I got home from my lunch at 2 and started helping Butch prepare my dinner. I keep saying that he doesn't know how to cook---to which he eventually took offense. He said he knows how, he just doesn't want to. Okay, now that his secret is out, that's not going to fly. After 41 years of cooking, now that he's retired, I told him he can cook one night a week. After his one day in the kitchen, I think he "gets it." We worked 2 hours getting everything ready---and this was an easy meal! He kept saying, this is enough food to feed an army. He has no idea what it takes to feed a crowd (there are 9 of us including the boyfriends---when the Lapps' are with us, it's 14). Since it was my birthday, he let me boss him around! Not that it stops me from trying at other times, he just listened this time.
We had a seafood feast. A few days before the day, Butch handed me the Kroger ad and asked me what I thought. It showed crab legs at $4.99 lb., shrimp buy one package get one, and lobster tails 2 for $10.00. I was "all in." Even though it was my birthday, I knew this would be a great surprise for the "kids."
I planned the menu and he did the shopping (that's a gift all by itself). I've never made lobster before. Anytime we've ever had it, it was already cooked. You have to cut them with scissors up the back of the shell and pull out the tail. Then, you put the shell back together and lay the tail on top. Next, you slice the tail, put in chunks of butter, salt, pepper, garlic and paprika. I wasn't sure I was going to be able to eat it. I don't usually have a problem handling raw meat, but this was very unpleasant. Now that I know, I would do it again. It turned out so delicious. Along with the lobster, we had steamed crab legs and broiled shrimp. For the side dishes, we made twice-baked potato casserole, salad, green bean casserole (the old fashioned recipe from the 1970's with the fried onions on top---I hadn't made that in years) and Sister Shubert rolls. I was going for "quick and easy" since it was my birthday.
That "quick and easy" turned in to 2 hours. It was exactly 4 p.m. when we finished. Just in time for happy hour. Morgan got here at 3:30---she came straight from school. She told us all about her fabulous trip to Ireland, Wales and England. She only had one day in London, but they crammed a lot in to it. It was so much fun listening to her and remember all those places that we visited last year--- Stratford Upon Avon (home of William Shakespeare) and Oxford, and Picadilly Circus near the American Embassy and the old and "fancy" Mayfair hotel. She was so impressed to find out that that's where we stayed. She told us how, while shopping, in her haste to get to the tube for their next meet up (they were going to the theater to see Wicked), she walked off and left all of her money, credit card, driver's license and social security card on the shop counter. I asked her "why in the world do you carry your social security card?" She said she doesn't have her number memorized. I still don't get it---it's not like you need that on a daily basis. She had her passport inside her clothes. She hurried back and the shopkeeper had it all for her. She got to Wicked, so it all ended well. That could have ruined her trip.
She told us how they were all stared at many times. They couldn't figure out why---unless it was just that they were a group of 25 American girls. Finally, Morgan asked a man in one of the shops why they were getting so many looks. Turns out it was because of their Hunter boots. He told her that it wasn't raining and boots were worn in the country. Here, they're a fashion statement.
Okay, back to me...
We had dinner around 6:30. Afterwards, I opened presents. Butch surprised me with a Boston Cream Pie (which is really cake with a pudding center). We played Guestures for awhile.
My plan was to shush everyone out by 9:30 so I could watch a movie and stitch. I got up early to have extra hours on my birthday. They left by 9:30, but by then I was too tired. I ended up going to bed with my book.
Truly, one of the best birthdays I can recall.