Hey, remember that time when I was born? That was a pretty fortunate thing to have happened as all the other things I’ve done since then would have been rather difficult had it not. Serious props to my mom and dad for having me on a cold and snowy day in 1977.
And since that cold and snowy day was 38 years and two days ago, I spent my weekend celebrating the holiday known as Bethmas! On Saturday I had a fabulous Bethmas Eve party. The great thing about having a party is that I get to see a whole bunch of friends, many of whom I haven’t seen in awhile. The less great thing is that I don’t get to spend as much time catching up with each friend as I would like ‘cuz there are just so many people to chat with and only so many hours in an evening. Happily, all my friends are made of awesome and despite many of them not knowing each other (or not knowing each other very well, having only met once or two at previous parties I’ve held over the years), everyone was chatting and getting to know new people and seemed to have a good time.
As I discussed with Cath that night, due to my family’s tendency to make way too much food for any event, I have an inability to make appropriate amounts of food for party1 due to my unnatural fear that someone might ever go hungry at my house. Saturday was no exception. I did have fewer leftovers than I usually do, but only because I usually have enough leftovers to feed *two* armies. As well, I had been inspired by Cath, as it so happens, who had made some fancy, delicious foods for our book club meeting last week, to find some fancy new recipes to try. Googling “party appetizers that are easy to make but look fancy” yielded some excellent results, as did asking my sister for ideas, and I ended up making 5 new food items, along with some of my good ole standbys2
- sweet and spicy pecans and cashews
- caramelized onion, mushroom, apple and Gruyère puff pastry bites
- cucumbers with salmon whip and dill whip3
- slow cooker gingered chickpea and tomato stew
- cheese puffs4
Combined with the fact that I made homemade sour mix for the house drink – as it turned out to be impossible to find sour mix anywhere5 – and I made chocolate butter cream icing for the first time for Daniel’s birthday cake earlier this month, I’ve now made a total of 8 new food or drink items towards my goal of making 15 new things in 20156! The house drink was also new, but since I enlisted Kalev to make the drink as I was running late, I can’t claim to have made this drink.
I also made chocolate cupcakes from scratch, which I have made before, but this time I mad them using a recipe from my Aunt Lynn, who gave me a recipe after I said that I’d never found a recipe for cake that turned out as good as a cake mix. And I have to admit, they were pretty good! I think I’d need a head to head comparison of it with a cake mix to tell which is best (as it’s hard to really compare without having the two at the same time), but even saying that means this is the best cake I’ve ever made from scratch!
Sunday consisted of going for a run (because half marathon training knows not of birthdays), cleaning up the party mess (thanks Daniel for helping with that task), watching a kids’ hockey team earn its first win of the season (no doubt in honour of my birthday), and a lovely dinner out. I may also have eaten my weight in leftover cupcakes (which I kinda forgot to put out before a number of people had left the party, so they didn’t all get eaten by those who remained after I remembered to put them out).
So, in conclusion, birthday celebrations rock and I highly recommend you have them when the anniversary of your birth comes around. Speaking of which, you now only have 1 year and 363 days until my birthday for which I will be going on a surfing trip where it is hot in January, like Hawaii or Australia7, and not somewhere where it is freezing cold in January, like I did on my last milestone birthday that ended in a 0. So that gives you 729 days to save your pennies if you want to come with me!
- Or just, like, a regular every day dinner. [↩]
- Like potatoes wrapped in bacon, veggies and French onion dip, and spinach dip in a sourdough bread bowl. [↩]
- This was supposed to be cucumber cups with salmon whip, but I decided to make some with dip whip so that the vegetarians could have some and then I ran out of time to cut the cucumbers into 3/4 inch slides and then scoop out a bit of the seeds to make it a cup, so I just put the whip out in dishes and served them with cucumber slices to dip in the whip. [↩]
- This recipe was from my niece, as my sister told me that my niece has been making cheese puffs that are the best thing in the world, which I thought was a bit of a tall tale, but turned out to be pretty true. [↩]
- Thanks to everyone on Twitter and Facebook who pointed out how ridiculously easy sour mix is to make when I tweeted to ask if anyone knew where I could buy some. [↩]
- i.e., I’m more than halfway done and it’s not even two weeks into the new year! [↩]
- I’m leaning towards the former. [↩]