Last Friday was my Gramma Nancy's 81st Birthday! (And as GG proudly informed us before blowing out her candles - it was also Michael Jackson and John McCain's birthday too!) She's too funny! Katherine and Paul came from Chicago for the long weekend and we all got together at my parents' house for dinner. Megan and Molly made a poster for her that we hung up in the patio before dinner.
GG loves seafood - so we made shrimp scampi pasta, garlic bread, and a huge caprese salad with the tomatoes and basil from our garden.
My mom asked me to make GG a cake. We thought about making one that looked like a lobster or a lighthouse because GG was born in Maine. But we've done that theme before...so I wanted to come up with something new. Then the idea hit me...I knew exactly the cake I wanted to make for her party!
Growing up, my family has always made fun of Gramma for being frugal. She reads the grocery deals in the paper and has been known to drive cross town for a bargain. She washes out and re-uses her plastic baggies, and can make dinner out of an EMPTY fridge. Gramma is also known for buying plain wrap, bargain label grocery items. I am all about saving money - but there are some things I refuse to scrimp on. Like mayonnaise - it has to be Best Foods. And ketchup - it has to be Heinz 57. But Gramma will buy whatever is the best deal that week.
My Gramma lived with us when I was growing up and when we were kids the bargain label at our grocery store was called "Sunny Select." This name became a tag line in our house. Whenever Gramma would make something for us to eat, or bring something to a family event...we would teasingly ask her "Gramma, is that Sunny Select?" with hesitation in our voice. She has always taken our teasing in stride. When I got married, for my Bridal Shower, Gramma gave me a can of Sunny Select Chicken Noodle Soup with a $100 bill taped to the top!
Long story (not so) short...here is the cake I made for GG's Birthday!
She laughed, and that made me happy. GG's party was perfect. We all stuffed ourselves silly and had a great time together as a family.
Whenever it is time for GG to go home, she always says to my kids "Where is my Million Dollars?" and they run to her and give her hugs and kisses. She tells them that their love is better than a Million Dollars to her! So sweet. Sometimes, if she thinks the kids are distracted, or too busy - she'll just holler and wave good bye to them. But Megan and Molly always run down the driveway shouting after her, "Wait! GG! You forgot your Million Dollars!" I love it.GG - YOUR love and friendship, and all you have given me and taught me over the years are truly better than a million dollars. I love you so much and am so glad that my kids get to have a friendship with you too. I pray you are around to make me "Sunny Select" food for years to come. Happy Birthday!