Friday, February 20, 2009

Two, or Maybe Three, Celebrations!

Colorful Balloons decorated the House

Gifts Piled on the Coffee Table

No, not a birthday exactly, but a 1/2 birthday. My 48 1/2 birthday! (That would be 48.5 for you decimal nerdy friends of mine out there.) Yes, we crazy folks out here in the California foothills celebrate every chance we get, and that means celebrating 1/2 birthdays. So yesterday, February 19th, was my half birthday.

We had my half party at Jack's home, adorned as you can see above, with balloons that both men inflated with their manly hot air. No helium this time, but then helium doesn't last as long as air anyway. These beautiful ballooons went home with me and are presently filling my office with colorful cheer.

The guys gave me some nice gifts. Half birthdays are not supposed to be as elaborate in the gift area as full birthdays, but this year I received some very nice and very useful gifts from both guys.

Before we get to the gifts however, you need to see my favorite photo of the night below:

Cake, candles, gifts and curious kitty!

This is my view of the 1/2 chocolate cake (baked by Bob) just before I made my wish and blew out the candles. Notice Jack's cat, Lestat (named for his sharp teeth), in the background being very curious about all of the interesting things that appeared on "his" coffee table. I just love this photo!

So here are a few of the gifts I received for this year's half birthday:

Loaf Pans from Jack

I received 3 wonderful commercial grade loaf pans from Jack. These pans are heavy duty commercial grade metal pans that I will use in my bread baking hobby. I am excited to have them and can't wait to make some time to use them. Notice that I received 3 loaf pans. Just enough for our family of 3. One loaf of bread for each of us!

Cute Mini Cast Iron Skillet

Bob gifted me with this tiny cast iron skillet. I wanted it for a spoon rest or to use for melting butter. It's adorable, and is presently resting in the middle of my stovetop! I placed the wine glass beside it so you could tell how small it is.

A Pair of Excellent Candle/Fire Lighters

I received a pair of my favorite candle lighters. These babies are hard to find in the stores. They are wonderful because they fold up at an angle so that you can stick them inside a deep candle holder without burning yourself. They are great! I will use them all the time. Good for lighting the fire or the BBQ too. Thanks Bob.

I also received a great cast iron griddle/grill that fits my stove or BBQ really well, and a cast iron food press/weight for meats or sandwiches, but I didn't get photos of them. Bob got those for me, and I am so grateful because I had researched them for about 3 months before deciding which ones I wanted. He got me exactly the ones I liked. I will use them to cook magnificent things for us to eat!

Of course my favorite gifts of all are shown in the next two photos:



For this 1/2 birthday party, Bob made me a 1/2 chocolate cake with chocolate cream cheese frosting that you saw in the photo above, but here's a close up shot:

Chocolate 1/2 birthday cake~ or what's left of it

Jack made us his famous Picante Chicken with Rice dinner. It was so delicious that we didn't even take the time to get any photos of it. I provided a simple tossed green salad to round out the meal. We had some nice red wine, good food and good company. A very cozy family celebration. Just what I needed since I've been so stressed lately. Thanks Guys!

Now the title of this blog post says that there was more than one celebration to talk about. My half birthday is the first one.

The second celebration is that today marks my one year anniversary of this Mountain Harvest Basket blog! I started this blog one year ago on February 20, 2008. Hard to believe that time has flown by so fast, but it has. So just imagine in your heads the Happy Birthday Song...

Happy Blogiversary to Me!
Happy Blogiversary to Me!
Happy Blogiversary and Thank You to my Loyal Readers!!
Happy Blogiversary to Me!

I am so glad that I started this blog because I really enjoy writing about all of the crazy stuff that happens around here, and I have made such good friends through my blogging circle. Blogging has really helped to keep me happy and sane this past year. Thank you all. I love every one of you.

I will try to think of a fun way to celebrate this one year anniversary of MHB in the next few days. Perhaps I'll come up with some sort of fun give away or contest or something. We'll see how creative I can be.

OK, so that was celebration number 2. There's still one more to go.

The third milestone to celebrate is that this blog post is my number 101! Yes, I am one post late. I should have noticed that my last post was number 100, but I have been very busy lately, so I am choosing to acknowledge and celebrate blog post number 101 instead. Yay! Over 100 postings so far! Wow!

There you have it. Three celebrations in one post. Whew! I am tired now. I just can't party like I used to, I guess.

Love to you all. Thanks for being here and sharing my Mountain Harvest Basket with me.

© Copyright 2009 Mountain Harvest Basket


Farmgirl_dk: said...

Wow. Happy 1/2 Birthday, Blog Birthday, and 101st Postday!! Cheers!
(And may I just say...I would feel extremely nervous having a kitty named Lestat wandering around my house at night after dark!!) lol
Beautiful cake - my mouth is watering. Bob and Jack are simply the best - what a great party and very cool gifts. You are very loved, Jen!
Looking forward to reading more from you in the coming year. ♥ ♥ ♥

Susie said...

Happy Half Birthday Jennifer! I love the half Birthday idea but doubt it would go very far around here. Though im not at my half yet. I had a hard enough time even saying that I am 49 and 49 and a half isnt any easier ....

but happy 1/2 .5 to you


Lulu Barbarian said...

Best to celebrate #101 since 101 is a prime number. Congratulations!

mrscravitz said...

Happy 1/2 Birthday! Totally to cute! I can't keep up with whole Birthdays, let alone adding some halfs in there! LOL. That cake? Well it looks mouthwatering good! Ummm!

Hardware Bob said...

Great party, yummy food, and amazing friends.

Jack and I had a fun time preparing for the 1/2 Birthday event.

Just seeing that fabulous smile on our birthday girl was worth all the effort.

And, thanks to Jack's gift of professional baking pans, I will hopefully be rewarded someday with some of that scrumptious bread I keep reading about.

Happy blogiversary to you Farmer Jen, and congratulations on making it to the 100 club.

frugalmom said...

Wow! Happy all of that! Happy all of those things. The celebration looks so fun and festive. You have a great family of three.

And what awesome gifts you got. You will have to share with us your bread baking adventures with your new pans....will they make a diff you think?

I love to cook with cast iron.

Farmgirl Susan said...

Happy Happy Happy! What a great celebration - that cake looks fantastic. LOL it's great to know somebody else celebrates half birthdays (definitely must be a California thing) - though it's been a while since anybody baked me half a cake. ; )

Farmgirl Susan said...

P.S. You're going to love those bread pans! : )

Knit Witch said...

THAT is hilarious! I have never heard of such a thing!

Farmer Jen said...

Hi Danni,
Thank you for the good wishes! I see you know about vampire cats. Jack sleeps with his bedroom door closed and the cats are not allowed in there, so he is safe.

The cake was gone very quickly. Yes, I do feel very loved. I am so glad you look forward to reading more in my blog. That warms my heart so much.

Hi Susie,
Your half birthday is coming up soon. Not sure how I'd send a cake to you, but maybe you can make do with a "virtual" half cake. I'll see what I can do. Thanks for the birthday wishes.

Hi Lulu,
Thanks for the congrats. I never even thought about prime numbers, and I used to be an engineer in my former life. Ha! You're right. Celebrating 101 is cool.

Hi MrsCravitz,
Thanks for the birthday wishes. Yes that cake was rich and delicious, and now gone.

Hi Bob,
Great party indeed. I am glad you enjoyed preparing for it. We'll see if you get any bread or not. Will there be more cake coming my way soon? Thanks for the good wishes on my blogging milestones.

Hi Marcee,
Yes, I do have a great family of three. We have fun together. I will share my bread baking adventures in my blog. And yes, according to Farmgirl Susan (see the comments just after yours) those special commercial pans are supposed to make superb loaves of bread. Something about the size, the weight of the metal and the shiny surface that makes the crusts lighter colored yet evenly baked. Not sure exactly what they will do yet, I am so new to bread baking, but I am gonna try them out soon.

Hi Susan,
I do forget that you are from California. I think of your current location when I think of you and your farm. We started celebrating half birthdays several years ago. I think I saw the idea in a Hallmark advertisement and liked it.(They were probably just trying to sell more birthday cards.) Yes, I do expect to enjoy those baking pans. Thank you so much for writing about them on your blogs. I have been having fun with your Farmhouse White bread recipe too.

Hi KnitWitch,
You don't celebrate half birthdays out there in Georgia? I guess it must be a California thing then. We just like to celebrate everything we can. Another opportunity to eat more cake!

CaliforniaGrammy said...

Congratulations on your 101st post, way to go. I love checking in on my "new neighbor" . . . and that Jack was quite clever in gifting three bread pans. We all know what he has in mind! And Happy Half Birthday! Anything to cause a celebration is perfectly fine by me. The chocolate cake looks absolutely scrumptious!

Farmer Jen said...

Hi CA Grammy,
Yes, that cake was gone in a flash! Very rich and delicious. I haven't had time yet to try out the new bread pans yet. I hope to get back to that soon. Thank you for the congrats!

Sue@CountryPleasures said...

What a fun idea but I don't my bunch will go for it, too many of us! LOL I love the half cake! Congrats on everything else too!

Laughing Orca Ranch said...

Congratulations on all your wonderful reasons to celebrate, my friend! Everything looks so festive around there and you looked so happy :)

That little mini pan is so cute. I'm picturing it being used to cook one egg for breakfast or a snack. It's the perfect size.

That cake looks so delicious...a half size would be too small. hehe


Farmer Jen said...

Hi Sue,
It is fun, but takes some work and planning. With lots of people I could see where it might get to be too much. The 1/2 cakes are fun!

Hi Lisa,
It was a nice escape from the stressful times I've been having lately. My gifts were all so great. And I loved the balloons.