more on April birthdays

Lest you think I'm actually about to write a third birthday post, I'll come right out and say, I am. But this time I'm not the focus of attention; RL has an April birthday too! We were invited to a Raclette-style party to celebrate. But before I enlighten my non-French-cheese-eating readers (of which I am chief) about this newly found love, I'll take a moment to highlight the spectacular sunset we beheld from R&M(&C)'s balcony.

MO makes the daily sunset a holy ritual - nothing else is allowed to happen during that magical half hour as the day ends in exquisite glow, etching its details in your mind, making a lasting impression for tomorrow. And you really do wake up remembering a glorious sunset from the night before.

Of course, it doesn't hurt if the random pirate ship crosses the horizon at just the right moment.

C&R enjoying the evening light.
Soon we were on to the all-important food. LA brought bruschetta using ingredients from her garden.

This will be me, someday soon...

Appetizers on the balcony are nice...

I was impressed with MO's party decorations. She marked each guest's place with a photo-enhanced name tag, and everyone was amused with her descriptions of the cast of characters on the hanging "Who's Here?" posters.

Finally: Raclette!

Per Wikipedia, Raclette is a cheese and a dish commonly found in Switzerland and France in which the Raclette cheese round is heated and scraped onto plates full of meat and potatoes. (I don't speak French, so I found it interesting that "Raclette" comes from the French word "racier", meaning, "to scrape".) Most of our UK friends at the party knew all about this style of dining, reminiscing about their BUSC days on European ski slopes, inclusive of nights in the lodge socializing around a Raclette meal.

For our party, RG brought a couple Raclette grills. You can see that the serrated top is perfect for grilling meats, while the little handles below attach to square trays where pieces of cheese are placed to be melted.

Once the cheese melts, you scrape it off the burner onto your plate of potatoes, greens, and meat. It's a meal of warm, gooey deliciousness.

The birthday boy shows how it's done.
R&M bought as much Raclette cheese as they could find - an entire half round for our evening (which, per my trusty source, should be about 6.5 pounds). With all that cheese, we were all encouraged to have seconds. Or thirds. Or sixths.

How many slices does that make, NS? Going for a record? Only you...
RL donned the hat above after SM showed up with a similar one. Like a group of 5-year-olds, soon everyone at the table needed a hat. They were quickly provided.

What's that? RL tried to learn Hungarian?
Like any good girlfriend, MO made sure RL was subjected to an appropriate amount of birthday torture. Every time one of us successfully got him to unknowingly confess to a fact written on the back of our name cards, he had to perform a dare. 

Don't be so surprised, MO; CM can get RL to admit to anything.

This may have gotten him into a bit of makeup trouble.

Well. Her nickname isn't "Militant" for nothing.

Hang in there, buddy.
MO didn't escape unscathed. Like I said, there was a heck of a lot of cheese.  When no one could eat anymore cheesy potatoes or meat, some resorted to "cheese shots".

Yes, she did it.
It was another great party, courtesy of R&M. Thank you for the cheese, thank you for the games, and thank you for being born.

Happy Birthday!!


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