Thursday, August 4, 2016

A Garden Birthday Party in Carmel Valley !

It was recently my annual summer vacation to the coast with my girlfriends, the "Beach Bunnies", as we like to call ourselves ! We rent a house in the Monterey, California area for a week to take walks, shop, dine, go to a musical, watch movies together, play games, read magazines, sleep in or not, and we also usually have Birthday parties !
   We had a special Birthday party for Sharon, who is passionate about gardening, flowers, and delectable cuisine ! I asked her where she would like to have her Birthday party and she said that she liked The Corkscrew Cafe in Carmel Valley, that happens to be one of my favorite places in the world, so I made a reservation there very quickly ! The Corkscrew Cafe is a rustic, old house that has been turned into a darling restaurant with a beautiful, Provencal garden, gravel on the ground, grapevines growing overhead, and a trickling fountain in the center with goldfish in it.
   I wondered what type of party should we throw for Sharon, so I said a little prayer asking G-d what to do and I heard to give her a garden party, with vases of flowers lining down the center of the table. One of my friends' named Leslie brought an assortment of clear vases and bottles from home with her to add to my mine, so we had ten all together. It equaled one vase per lady at the party! Leslie helped me arrange the flowers that I had brought, secretly in our rental house. We loaded them in ice chests in my car the next day. Sharon asked me if she could ride with me to the restaurant, but our friend Jennifer told her that she couldn't because I had "issues". Hee hee !
   The kind people at The Corkscrew Cafe prepared a lovely long table covered with a blue Provencal tablecloth and white cloth napkins under the shade, in their tranquil garden.  On Sharon's plate, I placed a lavender sachet with a tiny bouquet of fresh lavender, red rose buds, and a sprig of jasmine tied on it. And with our parade of colorful flowers cascading down the table, it was a scene out of cafe garden in Provence !

 Quite frequently, Sharon and I, (two foodie gals who love to eat and cook) order the same items when we dine out together. Today was not any different, as we ordered to share, a Meyer lemon, arugula, and cheese pizza, and a mushroom pizza . Both were  wood-fired. Yum ! We also ordered a caramelized pear, roasted hazelnut, gorgonzola salad with apple cider vinaigrette dressing. delicious ! I had a refreshing lemonade to drink and our friend Debbie had the champagne that you see in the picture.
             In the middle of the meal, some of us took turns
blessing Sharon with kind words, telling her what we admire and appreciate about her, and thanking her for the special ways that she has affected our lives. Those were some touching moments and words. After our lunch, our kind waitress brought Sharon a sweet, fresh peach galette (a rustic little pie) with a scoop of vanilla bean ice-cream and a lit candle ! (Some of us were hoping and praying that the dessert chef had made lavender ice-cream; something delectable that we had had there before. But not today, boo hoo !) Oh well, not to worry...the day was gorgeous, the food scrumptious, the company delightful, and the celebration was fun !! What more could we ask of such a wonderful, blessed day !
   P.S. We missed those of you Bunnies,  that weren't able to come this year !

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