This year for my birthday I got an extra special surprise. Planned with much love and attention to detail by my husband and daughter, it was a treat I will cherish forever.
The venue was the International Culinary Center where my friends awaited donning aprons and chef’s hats. The theme: Iron Chef style cooking competition. Mystery ingredient: Blood oranges. It was an evening full of fun, laughter and delectable aromas as each team raced to prepare a meal to be judged and shared.
I loved watching each one of my friends enthusiastically choose ingredients, scurry through spices and utensils and show off their culinary skills. Some of them were paired with faces they had never met before yet they worked together seamlessly. The end result of their efforts was an array of colorful and scrumptious dishes, prepared with affection, plated exquisitely and a treat for the judges’ palates. I should mention that I was one of the lucky judges. They say, “Cooking is love made visible” and there was a whole lot of love visible that night.
As if this wasn’t enough, I was showered with the best birthday present ever. At the end of the evening, I watched a video of GiveLight children from the Aceh home sing a very special birthday message just for me! And as I fought back tears of happiness, Dian announced that my friends had donated to GiveLight in my honor and had raised over two thousand dollars that night. The icing on the cake was that this amount is to be matched by my husband’s employer. Words can not describe my emotional state at that moment but I will say that I felt incredibly loved and honored and know how truly blessed I am to have friends and family who have touched me with their kindness and generosity. I am over the moon thinking of that fun evening with close friends and knowing that they all joined hands to support a cause that is so near and dear to my heart. Growing older never felt so good!