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The best times often come about with no preplanning.  Somehow they just flow with a rhythm that delights the heart.  As an event coordinator I can get lost in the planning at times.  This weekend I was reminded of two important things:  (1) Being spontaneous is fun  (2) When doing for others give a moment of thought on where they are today (how is their health, their time demands, etc) and what do they like to do.  Placing these two components into giving is a sure fired fit in helping someone feel cared for.  Gary Chapman’s The Five Love Languages is a good resource.

Dad's B'day Lunch 2013 - Collage

I got up on Saturday morning and started the preparation for a chicken soup using the leftovers from a $5.00 roasted chicken from our trip to Whole Foods the night before.  We had plans that day to go out to lunch with my parents and were going to treat my dad to celebrate his upcoming birthday.   Then a thought dawned like the sun – my dad would like this chicken soup more than going to a restaurant.  So that is what we did. (The picture below was taken earlier in the week.  I was leaving for work and it was so bright I thought I’d left a light on but the sun was just coming up and in a certain spot.  I don’t believe I’ve ever seen it do that before.  It definitely wasn’t a staged shot – love my one flip flop on the floor? – oh, well we are talking about being spontaneous.)  

Dad's Birthday - am light

A combination of the Thai Pasta Salad (leftovers from the day before) with romaine, kale, avocado, and heirloom tomatoes was added to the meal.  I used a spelt rotini. Note:  The Thai Pasta Salad is one of the recipes available in A Few Favorites Cookbook.  Click HERE for information on downloading.

Dad's B'day Lunch 2013 - Salad

I made an Herbal Blueberry Iced Tea and served lemonade ice cubes. Wouldn’t these be cute for a Gender Party?

Dad's B'day Lunch 2013 - Lemonade Ice Cubes

Biscuits were baked.  Dessert was started and put in the oven – Orange Crustless Custard Pie  I was excited to have my parents try this recipe since they both like coconut and custard.

Dad's B'day 2013 Lunch - Pie baking

In the meantime I set the table.  A mason jar makes a perfect vase for a $5.00 collection of grocery store flowers that were still looking perky after almost a week.  

Dad's B'day Lunch 2013 - Place Setting

I found a cute moldable tray for $1 a few weeks back and decided to try something – moldable butter.  I placed softened butter into 6 of the little areas in the tray and shoved into the freezer to set.  They popped out nicely but next time I will do things a little differently – 1.  Melt the butter and pour into molds to eliminate holes.   2.  Once I pop the butter out I will place in the refrigerator.  Fifteen minutes before serving the meal, I’ll bring out onto the table to soften.  We all laughed because I left the butter in the freezer and although they were in shapes I needed to microwave so we could use – there went my moldable butter.

Dad's Birthday Lunch 2013 - Molded Butter

Our time was filled watching Antiques Road Show, eating, talking websites and iPads and enjoying dessert. (They both gave the pie a two thumbs up.)

Dad's B'day Lunch 2013 - finished pie

Funny – I never took a picture of the soup that inspired the day but I like this picture better.

Dad's Birthday Lunch 2013-Dad and Debbie

 I’d love to hear your thoughts on being spontaneous, easy ways you have found of having people over to your house, etc.