a large beef tenderloin, and I am making the following:
Three racks of pork spareribs (already got them rubbed down and in t he fridge setting up)
A dozen chicken drumsticks in a simple barbecue sauce (marinating as we speak)
Cold green bean salad with a sweet soy ginger glaze and topped with sesame seeds
Fresh fruit salad
Orzo salad with olives, button mushrooms, diced red pepper, artichokes, with fresh parsley and a vinaigrette.
Black eyed pea salad with scallions, cilantro, and lemon and lime juice.
Tomato, onion, cucumber salad.
Tomato, red onions, basil, and blue cheese with a balsamic vinaigrette.
Another friend is making Apple cake, my sister is bringing a birthday cake, and I bought ice cream.
I’m sure I am forgetting something. We’re expecting 20-25 people, so quite the blowout. As I was putting stuff in the spare fridge at mom and dad’s, dad said “I don’t know why you are doing this. I would rather have just gone out to eat rather than be the center of attention.”
I wanted to punch him in the neck.
Parents have an ingrained talent for instilling guilt. Try to ignore it.
Patricide is still illegal JC. Just keep telling yourself that.
Dear John, you are a good son. And your dad is well on the way to becoming a curmudgeon.
Mine will be 93 tomorrow and whatever we do it’s always the wrong thing, either not enough or too much. I love him and frequently want to punch him in the neck, too.
So you do enjoy your vegetables as much as Kortney!
I see you “crave” vegetables today.
Downplaying important stuff and annoying their children while doing it is straight out of the Old Father’s Operating Manual. He’ll love it all.
Like father, like son. :-)
It’s Papa Cole’s Birthday? Happy Birthday to him!
I think tonight’s pizza night for me.
@Spaghetti Lee: I’m not sure what direction dinner is going, but I’m leaning towards Thai at this point. I’m malleable though.
Happy Birfday to your dad! Please give him a big hug for all of us whose dads are gone now. You’ll be glad you gave him this party.
he says that, but he’ll appreciate it for the rest of his days.
We flew a ton of family into Phoenix for my dad’s 80th a few years back and he spent most of the party talking to 2 kids that worked in the computer lab at the JC where he tutored!
Oh, and we’ve got friends coming over and my menu is grilled fish on the half shell, with a lump crab sauce. Grilled planks of vegetables (sweet potatoes, eggplant, cabbage slabs, fennel) and for dessert, various fruits with a kind of sauce made of cream cheese, sweetened condensed milk and whipped cream.
Whatever he might say beforehand, I expect your dad will still enjoy the birthday party. So it should be all good. (Not to steal anyone’s thunder, but I have a birthday too, on Sunday — the Big Five-Oh. I expect it to be very quiet, though.)
It’s your birthday Mr. Cole Sr., so sit down, shut up, and make sure your children have a good time.
Happy birthday! That’s an important one!
All good! Parents will always say shit like that, but don’t believe them. They love this shit.
Saw Olympia Snowe marching in the Old Hollowell Days parade today – she looks really old and hunched and frail. The old Buddhist peaceniks marching behind her from the local activist peace groups all looked great and got more cheers, plus they had a giant puppet, so DFHs FTW.
@Amir_Khalid: Happy birthday!
And the same to Papa Cole. Who demonstrates that the proverbial “sharper than a serpent’s tooth” line about ingratitude bites both ways. But I agree that he’ll settle in and like it by the time it’s over.
BBQ ribs, been in he cooker for 3-1/2 hours now, just about done-I slathered it all over with Sweet Baby Ray’s BBQ sauce; some potato salad with bacon, shallots and basil pesto; copycat KFC cole slaw; tomato, onion, and cucumber salad; and my world famous baked beans with Italian sausage and pepperoni.
@17 Booze, yes. I see nothing about booze.
Some of that menu is going ID Cole as some kind of snooty metro cuisinual there in WV? Or not?
I have been discovering that kale is wonderful stuff for all sorts of things. Old fashioned greens, except made with that super dark green curly kale, is fantastic. Excellent taste fit with kale, garlic and smoked ham meat (or chunks o’ p * r k f * t, if you want to go super old school)
Red Russian is swell.
And here I figured, Cole, that your birthday gift to your dad was letting him spend the day lounging near the new grill and telling you all the way U R DOIN IT RONG…
Amir_Khalid: Happy birthday, and many happy returns, youngster!
That was code for he really is thrilled you are doing this, honest.
Villago Delenda Est
Your dad knows why you’re doing it.
And, as Susan says, he’s thrilled.
@23, OK I will look for this commie kale.
Also, forgot to ask Cole will that menu be enough for Rosie and Tunch?
You got anything for the people? Chips and kool aid, some duff beer, something like that?
Damnit!! I’m trying to win Adele tickets! Last hour I was caller #2 thIs hour I was caller #3!!!! u gotta be caller #20!!!!! At this rate 17 more calls and I’ll be #20, but there is only 1 chance to call per hour and I only got 3 hours left!!!!!!
Mother Ripley (91) is on her way here with my niece and the niece’s boyfriend. After a rock-solid life of giving, giving, giving, she’s frail, unsteady and often confused. She loves pepperoni pizza, McDonald’s cheeseburgers, my sisters and me (mostly).
We’ve had our issues over my lifetime but it’s good to see her again. If my sisters would stop wigging out like this was the first leg on the trip to
ObamacareArmageddon, it would be a lot easier on me. If I an handle a rat terrier, I think I can handle my elderly mother.
Count your blessings, John Cole, that your family is hanging in there with you. And you give that old sumbitch a hug and a nice, fat glass of some good whiskey, then ask him to tell you that story you’ve heard a thousand times already.
Skol, Mr. Cole!
James E. Powell
Exactly. It’s curmudgeon-speak for “Thank You!”
lamh34, I have my fingers crossed for you, but just in case, here’s something that worked for me when I couldn’t win tickets.
Go to the radio station the late afternoon/evening of the show before they close for the day. Ask if anyone who won tickets hasn’t picked them up, and do your best doe eyes. The one time I tried this, I wound up with tickets for myself, a friend, and a couple of people standing forlornly behind us at the club.
I can’t guarantee that there will be even one extra ticket for a big name like Adele, but it’s worth a try.
(And happy birthday to your dad, John! Sit down and relax at some point and don’t let the pack “accidentally” trip you as you’re carrying meat back from the grill.)
@Amir_Khalid: Happy birthday! Yay! Fifty!
You’ve really got to learn to start threatening your father with spending his twilight years in a bad nursing home.
Old Hallowell Days!
I grew up in Farmingdale (one town south on the Kennebec) and went to school with kids from Hallowell.
Hope you’re enjoying my old stomping grounds…
Apolitical husband lives in Maine (I live in Boston – long story) and didn’t know it was Snowe, but he hears a lot of grumbling about LePage, who is also something of an embarrassment for everyone not one of the 27%ers.
@ Amir — Happy Big One! (They’re all Big Ones after this…)
And to Cole’s dad, best wishes for a grand day at the expense of your son’s nervous breakdown. You wouldn’t be his dad if you couldn’t jerk his chain.
It’s all lovely. Have a wonderful time, one and all!
Monday is my special day. I can’t believe that I’m excited because I qualify for early retirement. I was a stay at home mom but worked enough to qualify on my own. My ex gets the max so when I’m 65 or 66 I’ll apply for half of his. Happy Birthday to all the cancer BJ’ers.
BTW.. I think I gained 5 pounds just reading the menu. Sounds great and have a wonderful time, John.
I’m in Farmingdale right this minute overlooking the mighty Kennebec. Rode bikes to Hallowell on the rail trail, and husband commutes to Gardiner on the bike trail. In summer.
You can wave to my mother if you go past Grant Street.
We can all celebrate this too, next week. If this gets done in time, lets all get a bag of chocolate gold coins and rip through them puppies, like there’s no tomorrow. Yippee! I guess with some fine fine expensive port, or cough medicine, since I can’t really tell the difference, and I might get a little buzz from a bottle of cough syrup and a few thousand dollars of chocolate gold coins!
House Republicans brace for compromise on debt
GOP leaders turn to their most trusted budget expert, Rep. Paul D. Ryan (R-Wis.), to explain to the rank and file what could happen if Congress fails to raise the debt ceiling.
House Republicans brace for compromise on debt
GOP leaders turn to their most trusted budget expert, Rep. Paul D. Ryan (R-Wis.), to explain to the rank and file what could happen if Congress fails to raise the debt ceiling.
At a news conference today at the White House, President Obama reiterated that he was willing to accept difficult cuts in Medicare and other entitlement programs if Republicans would accept some increase in federal revenues.
Lisa Mascaro and Kathleen Hennessey, LA Times Washington Bureau
‘ House Speaker John A. Boehner of Ohio underscored the point to dispel the notion that failure to allow more borrowing is an option.
“He said if we pass Aug. 2, it would be like ‘Star Wars,'” said Rep. Scott DesJarlais, a freshman from Tennessee. “I don’t think the people who are railing against raising the debt ceiling fully understand that.”
The warnings appeared to have softened the views of at least some House members who, until now, were inclined to dismiss statements by administration officials, business leaders and outside economists that the economic impact would be dire if the federal government were suddenly unable to pay its bills.
Freshman Rep. Steve Womack (R-Ark.) said the presentation about skyrocketing interest rates that could result from downgraded bond ratings was “sobering.”
“It illustrates to us that doing nothing is unacceptable,” he said. “I think the conference understands this is a defining moment for us. It’s time to put the next election aside.”
At the same time, Republican leaders orchestrated a series of public moves intended to soften the blow for conservatives… ‘
My hopes started rising for a debt ceiling bargan, without irreversible or maximal damage to country right after Obama’s press conf yestardy. Obama said that the House would have some symbolic votes next week. And then like 30 seconds after it was over, Boehner made a big deal of announcing that the House would have some symbolic votes next week, but rather blandly as if it stuff he had to get out the way.
The Keynesian (no, not Kenyan, I typed ‘Keynesian’) Obama has been coming through in interviews. Looks like his gyrations have been political posturing, though I am still unsure what his true economic beliefs are, or even if he has any clear beliefs.
I did note that Obama included expenditure cuts for Medicare, like drug price negotiations, that would probably be very popular with voters, and Nancy Smash would surely get behind, along with maybe some trivial steepening of Medicare premium sliding scale. Popular bargains that included impressive social insurance expenditure, but not really bad benefit, cuts would not be bargaining territory the mendacious and bullying GOPpers would want to enter for fear of damaging their brand even further, unless they were to go against one of their die hard interest groups (ie, rent seeking giant corporations).
This is a great menu John. have you thought of adding something starchy? Say some potatoes roasted in olive oil with herbs and onions?
My cell # is the same as a country club in a different area code so people leave me messages all the time for tee times. I don’t call them back. Hee hee.
Sorry about previous comment. Some text I pasted in there must have had a hyperlink I did not notice, which exploded when I tried to edit.
cleaned it up as best I could, and mr edit is timing out.
Edit: found the LA Times story on Calculated Risk blog.
I fixed melon mango slaw for breakfast, 2 green bean dishes for lunch (asian garlicy and lemon/feta), and am trying zuccaghetti for dinner (julienned zucchini) with a roasted tomato cream sauce and zipper peas and purple carrots with ginger on the side. I love it when I don’t have any pressing chores and can try new recipes. The melon mango slaw was to-die-for and I’m looking forward to a whole bunch of new dishes to cook with family when we go to the beach for 10 days in August. Love summer — no homework to supervise :)
Kathy in St. Louis
Sounds like a good menu. As the family event planner for our group I will say I think you may be a little light on the drumsticks. I would have done 20, at leas, for 20-25 people. Most folks will take a little of the ribs, a little of the chicken.
Free Advice: My dad died 15 years ago. Don’t stress about the food. Enjoy the time you’ve both left to share together.
You Don't Say
Good luck, John, it all sounds delicious, especially the many salads. I once visited my sick father and his wife to help out with a few things, then one night at dinner, after I had been there a week, he asked me why I was staying another week. So I know how it feels to want to smack a parent.
That’s his way of saying thank you. He really appreciates it and will have a great time.
efgoldman: yup, t’was me and husband to be at the howitzers all those years ago. Here we all virtually are thanks to some random ex-wing nut blogger from WV with a wicked fat cat.
jl..Funny story..years ago while cleaning a son’s room and talking on the phone with a friend at the same time, I found what I thought was chocolate covered gold coins. Being a chocoholic, I told my friend who said don’t open them. I was a tad confused until she finally explained to me they might not be chocolate.
edit..since I never opened one, it could have been chocolate.
thx for the advice. The tickets for the Dallas area will go on sale next friday, but since she had to reschedule her show due to her laryngitis earlier this month, ticketholders from the original date gets pre-sale diggs before general public. At least her management went for a larger venue. The first venue was House of Blues in Dallas sold out within 10 minutes (I’m assuming her management didn’t realize how big “21” was gonna be)!!! This time they are at the Verizon Center in Grand Prairie which I believe is a larger venue. So I may be able to get tickets if I’m online early enough. It would just be cool to win tickets instead of having to buy it.
In my younger years, I would be on conference calls with all my friends working my fingers to knubs trying to get tickets…lol. Seriously though, if I hadn’t gotten thru the last 2 times, I probably woulda given up by now…but I tasted victory, now I can’t stop so I’m gonna keep trying.
@efgoldman and cat lady:
The worst wrong number I ever got was from a woman who left a long message on my phone machine explaining to her parents why she was leaving home, where she was going, and finished it up by telling them that it was up to them to contact her if they ever wanted to talk to her again. It was so freaking sad. I have no way of knowing how it turned out but it seemed to be starting out on a horribly wrong foot.
lamh34..good luck and some good advice from comrade Mary. My son and his cousin went to a Braves game and arrived late, duh, imagine that and went to the wrong window to buy tickets. Since the game had started the person explained they were at the pickup window but never mind, here. They sat behind 3rd base, 4 rows up free of charge.
I think it’s the job of a parent to do this passive-agressive thing…
Did something similar for my mom’s 80th. She bitched and moaned through the whole thing, proclaiming loudly and longly that she would really have preferred to just go to Burger King. Couple of weeks later, she fessed up, with a thank you and told me that yes, she felt pretty special. Thank you again.
Couple of weeks after that, she was gone. I keep in my mind that, bitching and moaning aside, she did let me know that she did indeed love her last birthday party.
Parents are what they are. Part of their job, I think, is to see that the humans they leave behind are suitably humble — and tough enough to know they do the right thing.
JPL and Amir, HAPPY BIRTHDAY, and Papa Cole too! A Crab Extravaganza!!
Jeebus. There’s a whole movie plot in that one misplaced message. Jeebus.
mem from somerville
Hey–good news for fat cats:
Fat cat Eddie gets snatched up by hawk, but dropped in neighbor’s garden due to weight
From many of the comments I have concluded the following: 1) many Juicers’ parents appear to be not long for this world so spoil them rotten while you can; and 2)I take it a Stouffers dinner isn’t worth mentioning and may, in fact, be reason to ban me.
Love the menu John and you’re dad sounds just like mine!
@ Cat Lady #43, my business number once belonged to a company called American Gag Bag! Besides the kinda gross name, it’s annoying to still get calls 20+ years later for dragon incense burners and matches.
Ah, I forgot the initial reason I wanted to post! I’m wondering if any of you could offer some guidance as to devices/services to use when I get the computer hooked up to the TV and discontinue our satellite service. Do any of you use Netflix streaming, if so, how do you like it? Also too, the BIG problem will be watching football without satellite service (ie: no NFL Ticket) any advice on that score would be awesome as my husband is already in pre-withdrawal.
@ML – July 16, 2011 | 5:17 pm
I lost mine in 94. You’re exactly right.
SIA, ML: Amen
mem from somerville: omg, that hawk must have been enormous! Glad Eddie’s ok. What a story.
@mem, that’s just more proof that cats are small gods. According to Sir Terry:
Now consider the tortoise and the eagle.
The tortoise is a ground-living creature. It is impossible to live nearer the ground without being under it. Its horizons are a few inches away. It has about as good a turn of speed as you need to hunt down a lettuce. It has survived while the rest of evolution flowed past it by being, on the whole, no threat to anyone and too much trouble to eat.
And then there is the eagle. A creature of the air and high places, whose horizons go all the way to the edge of the world. Eyesight keen enough to spot the rustle of some small and squeaky creature half a mile away. All power, all control. Lightning death on wings. Talons and claws enough to make a meal of anything smaller than it is and at least take a hurried snack out of anything bigger.
And yet the eagle will sit for hours on the crag and survey the kingdoms of the world until it spots a distant movement and then it will focus, focus, focus on the small shell wobbling among the bushes down there on the desert. And it will leap . . .
And a minute later the tortoise finds the world dropping away from it. And it sees the world for the first time, no longer one inch from the ground but five hundred feet above it, and it thinks: what a great friend I have in the eagle.
And then the eagle lets go.
And almost always the tortoise plunges to his death. Everyone knows why the tortoise does this. Gravity is a habit that is hard to shake off. No one knows why the eagle does this. There’s good eating on a tortoise but, considering the effort involved, there’s much better eating on practically anything else. It’s simply the delight of eagles to torment tortoises.
But of course, what the eagle does not realize is that it is participating in a very crude form of natural selection.
One day a tortoise will learn how to fly.
Fat Eddie FTMFW.
Stellar quote from jl‘s article
Out of the mouths of babes. SO kind of you to get the obvious into print sweetheart.
ETA: because, to be very very very clear, it’s never about actually governing with this lot, couldn’t be, no. silly me.
Guess John can rest easy now, it would take a hawk the size of a Boeing to get the Big White One off the ground.
DAMNITT!!! I was caller #11 just now!!!!! UGHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH!!!
1 last chance (maybe 2) and that’s all she wrote. thx guys for the advice.
What? You didn’t make your own? Slacker…
That food sounds awesome. Going to try a mango slaw and zuccaghetti very soon!
@61: thanks for that story. Fat Eddie Rules!
Cole had better put out signs to warn off hawks and similar predators not to try anything on Tunch. Looks like from the story the hawk was OK. Don’t see how that could be if it tried to pick up the Tuncher.
BTW, Cole not reporting on the booze logistics for party. Well, we tried to warn the middle aged coot.
Happy birthday to Cole’s pa, and BJ’ers everywhere, may God/FSM/BuddhaNature/AtmanGodheadReagan bless them.
mem from somerville
Yeah–but imagine the ricochet off the umbrella if that hawk did come by…
Nextflix is fine but be aware of their upcoming price increase. As far as connecting to the TV you’ll need to provide more info on the type of machine you are using.
Happy Birfday to Pappa Cole!
After a couple weeks of blistering heat, it’s like a spring day here in the Deep South. Low 80s, sunny, beautiful…. in mid July. Kinda weird, but we’re not complaining.
Pretty amazing isn’t it?
John – I am almost the age of your Dad. Many people of our generation are not comfortable being the center of attention, but, believe me, he will love the party after he gets started visiting with everyone. He will also appreciate what you are doing, whether he says so or not. Take lots of pictures and make him an album, so he can enjoy it over and over.
When I turned 60 I laid down the law to my wife. NO parties. She flew my best friends in from SF and Tucson. They knocked on my door on a Friday afternoon and I almost passed out I was so overwhelmed. It was the best!
1) you’re right, I think. Either we’ve been there recently, or will be soon.
2) Stouffer’s works just fine. Served with love, of course. But whatever you plan, the important part is that it is indeed served with love.
@stuckinred: That sounds great. My oldest son gave me a surprise birthday party on my 60th complete with out of town friends and it was fantastic. Then he and his wife took me to San Antonio to see a rock show – Kiss and Aerosmith.
@efgoldman: Sorry for the incomplete citation. That was Sir Terry Pratchett, with the opening passage from one of his best novels, Small Gods.
I love how John is so into his family. That is special.
Netflix streaming works very well. (I watch a couple a week.) I think that some football games are on the web for a period of time after played. For instance, I believe I watched the Auburn-South Carolina championship on the SEC web site a few days after the game was played. They aren’t there for long, though.
JC, Your menu is great, and ambitious. Sounds like you make everything from scratch. Sounds fresh and yummy.
Sounds like my mother-in-law. The corollary is, if you HAD gone out to eat, it would have been: “Why are we spending so much eating out? I’d have rather had a nice dinner at home”.
Love em, but they always win.
EFGoldman: If you haven’t had the joy of reading Terry Pratchett, I strongly second Comrade Mary’s recommendation! SMALL GODS is a stand-alone (many of the Discworld novels involve several sets of recurrent characters, and some people complain it’s hard for newbies to keep track) and one of his ‘denser’ books; if you liked the Earthsea books, you’ll appreciate it. For a lighter, more humorous stand-alone, I recommend PYRAMIDS, another one-off that satirizes (among other things) British public-school novels, hipster assassins, Indiana-Jones-style Egyptology, higher mathematics, and classical Greek philosphers. Or THE TRUTH, which draws upon Pratchett’s real-life experience as all-purpose dogsbody for a small daily newspaper in a madcap meditation upon all the many purposes of a free press as unspooled around the Discworld’s first printing press and its effects. (Also, satires of Pulp Fiction, the movie, and an incidental press magnate based on Lord Beaverbrook.)
@Anne Laurie: If you look around on the web people have put together flow charts for what they consider the proper reading order of the interlocking books. Which is one of the reasons I never even started. Too many books, requires a flow chart, I’ve already got a to-read stack that will never have its last element popped. But every now and then I consider, “well, maybe just one…”
But the aids to the would-be reader do exist.
So your father’s birthday is July 17? As was that of my late mother, and he sounds like one of a kind with him. “Oh, don’t do anything special for me on my birthday…” and of course you wouldn’t be going to all of this trouble if you didn’t know he somehow expected it. Mother died in February at age 105 so you may have some more birthdays to go.
MikeJ, ignore those reading charts. Seriously. Yes, there is a sequence in most of the nodes (The Watch, The Witches, etc.) but it isn’t a pre-requisite to enjoying the books. I’ve read them almost completely at random (whatever was available at the library or a bookstore) and still have gotten each book as a standalone, figuring out the storyline afterwards. (“Oh, so that’s how character X wound up married.”)
(My ex- refused to read any fantasy series out of the One True Order, which means he started with The Colour of Magic and never went on. Pity.)
“Happy Birthday, Dad – KAPOW!”
Seriously, though: You are a very good son.
I went to Mt. Rainier again today, scouting out more trails for the hiking group. The Nisqually Vista trail is still snow-packed, and I was very glad to have trekking poles. The Grove of the Patriarchs, which is 25 miles east of Rainier itself and at a much lower elevation, was sunny and hot. All told, I hiked for 3, maybe 4 hours, and was driving the rest of the day (6 hours or so). I ache all over, and it’s from the driving, not the hiking!
Block quote oops: “I wanted to punch him in the neck” should, of course, be part of the quote.
Happy birthday to your pops, Cole. That menu sounds fabu.
@Amir_Khalid: Happy birthday to you, too!
Thank you so much. For my amusement this birthday morning (I’m 12 time zones away from America) I’m teasing that idiot Trollenschlongen a few threads down. I figure he’s lonely, so I offered him a teddy bear.
At our last do of perhaps 40 people, one guest accidently pulled a chair out from under a lady who intended to sit there, and she cracked her head on our fireplace bricks. I spent four hours in the ER with her, and then had to devote hours more to return for removal of the staples. Keep safety in mind particularly if there is booze.
#75 @Svensker – the recipes are at http://www.food52.com. I’ve gotten so many great recipes from this site – love it.
Oh, John, this is parent code speak of “I hate that you are going out of your way”, And I would have “paid” just to go out to dinner.
Reminds me when my brothers and I were “secretly” planning my parents 50th anniversary. My mother, being the intuitive that she is tells me “I hope you are not planning a big to do, because it hasn’t been all “great”. Code speak, “I don’t want my children making such a fuss. They ended up enjoying the celebration, that last before my father passed.