It is my old friend Bob's 50th birthday this year and I hope the next 50 will be filled with as much fun and good food as we have had since we have known each other. Bob is probably my oldest friend; I met him 28 years ago at the first job I had after I graduated from college. Through nearly three decades of life, we have both held a variety and plethora of jobs, moved several times, been married and divorced (Bob is now remarried with a child and a dog), and shared nearly every Thanksgiving together. Just as in life, our Thanksgiving traditions have evolved and improved with experience.
I cooked for our first Thanksgiving group, but ever since then, Bob has been the lead chef (his latest job is F & B manager at the Del Rey Yacht Club). Even though his first turkey was roasted with the giblet package still inserted inside the neck cavity, the fact that he managed to feed 30 people was laudable enough for us all to return year after year. Last year he had the aid of two of us as sous chefs and managed a four course meal worthy of a five star restaurant (with no giblets left in the turkey), complete with printed menus and four dessert choices. Because everything was made from scratch by hand for our family of friends, it was the best of all meals.
I think the best meals are like the best old friends; they are held together by the shared love of those who are willing to do the work of creating and maintaining a mutually beneficial relationship.
Happy Birthday Bob!