Potluck Birthday Love

After months of planning, the big wedding catering extravaganza is happening later this week, so I'll definitely be reporting back from the trenches next week, with a full recap and as many how-tos as possible.

This week, though, in preparation for the wedding and in the spirit of celebration, I'm going to be devoting my remaining posts to the wonderful ways in which I celebrated my birthday this past weekend, so that we can all relive the warmth and love and good food together, in bloggy form.

The weekend started out with a surprise birthday potluck the day before my actual birthday (Justin said doing it early was the only way he could really surprise me) at our friends' co-op.  Loved ones gathered there, bearing some of Madison's finest culinary delights, and showered me with hugs and conversation and a round of Roses and Thorns (turns out the Obamas also know the value of this tradition!), some attempts at Time's Up (the best game ever), some bad Youtube video-watching, and even a game of TST, or Team Shoulder Traverse, in which one person has to hang onto the shoulders of another person and make it all the way around their body without touching the floor (one of those things you just have to see...), but here's Justin and DU doing their darndest:

But the food! Oh the food!

Carrot Halva! Bulgur, Chickpea, Carrot Salad! Fried tofu! Roasted Beet Spinach Salad!

Award-winning Vegan Chili!  Wild Rice Salad! TY's Famous MaPa Tofu!
 (and lots more savory awesomeness that wasn't captured on film)

Maple-cream pie with strawberries!

Beautiful Chocolate Cake!

And so much love...
What more could a birthday girl ask for?