With the chili cook off a mere 48 hours in my rearview, family traditions, and the annoying yet necessary sleep, Party #27 was a true race to the finish. With Food Intolerance otherwise occupied with construction issues, I stood amidst minimal prep four hours prior to the arrival of 20 guests. Luckily, not long into my slicing, dicing, and prayer a family friend arrived to offer a much needed hand. Once we had Food Intolerance back in the game, the three of us came together to form the modern day Spice Girls; all the girl power, none of the horrid fashions.
Back to the prep; with the dip completed, cakes baking, and eggs being peeled I attempted the Bagna Cauda. Ouch. Had I actually stirred it continually like the procedure dictated I may have had more success. However, my final product was a runny dip with the faint taste of burned garlic. (surprisingly, people ate it up on zucchini sticks). The true success of the evening was in my Ace of Cakes moment. I have an immensely talented aunt who forms birthday cakes into everything from Chanel handbags to slumbering teens. Hence, I have never ventured into birthday cake making. In fact, my few efforts have been labeled 'ugly but full of love.' Nonetheless, I set in to make two of Nigella's heavenly chocolate fudge cakes. Food Intolerance suggested that I deviate from the recipe and stack all four eight inch cake rounds on top of each other rather than serve them side by side. The result? A tall orgasm of chocolate cake that inspired decoration efforts with halved strawberries, fresh mint, and whipped cream. Alas, my first cake that was both beautiful and full of love. With this source of pride as our centerpiece, guests arrived and merely nibbled as we awaited our guest of honor. Fifteen minutes later when she walked through the door there was celebration, laughter, and a few tears. What a great backdrop to a dinner party.
With our birthday girl among us, guests finished the artichoke dip and made short life of the deviled eggs. Moving on to entrees, our seemingly famished guests devoured both the chicken and the Greek salads. Later in the evening the cake was ablaze with sixty candles and well wishes were sent by all. Being a Sunday evening, the party ended earlier than normal however nobody missed the chance to say happy birthday and offer a hug. In short, here is to many more years of love, laughter, and great food.
Hummus Deviled Eggs: These needed a little something; fresh dill brought me through once more. Make sure you have some in your fridge/spice cabinet. You would be surprised how many things it can save.
The Party in Numbers:
Parties Completed: 27
Weeks before Deadline: 25
Bottles Consumed 7ish
Justified Purchases: balloons, and many candles