Tuesday, July 29, 2008

White Trash Birthday Buffet


To take a line from Carol Burnett, ‘I’m so glad we had this time together…’ My dear sweet friends threw me the best birthday party I can ever remember. I had requested a game night party. I am highly competitive, and so are most of my friends. Good friends, good food, plenty of liquor, and games, what more could I ask for? My best friend and host, Eric had requested for me not to arrive too early to my birthday party. So I arrived comfortably late, about the same time as my hero Sister Epiphenita, her wonderful partner Barbara, and Ms. E’s sister #1 and her friend (who were visiting from out of town). The first thing I notice is 2 women I do not recognize, with very, uh… vibrant outfits, complete with rollers in the hair, and blue eye shadow. I was so taken back (and resisting the urge to write out a fashion citation or two) that I did not really notice Ms. E & St. Barbara’s homemade frocks. I was still wondering how I was going to get through the whole night without staring and drinking when I noticed my best friend wearing a blue Budweiser work shirt, and another dear friend Rhoda wearing a white tank top with a pack of Kools under the bra strap. I then realized if Rhoda dressed down this much and Eric was wearing polyblends, I was my White Trash birthday party! I quickly saw another good friend Sally (straight from working all day) who gave me a big hug.

Now first you have got to understand about Eric is: HE KNOWS HOW TO THROW A PARTY! There are no cutting corners, everything is fresh, it all goes well together, and the bar is full stocked. Unless, it is a football game, but even then everything goes into bowls, and never ever are there paper plates. He can cook very well, and so can Rhoda. That is how this party came about, it all happened because of my birthday cake. Rhoda had informed Eric that she was thinking about making a pretty impressive dessert for my birthday. Eric was quick to point out; Steven does not do frou-frou cakes for his birthday. Oh, no, it has to be Strawberry cake from a box with strawberry frosting (Duncan Hines or Pillsbury will do, I am not picky), no extra garnishes, and no fresh strawberries. Basically, it’s a box or nothing. Well, needless to say, Rhoda was not thrilled, AND not going to soil her hands by making a box cake. Eric thought it was so funny the way that Rhoda reacted, he told Ms. E the story. Together they decided to go with the cake and throw in a white trash theme for good measure. Ms. E took the reins and whipped up the following menu:
Tuna Cassarole
Hamburger Helper
Strawberry Cake with Strawberry Frosting
A Giant sized Ding Dong (it was yummy)
Frito’s and Bean dip (I think it killed Eric’s soul a bit to leave it in the can, instead of transferring it to a bowl)
Potato Chips and dips
Various Sodas, and Big Red of course (trust me, if you have never had it LOOK FOR IT!)
Watermelon (they bought it as a joke, but damn, it was good good and very sweet.)
All served on paper plates with plastic forks and plastic cups. For added ambiance they places yellow daisies (shudder) and baby’s breath in empty beer bottles and bear cartons. They also had the E! True Hollywood story of Britney Spears going on in the background.

Right from the start it was a blast, people mingling and catching up. Eric was heating things up in the kitchen, and at one point had me taste the ‘hamburger helper’. I use that term loosely since a it was the true Mac & Cheese Hamburger Helper, but with tofu crumbles instead of hamburger meat. Eric has been a vegetarian for over 12 year and will not cook meat, let alone eat it, no matter how much he professes to love me. While cooking it, he had me taste it.
I said, “it is very bland, did you use all the powdered cheese packet?’
He just looked at me and laughed, ‘Yes, I used all of the powdered cheese packet. I never thought those words would be used in my kitchen.’
That is when I realized; yes, he REALLY does love me. Poor Eric, he is probably still burning sage to get all the bad food Chi out of his kitchen.

All in all, everyone loved the food and many went back for seconds. I knew they would, the only thing that was missing was ‘pigs in a blanket’ (Rhoda was going to make them, but somehow it got shot down, hmm...) and those cocktail weenies in that sauce you always see at parties. Not to mention that tasty picture I found for the blog, oh and corn dogs and… o.k. I’ll stop. Although, I truly did miss Eric’s Hummus, hands down the best hummus in the world.

After we all loaded up, I let everyone rest for exactly one minute and then forced everyone to play games. They were foolish, if they thought I had forgotten! Nolan (Rhoda’s very tolerant and funny husband) played timekeeper, and we divided the room up into two teams and played Pictionary. We played two rounds, and we really had some hard ones! You just try to get you team members to get Rebecca (the book/movie) in under two minutes! We all laughed our asses off and had a great time. I remember one time, being close to tears, I was happier than I had been in such a long time. These are my friends and they went out of their way, took time off from work, stayed late after working a long day to be here for me, and I am so blessed to have them in my life.

The only thing that could have made it complete would have been if my out of town friends could have been here also. But I understand, but next year is the big one guys, no excuses I want to have you all here! Next year, it is going to be a pajama party. For all those who did come, my heart filled thanks; it meant the world to me. I will remember it forever.
THANK YOU!
-Steven

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