Earlier in June, just a few weeks after the passing of my MIL, we invited my FIL over to celebrate his 60th birthday with us. We had been planning to celebrate his birthday with my MIL and a big joint retirement/birthday party, but since that’s all been cancelled and my FIL is on his own for his first birthday, we wanted to make sure he spent time with family.
Because his birthday was during the week and he insisted that we keep things simple, I stuck to our weekly plan with a Cooksmarts meal. I had seen that they had one that week with slow cooker BBQ, and that’s always really easy to put together on a weeknight, so the morning of his birthday I chucked a hunk of pork in the slow cooker with a bottle of BBQ sauce.
I’d already shredded the veggies in the food processor the night before, so when I arrived home, all I had to do was bake up the gluten free breads in the oven, mix the dressing into the slaw and shred the cooked pork. We served the sandwiches and slaw with pickles on the side like Cooksmarts suggested and the boys had some normal beer with their meal.
I had baked my first gluten free pound cake on Sunday so that I could serve strawberry shortcake for dessert. Growing up, I was always requesting strawberry shortcake with cool whip for my birthday, and I thought it would lend itself to gluten free pretty well. Even if the cake would be a little drier than normal cake, you cover it with strawberry sauce and cream, so it’s all good!
To make the sauce, I sliced the strawberries the night before and put some sugar on top to bring out the syrupy juice. Since I didn’t have a bundt pan to bake the cake in, I split half the batter in my banana bread pan and the other half in muffin cups. The muffin cups made a good individual portion size to top with strawberries, cream and a little peppermint from the garden.
The birthday boy was very pleased with the meal. We really love him a lot!
It was an emotional day to be celebrating the 60th milestone without a key member of the family. Little things like taking three plates instead of four or taking photos without her because it’s something she would have done really cut to the heart. It is still really hard to believe that she is really gone and we miss her every day. But still, I am happy we could celebrate together as a family anyhow!