A tradition my brothers and I enjoy in our home is making our parents a special romantic dinner on their anniversary. It’s a neat way to honor them and show our appreciation for them. I know that my parents’ strong marriage and faithfulness to each other is one of the greatest blessings in my life and has given us stability through the thick & thin. I praise God for bringing them together and continue to marvel at their example of a godly marriage. Oh, and I absolutely looooove the story of how they met. Anyway, back to the anniversary. :)
I thought I would post pictures from this year’s meal to give you some ideas if you’re interested in doing the same:
My brothers once again worked their decorating magic and turned this room into a romantic dining experience.
For the first course we served a strawberry salad with pecans, red onion, spinach, and feta cheese. I made candied pecans and a pink poppyseed dressing. You can find the recipe here.
We served a pumpkin bisque for the second course. It was certainly unusual and tasty, although I’m not a huge fan of pumpkin. The coconut milk gave it creaminess and a delightful texture. I swirled in a bit of sour cream and sprinkled it with nutmeg and parsley just before serving. We served it with italian bread, buttered and broiled in the oven for a few minutes.
The third and main course was stuffed salmon. I was very pleased with the results on this one. It’s an adaption of this recipe. I just cut the fillets of salmon in half and layered them with mustard, feta, spinach, seasonings and ricotta cheese. I covered and refrigerated them until I was ready to bake them. We served this with cottage cheese and sautéed green beans.
And for dessert, we served white chocolate raspberry cheesecake. It seemed to go over well and I really liked having it in the fridge ready to go.
We banged a “gong” before every course. Wesley, as you can see here, took great delight in providing the sound effects. Hehe.
Additional tips and ideas:
~Choose a convenient date and time when planning the dinner. Make sure it works with everyone’s schedules. It doesn’t have to be on your parents’ actual anniversary. We did ours on a Sunday, which worked out well. We took 2 cars to church and afterwards the boys and I came home to start cooking/decorating while Mom and Dad enjoyed an afternoon to themselves. They arrived around 6 p.m. for dinner.
~While planning the menu, think about making foods that can be refrigerated overnight or kept warm in a crock pot. It will save you a lot of hassle and last-minute scrambling to have some of it already made and ready.
~After you’ve planned the menu, take a collection from your siblings for groceries. I bought almost everything at Aldi and was able to use some of what we had on hand, so we ended up keeping expenses under $30. If you spread that out between everyone, that’s really not bad at all.
~Delegate tasks to your siblings. Tasks include being in charge of a specific course, making the menu, or helping with decorations. Don’t try to do it all by yourself. Make sure everyone has a part…it’s much more fun (and less work on you!) that way.
~Have your younger siblings be waiters/waitresses. Austin and Jonathan decided to go for a unique style, with coat jackets, jeans, bare feet, and towels. I wish I had a picture for you. Needless to say, they were charming.
~Play your parents’ special “song” (if they have one) sometime during or at the end of the meal. You never know…they might just get up and start dancing. ;)
~Consider having dessert with your parents. After the final course has been eaten and dishes cleared, bring out enough plates for everyone and enjoy the sweet finale together.
~Do you have old photos or videos of their wedding? This would be a delightful conversation piece or activity. Our parents had their wedding video-taped and it is SO special to watch. However you decide to do it, an anniversary dinner will not only bless & honor your parents, but will make lasting memories for the years to come.