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Celebrating My Parent's Wedding Anniversary
Celebrating 59 Years of Marriage!
Recreating Valley Vineyards Family Cookout
Almost twenty years ago, we began going to Valley Vineyards just outside of Cincinnati, Ohio, for my parent’s wedding anniversary celebration. All of my parents' siblings and my brother and sisters meet up for the grill your own steak or salmon meal.
Today we are celebrating my parents' 59th wedding anniversary, but our tradition has changed. We have found we can accommodate all family members better by having ‘Valley Vineyards’ at one of my sister’s houses.
For simplicity, we have decided to recreate our family tradition.
Grilling Steaks and Enjoying Family
A Traditional Valley Vineyards Meal
- A choice of steak or salmon
- Two types of green salads
- Green bean Almandine
- Baked potato
- Fresh breads including Texas toast
- Dessert buffet
- One Bottle of Valley Vineyard wine
Grilling Meat, Texas Toast and Wine Sampling
Valley Vineyards provides a choice of steak or salmon with the meal purchase. Because my sister is firing up her own grill, you can bring whatever meat you want. However, most of us tend to stick to steak or salmon as tradition dictates. Part of the highlight of the meal has always been the socializing around the grill. The husbands tend to gather around the grill, demonstrating their grilling expertise, while the wives verify that the wine selections are palatable.
Texas Toast has become a grilling tradition as well. Last year I was assigned to bring the toast and only brought three loaves for the men to lather in butter and grill. It is more of a tradition than I realized. The three loaves were gone fast. Enabling their love of toast, this year I am more prepared and am bringing five loaves! I hope it is enough!
Side Dishes: Pepperoni Salad, Green Bean Almandine and Broccoli SaladClick thumbnail to view full-size
A Family Favorite: Pepperoni Salad
- Salad greens
- Mozzarella cheese
- Grape Tomatoes
- Black Olives
- Pepperoni (chopped)
- Italian dressing
Side Dishes for the Anniversary Party
Just when you are ready to sit with your steak and Texas toast, it is time to add your sides. We decided to modify the side dishes available just a bit. We loved the pepperoni salad Valley Vineyards serves, but replaced the green salad with a broccoli salad. Additionally, the menu called for baked potatoes and green beans almandine.
There was plenty of food available, but we always save a little room for dessert.
Dessert Buffet at Anniversary Party
Desserts and Coffee
Valley Vineyards provided a dessert buffet to follow the meal. There was a sampling of pies including pumpkin pie, cheese cake and a chocolate mousse. My oldest sister has a knack for pies so she has duplicated the dessert buffet for those who managed room after the steak, Texas toast, salad and potatoes.
This year’s selections included a chocolate mousse pie, a fruit pie, pecan pie and a cheesecake sampler.
For those with a drive home ahead of them or to take the crisp edge off the fall evening, hot coffee is available.
A Marriage Milestone
Family Gathering to Celebrate Anniversary
My parents were married when they were nineteen years old on a beautiful fall day. 59 years later, they have nine children and over fifty grandchildren and great grandchildren. We, their children and their siblings, gather each year in early fall to celebrate their commitment to love and family. We take time from our busy lives to gather and visit while partaking in a family tradition of good food and great company.
Many might be surprised that my parents are the first to leave these gatherings. We all line up to give our parents hugs and kisses, and congratulate them again on their amazing accomplishment. While my parents enjoy the celebration, perhaps they return home to appreciate the peace and quiet they have earned as well.
I have never been surprised by their early departures. I have always thought they leave early because they know they no longer need to be the glue that keeps the family together. They sit back at family gatherings smiling that they created a family that chooses to spend time together. They are confident that their 59 years of marriage have resulted in more than a family.
They take pride in knowing they have created a legacy.
Happy Anniversary, Mom and Dad.