Last week I threw together a quick birthday celebration for my husband. After just returning from vacation, it was a spur-of-the-moment dinner party, and I wanted to keep it simple!

I don’t know about you, but I cannot believe the high prices of groceries these days! So on my shopping trip I weighed in my mind which meat would be inexpensive to feed all 15 of our guests. At Costco, if I were to buy Tri Tip – I’d need 2 packages to feed 15 people. That could cost up to $50! I wandered over to the salmon aisle and grabbed the last 2 packages – a perfect amount for $26.

The only way to stay in my budget for this meal would be to delegate. So I delegated the appetizers, salad and bread to friends. We barbequed our first crop of new and red potatoes from our garden, along with other tasty vegetables, herbs and spices.

My daughter was in charge of making birthday dessert – so she made individual strawberry pies (from our abundant ever-bearing crop) for the adults, and a single pie for all the kids.

With potatoes and veggies from the garden, dessert from the strawberry bed with a dab of whipped cream on top, and salmon for $26 – I figure I spent around $40 for this mouth-watering meal.

Laughter, great conversation (especially centered around my husband’s new Irish Pride birthday shirt!), exceptional food and the perfect weather made for a great evening.

What topped it off was that our kids were be-bopping around, lively and having a great time. You may know us by now – that dinner MUSIC was also a part of the ambience.

But what really made the night special was when our oldest son, recently back from his Mexico Missions trip, said a prayer in honor of his dad’s birthday. You could feel his passion for God, gratefulness for what he has been given, and a true admiration for his father. That was a gift in itself! Our daughter, Abby, learned a Beatles tune per her daddy’s request and surprised him by playing, While My Guitar Gently Weeps, on her violin.

With the power of delegation, homegrown garden produce, great friends invited, and your family gathering around for an evening of celebration – what more do you need?

(Top photo: first potatoes from our garden this year!)