Birthdays only come once a year and so I think it’s a great idea to celebrate them when they do happen along.  Trouble is they don’t always show up at the most opportune times.  Take my father-in-law’s for example.  He had a birthday this week and so DA and I planned a special dinner to celebrate it.  That’s great except that our home is in total upheaval right now.  My in-laws drove up to a driveway largely occupied by a storage cube, entered our home to immediately see a living room virtually barricaded off by boxes and followed a stripped down corridor lined with drywall sheets to get to our dining room.  The floor and carpet showed signs of drywall dust and a sick DA (he started a cold that morning) and I did our best to steer them past all that unsightliness to the table which I had spruced up to look Italian.

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I took the colours of the Italian flag as my inspiration and pulled out whatever I could find that was red, white or green.  The green checked tablecloth, matching napkins and cutlery came out of our picnic stash.  There was only enough for four so I had to pull some cutlery out of one of the boxes that came from DA’s grandparents and use the napkins that I had gotten as a Christmas gift to fill out the table.  The red chargers are the ones I found in the after Christmas sale bin and the red flowers in the center of the table were repurposed from another craft idea that I had disassembled when I moved here.  I intended to use the huge pepper grinder that also came from DA’s grandparents for its intended purpose but to my dismay it didn’t grind.  It took me all of 20 seconds to realize that the grinder minus its innards could be used as a lovely matching vase for my red poppies.

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On the menu was white pizza with wild mushrooms, brie and herbs followed by chicken club pizza.  Both recipes were lifted from recent LCBO publications and both turned out exactly the way they were supposed to.  DA picked a lovely wine to go with my culinary creations.  The meal finished with homemade brownies topped with french vanilla ice cream, chocolate sauce and marachino cherries.  That dessert may not be traditional Italian fare but it was a sweet ending to a lovely meal.

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In the throes of preparing and serving food I never get any pictures.  You’ll just have to believe me that the edibles looked as good as they tasted.  After prepping for the dinner, I had just enough time to draw up an Italian looking card for the occasion which left a good impression.

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Entertaining is always a whole lot easier if you have a theme in mind.  My in-laws happened to have liked a previous pizza night I hosted so it was a no-brainer to do another one this year featuring different homemade pizzas.  Now I’ll just have to pray that LCBO comes out with more pizza ideas in their upcoming publications so that this can become a yearly ritual.  Wouldn’t that be fun?

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