We threw a party yesterday–an afternoon cocktail party of sorts…at which no one drank cocktails and half a dozen babies congregated underneath the dining room table.
I was worried no one would come. I’m was also irrationally afraid of running out of food. And of being awkward.
Lots and lots of people came and I’m sure I was a little awkward, but we most certainly did not run out of food.
Then again, had all of our 35-odd guests been professional linebackers instead of seemingly normal people with a diabolical gift for healthy portion control, we would have still been sending everyone home with bags of cookies and plates of cake. I made way too much food.
This was my first time throwing a party for that many people and it was something of an obsessive, Herculean task getting all of the details right–or as close to right as I am capable– the food, the music , the drinks, kids’ cookie-decorating table etc. It was a ton of work, but a ton of fun.
I also learned a few things:
1. No need to make two kinds of gingerbread. Grown ups and toddlers alike devoured the super spicy “grown-up” gingerbread and barely touched the more mild (but still delicious) orange-scented version.
2. The dish people raved about the most was the most after-thought of a dish for me to make. I’ve been making two loaves of sourdough bread every week since we lived in Chengdu. Feeding the starter, kneading the dough and baking bread is an almost subconscious part of my weekly routine. For the party I just added some walnuts and dried cherries and put a fresh-from-the-oven loaf out on the table with a dish of soft butter. Before I knew it, everyone was gathered around that corner of the table.
3. Homemade crackers taste lightyears better than store bought ones. They may, however, be a total waste to serve at a party because:
a) no one will believe you that you made them yourself; and so
b) no one will bother trying them because–why eat a store-bought cracker when there is so much else to eat on the table.
I’d be more broken up about it if I weren’t so happy to have leftovers.
4. Why decorate 100 cookies when you can decorate 1 cake instead?
The dessert I spent the most number of hours preparing, baking, decorating and agonizing over: the 100+ deliciously buttery sugar cookies with delicate almond royal icing.
The dessert everyone else spent the most time oohing and ahhing over: the 14-inch tall layer cake that took almost no time to throw together and that I was convinced would fall over mid-party.
5. Homemade apple cider from real apples is a great party trick (but you better have a cheesecloth to strain it with or the process will take you far, far longer than you ever thought possible).
We’re taking it easy today to eat leftovers and recover from all of the hustle and bustle of the last few days. Will be back soon though with more food-talk and hopefully very soon, more photos from around Delhi.