February 8, 2011

Today is my birthday.

Fifty four feels like a really big number. I have to admit, I never really imagined I would live so long. But when you’re 25 and the world is your oyster and you like to ski fast and jump horses over big fences, hitting 50 seems impossible.

Here’s a photo from my favorite birthday yet. It was my 50th and we were in Lyon at the Paul Bocuse restaurant.

A spectacular meal, so darn French, it just oozed Gaulishness.

And there was this birthday, celebrated in Cuernevaca (nice sunburn, hm?) including a smattering of television stars and peacocks.

Last year, there was a blizzard (but we braved the weather and had lunch at Volt.)

Today will be celebrated at home. No big travel til later in the year, to celebrate Dennis’ 60th. (We’re going to Copenhagen!)

Today, Dennis will get me an everything bagel, by far my favorite breakfast, to which I will add smoked salmon, fresh homemade neufchatel cheese, a squeeze of lemon and a dash of capers.

I will stay away from my office all day, even though all sorts of work is calling to me.

If it warms up a little, and the wind stops howling, I’ll enjoy a woodsy walk with Dennis and Louie.

We’ll have lunch at a little French restaurant in Georgetown. I’ll have champagne.

And a nap.

How do you make sure your birthday is special?

50 Responses to “they say it’s my birthday”

  1. mary

    Happy Birthday Cathy! You inspire. And, ps, I hardly believe you are 54. 45 perhaps, but not the other way around.


    my perfect birthday sounds like your perfect birthday (minus the trip to Copenhagen later in the year!) really, a perfect, perfect day – enjoy! debra

  3. Charlotte

    Happy Birthday! Thanks for all of your inspiration and great ideas. Enjoy your day as I am sure you will. I always make sure I have my birthday off to celebrate with my husband. Cheers!

  4. Renee (Kudos Kitchen)

    Happy Birthday Cathy! Enjoy your bagel, enjoy your woodsy walk, enjoy your nap but mostly enjoy your champagne! You deserve it! Congratulations for turning 54. It’s a great “smile”stone!

  5. Julia

    Happy Birthday! Your day sounds perfect. On my birthdays, I make sure to take some time for myself, and then some time for being with my family and friends.

  6. Maggie Green

    Hi Cathy,
    A very happy birthday to you. I love your blog, your wit, and your helpfulness. May this year bring many more wonderful things to your world. Thanks for sharing your adventures with photos~

  7. Marisa

    Happy, happy birthday! I tend to reserve my birthday for wandering around a few thrift stores and generally bopping around the city on my own. Enjoy your delicious bagel!

  8. Natalie Sztern

    Me Too!!! 54 is a great age; u don’t care what people say or think; you begin to finally own your own body; who gives a shit about putting a face full of makeup on to go out; when you do wear heels there is nothing comparable to the sexiness you feel!!

    Happy 54th Birthday : and own the day girl

  9. Janis

    Happppy Birthday Sweetie!!!! You share a the same date for a birthday as my big brother whom I adore. I adore you too :–) Have a perfect day doing whatever you want.

  10. Christine

    A lovely way to rest up for the rest of the year as it’s sure to be a wild one! I tend to spend my bday, nestled in the middle of the holidays, with my kids, a jigsaw puzzle and a good bottle of wine.

  11. Lynda

    Happy Birthday Cathy! I hope you can sneak in some bacon today 🙂
    And Copenhagen will be a great gift for both of you…

  12. Todd

    Happy Bday… your plan sounds like a great way to spend the day.

    I spent my 41st last weekend at 7,000 feet snowboarding down Mt. Hood and eating great charcuterie that I made, accompanied by outstanding Oregon Pinot Noir and 18 year old Single Malt Scotch.

    To each his own… the important thing to remember, is that it’s the one day of the year that is truly your own!

  13. Linda

    Happy Birthday, Cathy! Every age is a great new developmental stage….
    Every year for my own birthday I make a cake that I’ve never made before, and it has to be a really, big challenge. One year I made a cake that Sherry Yard had made for the Oscars. That made me feel really special. I hope your day is all you want it to be! Linda

  14. Michele Garcia

    Happy Birthday, Cathy! I hope you have a wonderful day. I wish you lived in Texas so I could take one of your classes on canning. That’s one of my goals for this year-I’ll be turning 50 later this year, so I’d better get to it!

  15. Lynda

    The first year my husband and were married he forgot my birthday and I was reallly upset…the next year I called all of my school girlfriends and we had a birthday party just for me! That was 35 years ago…we’ve never missed a year…we’ve gone from a Saturday dinner to a whole week of celebrating. I am so glad my husband forgot my birthday so many years ago. March 10th I’ll be 57 and the girls and I are rented a house for a week on the Ocean.

    Happy Birthday! Celebrate!

  16. Barbara | VinoLuciStyle

    Well, first Happy Birthday to you and have a great day. Georgetown sounds delightful…we actually have a Georgetown in Colorado but it’s a summer destination; I don’t drive up the mountains during the winter like a lot of folks!

    I just had a birthday in December. Two weeks before Christmas. Prime cocktail party weekend for the holidays; so getting together with friends is very special!

    This past year I took the day off and spent it with Julia Childs on my DVD and her recipe for Beef Bourguignon on my stove. My friends and daughter enjoyed dinner with me and it was simple and simply delightful! Hope yours is the same.

  17. Isabelle Johnson

    Happy Birthday Cathy!

    You’ve already nailed my perfect birthday breakfast OR if I’m feeling indulgent, cream of wheat with ice cream and maple syrup. Then I go for a visit to the National Gallery and oysters and champagne and Old Ebbitts.

    Enjoy your day!

  18. Winnie

    Happy Happy Bday! I always find birthdays pretty anticlimactic, but sounds like you’ve had some pretty fabulous ones…and I hope today was super special 🙂

  19. Jean Dough

    What a wonderful birthday post reflecting on the past and appreciating the present. It’s amazing that you can recount such lovely places you’ve experienced.

    Investigating food has always been a big part of my birthday. For my most recent birthday, a friend made an array of North African meze highlighted by lovely stewed meats complimented by the sweetness of dried fruits. I contributed a pomegranate cardamom mint soda. To top it all off, I home roasted some coffee beans using the popcorn popper method. A grand time with family and friends breaking bread.

  20. Jessica

    Happy Birthday! I love the picture of Louie – he looks great in red. And I’m with you on the breakfast – nothing better than an everything bagel with lox and cream cheese…yum.

    This past year I had one of the best birthdays ever – which included dinner at Maison Blanche in Longboat key, followed the next day by a beach chair under an umbrella on Captiva, with a cold Corona and some chips and homemade guacamole next to me. It was the best birthday yet.

  21. Anna Wulfsong Belt

    Happy Birthday. Sounds like you are celebrating in style! I had to laugh about the skiing and jumping horses. So that’s why I never expected to make it this far! Explains so much as I approach 51 next week. My family makes my birthday special by insisting on home-made carrot cake with pineapple and walnuts and just the right amount of vanilla cream cheese frosting. Sometimes my husband, or my daughter makes it or if I’m feeling in a baking mood, I’ll make it myself. It really doesn’t matter, because all of our birthdays are close together in February, so we just try to make the party last as we await the arrival of Spring.

  22. lisbet diemer

    If I can be of any help, let me know, I live in copenhagen, I don’t eat out a lot, but I know my way around, and have friends that know what I don’t.
    I’m a big birthday celebration fan, and an older model, borne in a kitchen and still in the kitchen, so if you would like a tour guide let me know.. happy !

    • Cathy

      lisbet, that’s the nicest offer. when we figure out our travel dates, i’ll let you know. at the very least, it would be fun to have a coffee!

  23. Carrie

    Wow! Happy Birthday!!! And what a great one with things just exploding for you. Have a wonderful day. And I see no aging process going on at all looking at your photos of birthdays past.

  24. SallyCan

    Wishing you a belated Happy Birthday, and a happy new year for you too! What a nice and thoughtful post; hope your day was as pleasant as you planned for it to be, and also hope that you enjoyed your everything bagel!

  25. Claudia

    Congratulations, hope all went well. It sounds as though you know how to do the day right!

    On another note, I’ve got my guanciale curing, but it won’t be finished by the 15th. Should I post anyway and include my ideas for using it?

  26. Libby

    Hope you had a happy birthday! How exciting to plan a trip to Copenhagen! I hope you have lots of fun and eat lots of good food.

    I have a big birthday (30) coming later this month and haven’t decided how to celebrate it yet!

  27. Darlene

    Happy Birthday! A nice birthday at home is just as good as celebrating a birthday out.

    I stopped focusing on the number a long time ago. Gives me an excuse to party like I’m still in my 20’s. Makes birthdays so much more fun.

  28. Marissa

    Sorry this is late, but happy happy birthday Cathy!! Your cooking and blogging really are inspirational. I have learned a great deal from you in the short time I’ve known you and hope to learn much, much more about food. I hope you had a fabulous birthday!

    PS – I concur with all the comments that I don’t believe you’re 54 for a second!



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