Every year, I try to drag my birthday out as long as possible. I'm not one of those don't-tell-anyone-it's-my-birthday-and-hope-they'll-remember kinda girls. I let everybody know my special day is on the way a month in advance. And then I schedule as many celebrations as possible. This year, my "birthday forever" plan worked out especially well since my parents were out of town on my real birthday (Oct. 16th).
Tonight, we celebrated at their house in Arkansas, and I asked my mom to prepare me the ultimate Southern Dinner — Vegan Dumplins, Fried Okra, Fried Squash, Butter Beans and Cornbread, Slow-cooked Rape Greens, and Corn:
Now, just to be clear, this was our lunchtime meal. In the South, "dinner" means "lunch," and the evening meal is called "supper." Here's a close-up of my fave part of the meal, the Fried Okra and Squash:
My mama's vegan dumplins were also quite amazing. I don't know what that woman does to get her dumplins so tender, but they are out of this world. Instead of cooking mine in chicken broth, she uses veggie broth with a little added Earth Balance.
Here's the chef, my Mama:
She also made me a Chocolate Chip Cookie Cake from Vegan Cookies Invade Your Cookie Jar:
Now, you can see that my mama's no pro cake decorator. But who cares? The homemade chocolate buttercream was amazing, and I thought she did a cute little job trying to fit my name onto the cake. Before I snapped this shot, she said, "Now, you better not put a picture of my decoratin' job on the internet." Oops. Too late!
Anyway, the day was fabulous. I hung out with my parents, my granny and pa, and my me-maw. We stuffed ourselves and then I opened my presents. Birthdays are the best!