It is traditional in our household for the birthday person to request a homemade meal of their choosing. I always ask for the same menu: mussels, pommes frites and artichokes. It's a fabulous meal and really quite easy to make--especially if you buy frozen shoestring potatoes!
I found the recipe for the mussels in a funny little French cookbook. Edouard has a dry wit and serves up a host of authentic French recipes that can be prepared in ten minutes or less. What's not to like about that?
From French Cooking in Ten Minutes
2 pounds fresh mussels
4 Tblsp butter
1/2 cup white wine
Wash the mussels in cold running water, making sure each one is tightly closed. Discard any mussels that are open.
Place the mussels in a large empty pot over high heat. In about five minutes all the shells will have opened and the water they contained will have started to boil. Now they are cooked.
Add a little pepper, parsley, butter and wine to the pot. Let the butter melt in the mussel water to make a sauce. Stir and serve. (Now, wasn't that simple?)