A Very Stigma Birthday: Part 2

Well, as promised, this post provides the other half of my trailer park birthday celebrations.  Unfortunately, I was so busy cleaning up, preparing the guest room, and making an incredible 4 course meal, I completely failed to take any pictures!  Let’s face it: throwing yourself a birthday party and enjoying it at the same time is harder than hula-hooping counter-clockwise!

But I can write about the evening, and then show you some pictures of a meal I made a week later that was surprisingly similar to my birthday dinner (minus the pie….unfortunately!)  So, here goes!

Like I’ve mentioned before, I wanted my “fancy dinner party” to revolve around some of my favorite asian foods.  So here was the menu:

Appetizers: rice cracker mix and seaweed salad (the only two parts of dinner I didn’t make myself!), and warmed sake  (well, I didn’t make the sake either, but I did warm it up 🙂 !)

Appetizers Round II: homemade wonton dumplings (served with a sweet and spicy garlic sauce) and veggie sushi rolls

Main course (as if we had room!): tempeh and sweet potato stir fry with spicy peanut sauce served over soba noodles

Dessert: Double chocolate peanut butter pie (Yes, I realize that this isn’t very asian-inspired, but it was so delectable that no one noticed)

And it was all vegan.  (Well, almost.  The wonton wrappers I buy have egg in them, but I wasn’t about to add making wonton wrapper dough to the process of stuffing, closing, freezing, boiling, and frying the wontons.)  And it was DELICIOUS.  We were so stuffed that we had to wait an hour and a half before eating pie.  And then we waited another 3 hours to split just one more piece of pie three ways (it was that kind of night).

Did I mention that I made all that food for only 5 people?  I’m not very good at making small amounts of food :).  But my leftovers are fantastic.

So here’s a picture of what the dumplings and sushi rolls looked like, though these pictures are from a different night a week later.  I had prepped so many dumplings that I didn’t end up cooking them all, so a week after the party, CF and I cooked up the rest that were in the freezer and made some sushi rolls, too.

Here you'll see the dumplings, the sushi rolls, and a seaweed salad from our fave sushi restaurant!

Homemade avocado and carrot sushi rolls!

Homemade wonton dumplings, filled with tofu, red cabbage, onion, carrot and apple!

You get the gist…though I do wish I had a picture of that pie.  I used a recipe that I’ve made before– but instead of regular peanut butter, I used Dark Chocolate Dreams peanut butter, and instead of vanilla extract I used almond… which made it taste like I put amaretto in there, which is always a good thing. 😉

Anyway, I wanted to write about more than just the food!  (Though, really, if we’re being honest, the food is a pretty exciting part of the night.)  I also need to mention that I was especially excited/anxious/too distracted to use a camera because this was the first time that these very close friends of mine had been to Lot 26!  And I wanted to make a good impression.

So I cleaned, organized, got the guest room all spiffed up, and begged CF to fix our hopelessly clogged shower drain before our overnight guests arrived.  (The latter did indeed happen.  It was heroic, I tell you.  That CF–he’s amazing. Perhaps you’ll get the fuller story at a later time…)  And then I got both nervous and excited to have my girlfriends over.

Each one of them (hilariously) said the exact same thing that I said when I first stepped into our trailer: “Wow, it’s big in here!” None of them, or I, had really had any connection to or experience with mobile homes in our lives, thus none of us had a solid understanding of what a mobile home would be like on the inside.  They were all pleasantly surprised–and I was happy to hear them oooo and aaaah over my paint color choices in each room, the shower that CF installed practically on his own ;), the homey feel of our living room, and the beauty of the surrounding area.  Oh, and they also appreciated that there is a liquor store just a stroll away 🙂

It felt really good to share this place with them.  Really good.  And, like good friends do, we talked and laughed and laughed and laughed just like we would in any environment.  It felt good to fill our trailer with laughter and smiles and full bellies.

But eventually the party had to end, and my favorite ladies had to go home.  And as the last one left, she said to me, “You and CF have a good thing here.”  And she’s right!  We have plenty of space, food on the table, a roof over our heads (and a walnut tree above that 🙂 ), and each other.

So, dear readers, I hope you’ve enjoyed reading about the celebrations we’ve had around here lately.  Soon, I’ll tell you about my favorite chemical compound, and a little more about this amazing dinner:

Hmm...I wonder what delicious dinner lives inside those pumpkins....

Until then, may you all find that you have “a good thing” wherever you are!


About Cathy G Gilbert

I am veggie-loving, community college professor who lives, teaches, and writes in Central IL.
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