Tuesday, July 10, 2012

The Big 3-0

This was a big birthday for Sam. He doesn't really want to talk about it (too much, anyway), but he has moved on to a new decade. On the Fourth of July, Sam turned THIRTY. It's very exciting (at least I think so!). For years I've known this needed to be a big deal (but birthdays are always a big deal to me). The tricky part of having a holiday birthday is that everyone leaves town and has their own plans-- it's not particularly conducive to partying. But I knew I wanted to have a small fete for him, so I schemed. I toyed with several ideas before settling on a last-minute, Saturday-before gathering. It had to be small because our apartment is miniscule, but it would be awesome.
So now comes the exciting part.  On Friday night before the party, there was a storm. I didn't even know it was supposed to rain until . . . oh hey! Our power's out!! It was about 10:30 pm, Sam was at work, and I was just happy I had already baked the cupcakes. I went to bed assuming the power would be back on when I woke up. But I was wrong. The next morning our power was still out, and the apartment was getting warmer by the second. The high for the day was over 100. Our cell service kept cutting out, but through a couple sneaky texts, my dear friend katie offered to let us bring the party to their powered house. That's a good friend who will offer up her house for a party with only two hours notice. (And not only that, we hung out there all day until our power came back on that night.)

Now, onto the spread.

Watermelon, strawberries, chips and salsa, and now the exciting things:

Fresh Corn and Avocado salsa

Chocolate malted cupcakes, the same as last year.

Ultimate fluffer-nutters: Sam has been dreaming about creating these for years. I want to Le Pain Quotidien and cleaned them out of brioche, then created a triple-decker of peanut butter, nutella, marshmallow fluff, and fresh strawberries.

Grilled Corn and Crema Mexicana Crostinis: sliced baguettes toasted then topped with crema mexicana, grilled corn, lime, cilantro, and chili powder. I'll post the recipe soon.

And, finally, 30 different root beers and sodas in glass bottles, for sampling.

My original vision was 30 root beers, but this proved difficult, as it is challenging to find single bottles of root beer, and I wasn't about to buy 30 6-packs. So I found all the root beers I could (which did include buying a couple 6- and 4-packs), and then I supplemented with other sodas in glass bottles. I found the most success at World Market, and then supplemented with finds from Giant, Target, Whole Foods, Trader Joe's, and Harris Teeter. And it was a huge hit! I had small plastic cups, and people just started opening bottles and sampling. It was such a fun way to party. One of the favorite root beers was called Pop Shoppe (though Virgil's and Sprecher were also favored), and some of the more interesting sodas included chocolate, cucumber, key lime cream, and coconut. Bria was on cloud 9, since even she got to join in the fun. She actually favored some of the darker root beers (I should not be surprised). We are still swimming in root beer (from those handful of 6-packs), but Sam is not complaining. It was a huge success!


  1. fluffer nutters! i have to try that. Love the root beer idea. i'm definitely going to do that for james's 30th. i always love your ideas and the recipes you recommend. orangette has become a favorite blog of mine. i'm determined to make it to seattle to try delancy.