My OCD Mom, Yummy Food and Cupcakes

A few weeks ago, I got the following email from my mother:

Hello, All –

Just making sure that everybody is still planning to come for the birthday weekend on SATURDAY. Come Friday night if you can, and stay until Sunday. We’ll have the BIRTHDAY DINNER on Saturday, and a BRUNCH on Sunday.

IMPORTANT NEW INFORMATION: I’ve talked about getting a professional (but informal) family photo while you’re all here. The photographer is available at 4:00 p.m., so I’ve lined her up. If the weather is okay and our flowers are in bloom, we can have the pictures taken outside. (If not, maybe on the porch or porch swing.)

WHAT TO WEAR FOR THE PHOTO: I like the idea of coordinating but not matching, so here’s the plan:

1) khaki or stonewash or tan pants or skirt
2) solid color top – no stripes or prints, but solid colors in red or burgundy or purple or pink or peach or rose; can be a button-upopen-neck shirt, a nice T-shirt or pullover, a golf shirt, etc.

I’m hoping that everybody has something in this color scheme. If not, let me know before you purchase something new – we might be able to find a compromise.

Love you all!


We were celebrating a combination of a few family birthdays, as we normally do, but the picture thing was new. The following email came a few days later.

Hello, All!

In addition to the colors listed in my previous email (below), the following would be okay to wear for the family photo: orange or rosy-brown; also, a stripe or pattern would be okay if it’s subtle/tone-on-tone, and not a dramatic or contrasting stripe or print.

Love, Mom (in OCD mode)

My brother replied with an email with the following picture asking if “this shirt ok?” He’s a funny guy.

The post photo meal:

My favorites: Chicken and grape salad (it’s been a favorites since I can remember) and my sister’s tortelini salad.

My brother’s favorite: Beef tenderloin. (But my mom provided two of my favorite condiments ever to accompany it; blue cheese butter and Tiger Sauce. )

Side items: Steamed local asparagus with my mom’s hollandaise sauce (the best!) and a fruit salad.

My sister’s favorite: The birthday cake; a Lincoln Diner plain cheesecake (the best in my hometown.)

After we sufficiently gorged ourselves it was time for GIFTS!. I scored a lot of cool presents but the BEST was a cupcake sampling from my bro and his wife. One of their favorite places to go is a cupcake bakery called Dozen in Pittsburgh. They picked an assortment of flavors (Jake and Coke cupcake anyone?) and created a tasting guide so I knew what I was in for when I bit into each scrumptious- looking creation.

The Final Dish:

I am in love with the Elvis cupcake. A moist banana cupcake filled with chocolate-hazlenut filling and topped with a peanut butter- buttercream frosting.