A birthday picnic menu, a lentil salad, & a short journey in the future

This Moment, by Eaven Boland

A neighbourhood.
At dusk.
Things are getting ready
out of sight.
Stars and moths.
And rinds slanting around
But not yet.
One tree is black.
One window is yellow as
A woman leans down to catch a child
who has run into her
this moment.
Stars rise.
Moths flutter.
Apples sweeten in
the dark.

It is April 2055. I have just celebrated my 80th birthday. I am sitting on a bench at dusk, reading this poem. And like Alice in Wonderland, I plunge into the rabbit hole that is memory lane.  I think of you, my son, love of my life, and that night 42 years ago, that night before we celebrated your 2nd birthday. It was the night before the storm, the whirlwind of party preparations, cooking and more cooking side by side with my mother, planning and organizing, listing and anticipating. The night before the cheers, the laughter, the hugs and songs, I remember a moment of calm, before the festivities, everyone asleep; I took in that moment, with all its thoughts, and tucked it away in a hidden treasure box, close to my heart. Tonight, I can open that box and treasure it once again. This moment of gratitude, of love, of acknowledgement of my life transformed for the better, of the many lessons already learned thanks to you, this moment of realization there really was so much to celebrate. Life is full of these treasure boxes. This one, I shall leave out, open, as it radiates the tranquil warmth that is the meaning of my life.

Menu for Pablo’s birthday party/picnic/bbq at the park

Four savory cakes (they could also be called “breads” or loaves): mixed herbs; ham & green olives; goat cheese, walnut, raisins; asparagus mushrooms.

Chicken gouda muffins

Ratatouille feta muffins

Tray of crudités (carrots, cucumber, tomatoes), with hummus and creamy feta dip with mint parsley pesto

Thisleeks, feta, lemon quiche with homemade spelt cream cheese crust

French-style grated carrot & parsley salad

Mixed quinoa salad (with beans, corn, tomatoes, peppers, cucumbers, olives…)

Lentil shallot salad (recipe below)

Potato salad

Cheese platter with homemade bread

And some hamburgers too 🙂

Chocolate cake made by my good friend Elleni

Fresh fruit platter



6 thoughts on “A birthday picnic menu, a lentil salad, & a short journey in the future

  1. Beautifully written as always. And lots of tasty food! Sounds like you had a very special party. Raminta x

  2. How beautiful! Happy birthday, Pablo! I'm sure by the time it's 2055, you'll know what a blessing it is to have a mom who cooks like yours. Actually, I'm sure you'll know it sooner than that.

    1. Thank you so much Shanna, I always feel so honored when you leave a kind comment here.

  3. Wait. 2055. Gasp. Isn't that like insanely furturistic sounding?!!
    Sounds like a lovely party. I need to remember to slow down and savor things like this.

    1. I know, I was imagining myself at 80 years old, and had to calculate what year that will be (hope I can make it that far!) 2055 sounds so science fiction, doesn't it? These next 40+ years will feel like they went by in a blink by then, so we better savor them now indeed 🙂

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