Thursday, July 16, 2020

Officially Midlife at 50

Happy birthday to me! Right, I have turned the page and entered the midlife stage last June. I am now part of the 50 youngins :)

In observance of Covid19 and to make my life easier in preparing the food, I did a 2-day celebration for the family. Nothing fancy and big really. I tend to shy away from parties and crowds so I made this as a small, cosy and family-only event. 

Saturday was a barbecue dinner and Sunday a long lazy lunch. The weather was on our side, which was awesome, so quite happy with it as I was already ready to do a raincheck a week later if the weather acts up.

50 is a big number but I do not feel 50 at all, although, sometimes I wish I do.

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Dutchman managed to document the 2 days with pictures, albeit not properly. It did not surprise me at all.

Well, the Saturday barbecue dinner pictures came without the barbecue, haha. He started early with the game, taking pictures here and there whilst I was preparing food and setting the table, and on towards the first course. By the time we have arrived at the main course -- the barbecue and the actual grilling of the meats -- he kind of forgotten where the camera was. Well, I give him the benefit of the doubt as he was the barbecue man responsible for grilling the meats and bringing them to our plates.


I am just getting ready with the table setting here, and you can see our cute electric barbecue grill on the corner, just under the hanging white petunia flowers. We are not hardcore barbecuers, so a small electric one is good enough for the Dutchman and moi. 

By the way, these petunias have been blooming since April! Aren't they gorgeous?

The glasses will have to be set on the table as well. 

I had a 2-liter champagne bottle from 2010 that I am opening for the aperitif but will be using a different wine glass for this.

Our garden is actually an inner courtyard or terrace... a bit minimalist and modern sort of garden. People say it is Japanese style. 

I do want to have a small herb garden on the corner, just behind the white Petunias, something like a ladder or layered-type of herb garden which I will definitely be using for cooking. Since I am busy with other projects in the house, this will have to come maybe in autumn or next year's spring.

I baked this cake in the morning and it is delicious. It's Victoria sponge cake topped with frosting and fresh berries. I have been baking cakes on the weekends and will be experimenting with other types of cakes soon.

The chocolates go with coffee after dinner and the finger foods (cheese - olive - gherkin with onion fig dip) for the aperitif.

Busy doing preparations.... I think for the first course. There will soon be a massive vertical garden on the wall behind the kitchen island. I am still in the research mode as I am torn between faux plants and dried moss with a mixture of faux plants.

My hair is too long, I badly needed to go to the hairdresser for a proper haircut and some real styling. I haven't been able to yet, perhaps next week.

Luckily Dutchman managed to take a photo of our first course! Buffalo cheese on a bed of different types and colours of tomatoes and topped with basil leaves and then drizzled with olive oil and balsamic vinegar.... and Beef carpaccio on a bed of rucola and topped with pine nuts, parmesan cheese, and parsley. Always add freshly ground pepper to everything!

Say cheese, you are all on camera :)

The pictorial for the day has come to an end because the Dutchman totally forgot his picture-taking responsibilities after this photo. Thus, no pictures of the main course barbecue, none for the dessert which is a choice of the cake and yogurt ice cream, and the coffee finale too. What a bummer, but oh well, that's life I guess, haha.


I had to wake up a bit early as I only have a few hours to prepare!

Well, guess what, the Dutchman was back on with the camera but similarly to Saturday's event, he forgot his role as the photographer after the first course. So there are no pictures of the main course food which is warm pizza-style pastry and couscous, and the dessert which was the same as Saturday as well, a choice of cake and yogurt ice cream.

Preparing beetroot salad with white cheese and rucola. This is so fresh and oh so delicious. Tip: sprinkle some lemon on the beetroot, it will bring out the zest and freshness of the beets. Just drizzle olive oil on top and some pepper and its ready. No need for salt because of the cheese.

Proost! Cheers! Another beautiful summer day to celebrate being 50. We were lucky to have great weather 2 days consecutive on a row and on a weekend. If you have lived in the Netherlands (or Northern Europe), you know what I mean.

I do not need birthday gifts but for those who insist to give, I hinted to bring spirits. So I received a couple of bottles... champagne, prosecco, and cocktails such as Aperol.

The lunch was largely a vegetarian theme kind of lunch but I have added a bit of meat for the meat-eaters. You can see the salami peeking from the open-faced sandwich. I know we are in the days of veganism and sustainable eating but I cannot let the traditional and hardcore meat-eaters down. Flexibility is the name of my game.

I can't really say if I was exhausted at the end of the 2-day celebration but it was nice to relax on the sofa on a quiet Sunday evening and not having to cook and serve 8-10 people. Perhaps it was the adrenaline that kept me going. I am hyper by nature, so I have lots of stored energy that needs to get out.

As they always say, 50 is just but a number. That is quite true, but I am very grateful as well for the years, the experiences, the people in my life, and everything else in between in the last 5 decades. Here's to more lovely years ahead! Cheers.

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Happy Travels! Enjoy Life =)

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