More Birthday Party Details

The menu for my mother’s 75th birthday party was not extensive and there wasn’t a drop of tea to be found. But I did use several of the recipes that I’ve featured on this blog. Here’s what we served:

Barbequed pulled pork sandwiches
Chicken salad on croissants
Sweet and sour meatballs
Slow baked beans
Macaroni and shrimp salad
Cole slaw
Pimento cheese and crackers
Veggies with dip
Chips, pretzels and nuts
Pickles and olives
Deviled eggs
Birthday cake
Brownie bites
Pumpkin cheesecake cream puffs
Pink swirl cookies
Daisy chocolates
Fall mints
Sweet local cider

Space was a big concern when planning the menu. I used three chafing dishes and they take up a lot of room. In addition to my large dining table, I needed three card tables, my sideboard and a high stool for holding the coffee pot.

The other thing I needed to consider was how to heat everything. My cousin, who lives just a couple blocks away, offered her oven and I had an extra crock pot. But what I found most helpful was using electric roasters. I’ve had one for years but bought a second when I saw them at Sam’s for $39.99. I’m so glad I did this. Those roasters really do take the place of an oven.

Last Christmas my basement fridge stopped working (with all my Christmas dinner supplies in it.) We finally replaced it before the party with a scratch and dent model from Home Depot. My husband had waited all year for just the right fridge. I think he was considering kicking a showroom floor model so it would have to be discounted. :)

My decorations were also simple. I had one large florist’s bouquet on the dining table, two pink cyclamen on the room divider and small arrangements of pink roses on each of the five tables where people ate. Mother received a beautiful arrangement from John’s daughter Pam and that sat beside her on a small table. As you can see in some of the pictures, Mother had a pretty pink corsage too.

I wouldn’t normally use plastic table covers but since I knew there would be at least two seatings at each table, I wanted a quick between-diners clean up. I used a white bottom cover and a pink runner for each table. In addition to the roses, each table had pink candles and glass water pitchers. I also used milk glass containers full of pink M&Ms.

I had many gracious offers of help with this party. But I wanted everyone to just be able to relax and be a guest. I relied on only a few people, my brother, Neil, his girlfriend, Kim, Mother’s friend, John, and John’s daughter, Pam. My niece and nephews blew up all the balloons, parked cars for guests, sliced rolls and served as taste-testers. And most importantly, my husband was my biggest help and support. He did everything I asked without one complaint, from lugging in huge tables to moving all our middle parlor furniture to the second floor to running for supplies time after time. I thank them all.

After the party, we had food left over. Monday my husband took chicken salad croissants and cake to work for his guys. Tuesday he took in pork barbeque and shrimp macaroni salad. My friend Luda said yesterday, "So you made your mother happy, you made your guests happy AND you made all those guys happy." Not to be immodest, but I think I did!