Saturday, April 23, 2011

#34 - It's happy hour somewhere, right?

Carrie Nation
When I originally thought of learning to make cocktails from memory, my purpose was to find several common drinks that I liked and learn what was in them.  I wanted to be able to order with some confidence when I went out with friends rather than sheepishly saying "oh, what she said sounds good; I'll have one of those."  Plus, it made me feel sophisticated to think that I could whip up a martini or sex on the beach for someone with a moment's notice.

However, then I got my glorious party idea (see the post previous to this one) and decided to actually learn the recipes so I could BE a bartender for a night.  Then I realized that not everyone invited would want an alcoholic beverage, so I added some mixed fruit juice drinks to my initial list.  I've scattered photos of the non-alcoholic drinks through this post ... since I could make and photograph all of them in a night and be able to drink them all after instead of pouring some rather expensive ingredients down the drain or getting smashed.  Finally, I decided that I should invent a drink for the party ... I ended up making up two and am still tweaking the proportions but both the Sexy Librarian (for those who like a potent drink) and the Bookworm (for the abstainers) will make their debuts at the party.  I thought that it would be easier to create drink recipes than cookie recipes; however, I'm finding that I know more about how cookie ingredients interact.  It's fun though!

Shirley Temple
I can now reliably recite the ingredients, correct glass, and mixing procedure for over 15 drinks.  I've been making them one every few nights, so that I know how they taste as well.  So ... what will the guests be able to order from the bar in addition to the drinks pictured in this post?  The Bluebird, Fuzzy Navel, Icy Dog, Long Island Iced Tea, a classic Martini, The Monk, Rum & Coke, Rum & Ginger, Screwdriver, Sex on the Beach, Strawberry Whip, Tequila Sunrise, White Wine Spritzer, or a William Tell.  Or, of course, the aforementioned, Bookworm and Sexy Librarian!

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Sometimes the ideas just pop into your head!

For most of the last 200+ days, I have been struggling with goal #21 (celebrating my 40th birthday) trying to come up with something fun and meaningful that acknowledged rather than avoided the fact that it would be a special day for me.  And, as the days have ticked by, I've worried a bit that I wasn't going to come up with anything that really stood out for me.  My friends have been trying to help with suggestions ...
  • two separate offers to throw me a party ... very nice, but not really what I wanted
  • maybe I should try jumping out of an airplane ... this is SO NOT ME!!!
  • taking a trip ... great fun, but the timing isn't quite right with some other things happening in my life.  Plus, I usually do at least a day trip for my birthday - mostly to avoid dealing with it - so, I would feel like I was playing ostrich yet again.
  • invite friends over to hang out for the day ... ummm, I really don't want to include house-cleaning in the birthday plans and many of my friends would need to be at work since it's a weekday.
  • perhaps I should wait and someone would throw me a surprise party ... or maybe they wouldn't and then I'd be scrambling for something special to do. And, I've already had a surprise birthday party thrown for me (when I was 18).
I did have a few things decided:  I didn't want to clean my house, I wanted to celebrate ON my birthday rather than an adjacent weekend, I wanted to have some control over who I celebrated with, I wanted to do something "different", etc. 

Then, a few days ago on my morning walk, a glorious idea popped into my head - a LARP event!  (To all of you who don't know that term, it stands for Live Action Role Playing).  I've done murder mystery dinners before (with a fabulous time had by all), and I've always wanted to write one of my own on a large scale.  This is the perfect opportunity for me to plot and plan - two things I enjoy - and then share the fun with friends.  I've already decided that I can play the role of a bartender (and not so coincidentally work on my goal #34).  I'm hoping that many of my invitees will be able to attend despite the midweek date - the guest list has already hit 100 - so I can work in lots of subplots.  I was thrilled that my niece immediately agreed to take on a key role despite the 6 hour drive; she will be justly rewarded with the leftovers from the cheesecake dessert buffet.  In short, it's the perfect idea for me, and I look forward to reporting later how it all turns out.