I turned 40 on the 25th. Go me! Supposedly this is something that I should be ashamed of. I should have never turned 30. I should have spent the last 11 years telling everyone I was 29.
I don't get it. Why should I be ashamed of something over which I have no control? And I am getting better with age. Not conceit - fact. Who I am now compared to who I was then? No comparison.
Sure, the body creaks and groans a lot more now, and the energy levels are definitely not what they used to be, and the metabolism has finally slowed to the point that yes, I do have to start watching what I eat. But that's life. We are born, we live, we die, and hopefully we have a rockin' good time during that "we live" part, yes?
For my husband's 40th birthday, we flew in 60 pounds of crawfish and had a good old fashioned southern boil.
It was a blast, especially training my born and raised Pacific Northwestern friends how to eat them.
And there is a must at every crawfish boil - you must make the 10-fingered crawfish monster of DOOOOOM!
It would be hard to beat that party, I knew, but I decided to try. And because I am not quite right in the head, I decided I was going to have a Disney Barbecue.
How on earth did I come up with this idea? Many many moons ago, when I was still in college, I went to a picnic in the park where we barbecued lots of tasty meats, and a couple of the guests brought some venison and rabbit for the grill. We got silly, and of course the correlation to Bambi and Thumper was made, and from then on out we referred to it as our Disney Barbecue. Scouring the local butchers, I found ground lamb and buffalo, and a whole rabbit, and one of my friends found venison loin at her butcher.
To differentiate between the ground meats, I decided to make signage, and then decided what the heck, every critter needed their own tag.
The guest list, in no particular order:
Junior the Buffalo (Home on the Range)
Lamb (So Dear to my Heart)
A Little Pig (I had more signage in case anyone else showed up with pork, so we could have all three little pigs)
Sebastian (The Little Mermaid)
And of course, Bambi and Thumper!
Sebastian the crab was in dip form, not grilled, but he still deserved a place of honor:
We also had one of the Three Little Pigs in attendance, in the form of the bacon in my potato salad.
Unfortunately I didn't get any pictures of the bbq'd meats, as they didn't stay on the platters long enough.
The venison didn't hit the grill either. The friend who brought it, an amazing cook, did this to it:
It was heaven. Sheer heaven!
The festivities included a pinata. Another friend made this for my daughter for her birthday. Unfortunately, having a birthday in December, we weren't able to crack it open, as we had an indoor party at a local kiddie fun place. So, this koala pinata has been sitting forlornly in my daughter's room all year. When I asked if she'd like to finally thwack it at my party, she gave me two thumbs up. The deal was, though, since it was my party, that I got a swing.
Of course, they screwed with me:
Much fun was had:
I only got thwacked in the head once!
And my friend thoughtfully filled it with toys instead of candy, so we escaped a room full of knee biters and belly button lickers on a sugar high.
I had all the makings for s'mores. Oh, and by the way? Screw the Hershey bar. I had orange chocolate and chili chocolate and 86% cocoa chocolate. Once you've had a s'more with the good stuff, there's no going back.
A couple folks decided they just wanted the marshmallows, which was fine, but I came out onto the deck and was greeted by this sight:
"What the ...?" I said. "Marshmallow Taffy!" was the reply. Thank goodness the kids didn't see them.
I treated myself to a sheet cake from Borracchini's:
It was a sponge cake with strawberry filling and buttercream frosting. Nom!
As the evening progressed, the cocktails got more interesting. My husband had bought me a bottle of limoncello when he was out getting supplies, and so a Cthulhu's Kiss was made:
(That's Absinthe and Limoncello, for the curious)
I experimented some years ago, after finding out my favorite drink at a local restaurant/bar had as its base Jolly Rancher infused vodka. I bought a bulk box of the candies, sorted them out by flavors, and then made pint jars of each flavor. Most of it got farmed out as gifts, but I kept the sour apple, because it's my favorite and I made them. Another couple of friends showed up with a bottle of Fireball cinnamon whiskey and heads were put together and new drinks resulted.
They were calling this on the Smokin' Hot Apple, or the Trick or Treat:
Some cherry wine was added into the mix. I missed what they were calling this one:
Cleanup was fairly painless, in most part because pretty much everything edible was consumed. I still have about half the cake, one ear of corn, and some cherry tomatoes. Of course, I did three loads of dishes during the course of the evening, which definitely helped the end of the evening. I was scolded for doing dishes at my own birthday party, but hey. It's my birthday. I'll scrub if I want to.
Now I have to try to find room in the liquor cabinet, because I was gifted a bunch of potables. My friends seem to think I am a serious lush. (Not that I am complaining!)
So, another birthday, and a new decade before me. Now how am I going to top this when I turn 50?