Thursday, March 24, 2011

Parties Can Be Hard! (especially if you want to party hard)

I'm currently in the process of planning my husband's 28th birthday party.  This is a special one, not because of his age, but because we haven't been at home to celebrate his birthday in four years.  We have had two parties in the past 5 months, and though both were successful, I tend to go very overboard and stress myself out, probably unnecessarily.

To make things easier for myself (and others!) I've made a list of what I have done in the past and how successful it was, and what I feel needs to be done in the future.

Food:  A dinner party is one thing, a big blow-out get-together of the size and style that we normally throw is entirely another.  The first party we threw (a housewarming) I cooked like crazy!  An enormous pan of vegetarian enchiladas, bacon popcorn, havarti cheese bread, salsa corn muffins, cheesecake brownies... shockingly, they ate the enchiladas, but little else, despite my best efforts.  It was GOOD (not to toot my own horn) but people were concerned with drinking and socializing and most (despite my warnings) ate before they came- so food was not the priority.  I learned.  I thought maybe sweet snacking food would be better.  The next party (new year's) I went more simply- homemade cookies, amaretto balls (I had no rum, but they were WONDERFUL) and an attempt at homemade toffee that, while not toffee, was delicious.  If I hadn't thrown them away (a month later) I would STILL have 2/3 of everything.

The moral?  Save the baking and cooking for dinner parties.  For a drinking party, minimal is necessary.  For this party, I'm going to make fancy jell-o shots (a la those found at and an ice cream cake (

Cleaning:  While I know that I'll STILL do a ton of cleaning, regardless of what I say, little is necessary, depending on the layout of your residence.  Unfortunately in my case, the front door enters through the kitchen.  The first room your guests enter is vital, and must be cleaned from top to bottom... mostly.  Scrubbing the baseboards are not something I plan to do, and honestly, not necessary.  Think about what your guests will see... in my case, the fridge.  I also know that many people who will be attending are allergic to cats- there are three in my house (no, I'm not a crazy cat lady, I have one, my husband has one, and our roommate has one) so I will vacuum the furniture.  Also, and it's a pain, always ALWAYS clean the bathroom.  Even a quick wipe-down of the toilet will suffice.  The bathroom is something everyone will see, and it mustn't look... well, like mine does, as though two men were maliciously dirtying every possible surface.

Prep:  I consistently try to get as much of the above two things done as early as possible.  This is difficult because, as I said, I have two men living with me.  Today is Thursday, the party is Saturday, I scrubbed the floor Sunday.  I want to kick myself.  I've had to approximately twice a day remind them to take off their shoes.  I cleaned the bathroom about two weeks ago, I will certainly have to do that again today.  Vacuuming, the same, but I blame that on cats, not males.

As far as food prep, I can't do much this time, but make sure to have your recipes printed out and ready to go in advance, triple check the day before you start cooking that you have ALL the ingredients (never assume!) and carefully look to see if there is anything you can do early.  At our housewarming, I made the enchilada filling the day before (and man, was it hard not to eat it!) and the cheesecake brownies as well.  Make certain that anything that needs to chill overnight is accounted for!

Continue to make certain that your roommate doesn't tromp around with his shoes on.  That's my second biggest task.  The first is to get motivated to start cleaning now!

1 comment:

  1. OK, daughter, I'm curious about the bacon popcorn. Got a recipe?