last night was a celebration of the highest order: my sister, her boyfriend, his mom, cam, and i gathered at my parents' house to cook them dinner as a thank-you for our upcoming trip to france (full credit to cam for proposing the event). it was a party from the get-go: my dad had a cooler of beer and a bowl of homemade guac on the deck for us when we arrived and the celebration was underway. the dinner was a total collaboration - wine and beer and apps from mom and dad, i roasted zucchini, sister made a salad, her bf made lime roasted potatoes, cam grilled swordfish, and sister's bf's mom assembled the most amazing confection i have ever eaten... a cake decorated like the french flag, four layers of meringue and ground almonds with grand marnier infused custard between them, iced all over in homemade whipped cream, blueberries and raspberries in every layer and all over the top... served with veuve clicquot. 4 hours flew by in a flurry of jokes, anecdotes, and comradery. my favorite part, however, may have been the very end, when we divvied leftovers between my sister, her bf, and myself - delicious doggy bags for workday lunches today. i have leftover salad, topped with the roasted zucchini and a wedge of the swordfish... and so much cake for dessert that i had to send out an S.O.S. to my colleagues lest i attempt to finish it myself. eating my lunch was like a little piece of the warmth of last night here at my desk. i can't wait for the trip!