TPP usedto have a birthday in September, but it just got to be too much and too frequent and it just all added up to too much. So in lieu of having birthdays, TPP cooks for his friends and family in a somewhat hobbit-like once-a-year celebration. Guests, if observing good taste, should fail to mention the approach of old age. Food can be as good as ever, and perhaps even rise to the level of the best ever. It avoids the awkwardness of throwing a party for yourself and all the gift-giving stuff because you are throwing the party for everyone else. And so TPP makes something he likes, something special, in this case fish soup, a recipe that has evolved into a massive batch of something west of cioppino and east of bouillabaisse limited only by the upper midwest's notorious proximity to seawater and the size of TPP's outdoor cooker,which is not small. But once a year you just pay for seafood's air fare and enjoy it regardless of the cost. Native mid-westerners are notoriously suspicious of seafood and anything with tubes and tentacles usually puts them right off their feed. Having raised the F1 correctly, she selects such people to sit next to so as to get all their rejected bits. The weather yesterday was perfect as were the loaves of French bread and apple pies provided by Mrs. Phactor. So as another un-birthday slips into history, the leftovers will happily remind us of friends and a very good time. And even a couple of pieces of pie for breakfast!