Monday, February 26, 2007

Am I getting too old for this?

Came home from work and spent a good portion of the evening in the kitchen making two Cuban flans in preparation for this Sunday’s party (the annual Oscars party The Brit and I host).

Came home from work. Went with The Brit to two different grocery stores to buy the obnoxious amount of groceries needed for the Oscars party menu. Did this til 10pm. Then, spent what was left of the evening in the kitchen making a Chocolate-Raspberry Mousse Cake.1 Did this til 1:30 AM. Then…packed. Went to bed at 2 AM.

Got on a plane to San Diego at 7:15 AM, leaving The Brit behind to do a full day of cooking by himself. Ran ceaselessly around San Diego with The Mexican Ho2 in preparation for her 30th birthday party that evening. This entailed picking up enough tortillas to feed both the Mexican AND the Irish sides of her family morning, noon and night for roughly a week, inhaling a quick breakfast, taking a trip to the nail salon for a manicure and pedicure (she’s kind of a Diva), picking up our favorite Italian Ho at the airport, getting the Mexican Ho’s makeup done at Bobbi Brown (hey, she didn’t get the Diva title accidentally), dressing up, and finally…partying. In her parent’s lavishly done-up back yard…complete with lights, papel picado, a Mariachi band, a piñata, a DJ, a rented dance floor, a rented deluxe porta-potty, 80 or so of her closest friends and family (including an abuelita who makes one mean tamale) and enough beer, wine and sangria to permanently damage the livers of everyone in attendance. It was a Treintañera the caliber of which more than made up for the fact that she'd never had the more traditional coming-of-age Quinceañera party. And we were sure to celebrate it Spanglish style, in honor of her Mexican Irishness. (Or is it Irish Mexican-ness?) Feliz birthday, mi Ho Mexicana…estoy tan happy que I was able to venir to your party! Espero que you enjoyed it…because I sure lo disfrute! Besos y hugs!

Got on plane back to SF at 6:20 AM. Arrived home at 8 AM to find The Brit, in the kitchen, experiencing a palpable bout of uncharacteristic panic. Which was weird. He never stresses. In fact, he’s often so completely level-headed and reasonable that it’s annoying. I’ve mentioned this before. Anyway, there he was, armpit deep in a kitchen whose counters were no longer visible under a sea of dirty mixing bowls, measuring cups, teaspoons, tablespoons, cutting boards, recipes…having finished only two thirds of the planned dishes
3 and currently mid-way through the painstaking assembly of the Vietnamese Fresh Spring Rolls. He was clearly only moments away from beginning to twitch and babble senselessly from the stress, so I took over the kitchen duties, freeing him up to go set things up at the art studio where we were having the party. I then spent the next several hours making ludicrous portions of Ham, Leek & Three cheese Quiche, Red and Blue Potato Salad, Smoked Salmon Squares, Chicken Satay Bites and the ganache for my Chocolate-Raspberry Mousse Cake. All just in time to make it to the party one hour late. But with all the food. Which I then spent the next several hours serving. In a cute cocktail dress and very uncomfortable shoes.

All of this was okay, and moderately manageable…until the very end when a certain board member of the art studio (the very one who approached The Brit and proposed that we harness the popularity of the annual Oscars party, which we usually hold at our house free of charge to the invitees, and turn it into a fundraiser for her art studio) started having a public conniption about the fact that the party hadn’t generated as much money as she’d expected and how it was all just a waste of effort and how she’d put SO much work into it all and boo hoo friggin’ hoo. Thank goodness there weren’t any bacon stuffed pepperocini’s left over because I might have shoved them somewhere unsavory. And thank goodness for the fact that I was too tired to shove one of my painfully edematous and throbbing feet anywhere as well.

Instead, I silently applauded my restraint (promising myself a nice piece of cheese as a reward) and headed back home with The Brit, in the rain, with a car full of dirty dishes to a kitchen full of filthy dishes. Which we then cleaned. Til 1 AM.

Back to work

I need a big nap. But first, some cheese...

1. I'd love to provide the link to this recipe but can't seem to find it online. Only have the hard copy in Bon Appetit magazine. SO good.
2. A term of endearment developed in our younger years...back when were too young to appreciate that ten years later, it might not be so fun to be introduced to a friend's family & friends and have them say: "Ohhh, right!! You're one of the ho's!!!"

3. He'd already made the Spinach Dip, Cheesy Onion Roll-Ups, Crunchy Chicken Bites, Chickpea Salad with Parsley, Lemon, and Sun-dried Tomatoes, Greek Pasta Salad with Roasted Vegetables and Feta, Rice Salad with Feta, Citrus and Mint, Stuffed Pepperocinis, Mushroom Shallot Quiche, and Pistacchio Brittle Cheesecake.


"The Love Muscle" said...

Wow, wish we could have attended as it sounds like you guys did one hell of a job. Maybe next year Mamacusa and I can come down for the party, eh?

fatty said...

At the party I was so impressed by how much work you kids did to take the annual party and step it up to help benefit something you cared about. Great work! Sorry to hear they didn't appreciate everything you did - maybe a more appreciative cause next year.

Chocolate-Raspberry Mousse Cake = heaven. I usually don't like fruity anything adultering my chocolate, but that was perfection.

Waspgoddess said...

Exhausted just reading your itinerary... getting up that early after a party (shudder).

So what did you think of the dresses?

La Cubana Gringa said...

love muscle - That'd be great!

fatty - win some, you lose some, you slap some. It all works out in the end. Glad you didn't mind my raspberry perversion of the otherwise pure and unadulterated bliss that is chocolate. :)

waspgoddess - It took great strength. Strength which I rewarded with cheese. Of course.

And as for the dresses....
Loved - Nicole Kidman, Cate Blanchett, Maggie Gyllenhaal
Was thoroughly confused by - Meryl Streep, Faye Dunaway, Lauren Hutton