Well, as I said in my previous blog - the Holidays are upon us and there are more parties to come.
With that in mind, yesterday we celebrated my husband's umpteenth birthday. Since he was adamant about not wanting to celebrate the occasion, I went ahead and planned a Pre-Christmas Party combined with a "Mike doesn't want to celebrate his birthday party" at our favorite restaurant, Manati. Mike could not really object to that as I said it was a Pre-Christmas party. He bah-humbuged the fact that I was just making up a new name for a birthday party, but I won!
Anyway, having it at Manati took a lot of stress off me. I did not have to thoroughly clean the house from top to bottom, figure out how to control the dogs and birds and had time to concentrate on cooking. Also, since I only can transport so much food, the party had to stay at a manageable size.
My menu was not too difficult; I had plenty of leftover turkey so I made my favorite Turkey Hustle Up Casserole, which I THINK is the best! That with some stir fried vegetables, cranberries, pumpkin bread (of course!), rice, a tasty cranberry crunch salad with maple syrup dressing (yes, Maple syrup), a couple of appetizers and desert - strawberry topped cheesecake we were set. I also bought 3 bottles of champagne to celebrate the occasion with.
The night before the party I finished the topping for my cheesecake that I had made that afternoon. I garnished it heavily with strawberries and poured a strawberry sauce over it. Placed it in the refrigerator and proceeded to get the sausage balls ready for cooking the next day before we left. Everything was going well and I had a list of all the things I would have to remember to pack to take to Manati. I went to the refrigerator to get some cheese for the sausage balls, opened the door and PLOOP out came my cheesecake, flipped over, upside down on the floor. I was shocked to say the least! I screamed "NO" and stood there not believing what had just happened! I was so shocked that I could not cry or say anything further. My husband came out, quickly scooped up the top layer of the cheese cake sitting on the rug leaving a barrier between what was salvageable and what remained on the floor. CocoNut, our dog, had a grand time cleaning up the mess. My husband was pleased with himself and started dipping into the mess! He asked if I could make another one and I said, "No, unfortunately I only have one egg left and no more strawberries."
As it was, I called Bonnie and she volunteered to bring her strawberry/banana ice cream and I decided to combine it with my pistachio ice cream, slice up some bananas, what was left of the few leftover strawberries and then top it all off with chopped almonds. The desert, in the end, was very good but I still wish we could have had the cheesecake!
The morning of the party, we loaded everything into our boat which took several trips believe me! The weather was cooperating in spite of reports that another cold front was on its way and due to arrive Sunday evening. The seas were calm and the sun was out and the temperature was perfect. When we arrived Claus and Annette were busy straightening up the place from the night before and we went about getting the tables and food ready.
Guests arrived, people visited over appetizers, food was served, toasts were made, gifts were opened and desert was served. It was a fun time and I think my husband even managed to admit that this was a good idea! Mike did not solicit or expect gifts but people still managed, at the last minute, to find something for him. Homemade hot sauce, homemade chocolate cookies (which my husband says he will not share), candy, a razor (a joke gift) well wishes from all in attendance.
Here are some of the photos of the event:
Thanks to Annette and Claus for allowing me to use their restaurant for the day, thanks to Bonnie for rescuing me and thanks to all that we able to attend the small affair!
Oh, and HAPPY BIRTHDAY MIKE!