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Monday, July 20, 2009

Summer Party, 2009

Saturday night was my annual Summer Party, held this year on the coolest July 18th on record for the City of Minneapolis. I think the day's high didn't reach 70.

I've had a summer get together pretty much every year for the last 25 years or so.

The lists and the things on the list necessary for a party are many. We plotted. We bought. We moved. We lifted and iced. We scrubbed the usual and then we scrubbed the areas that hadn't seen a damp rag since the last party.

And then there was food. Oh, the food. I believe in lots of it, and the bulk of it made at home. So many wonderful friends bring bowls and bowls of food, offerings of meat for the grill.

By 5:00, the kitchen table and counters, the card tables outside were covered with platters and bowls of food. The pickle roll-ups were gone in an hour. The taco dip didn't last much longer than that, primarily owing to a particularly enthusiastic fan who stood at the table and almost single-handedly finished it.

Come on, man! Put it on a plate and let other people take a crack at it!

All in all, though, I think one of the many ways the party can be accurately described is as follows:

Reba, Rainy, and I are standing in the kitchen. It's 2:30 a.m. and Reba absolutely cannot get over the fact that it's 2:30 a.m. and she's still awake, she's been going to bed by 9:00 every night for the last two years, she's having such a good time and oooh look at all the food.

Reba has a touch of the ADHD.

And that's when we found ourselves at that stage in the evening when, if you're at a well-stocked party, you come face to face with the food still available in the kitchen. And in drunk and disorderly fashion, we met this dietary challenge by reaching for plastic forks.

En garde!

For several moments, there is just the sound of us grazing on cold fried chicken, hummus, a black-bean-and-corn salsa, Chinese cole slaw...

For no real reason, Reba and I look up to watch Rainy, a 28-year-old woman who looks like an angel. She has twisted a large knot of a cold spaghetti salad onto her fork. She manages to get her teeth around it, minus the strands dangling from her lips. She looks at us, smiling.

Reba looks at her and says, "You know, I gotta really applaud your efforts there, Lorraine. That's a whole lot of food you just crammed into your mouth. Way to go."

We all looked at each other in a moment of silence and then roared with laughter. We laughed for the next 10 minutes, playing off it, admiring each other's commitment to clearing the dishes, and eventually poor Lorraine collapsed onto the kitchen floor. We laughed until tears ran down our faces.

And that's how I would describe Saturday night.

The last of the guests left at 4:30.

And Sunday evening, my friends, at the time of this writing? I feel fine. To tell you the truth, I feel fabulous. Because you know what I learned Saturday? I learned that when the opportunity to laugh long and loud comes up, you should throw everything you have at it.

Happy Monday, everyone.


Jess said...

Ohhhhhhhhh I love parties like that!! I usually don't feel so fine the next day, but MAN I wish I could have been there! Nothing like laughing till tears come...or peeing yourself...which then starts a whole new laughing escapade!

Under the Influence said...

So true! There is just not enough laughing going on these days.

And pickle roll ups? I think I need that recipe! Yum.

Not The Rockefellers said...

That there is truth... twisted on the end of a fork sister!...

Peace - Rene

Pearl said...

Jess, you and I are in wild agreement. I had an absolutely fabulous time. There's nothing like laughing until you fall down to make everything better.

Under the Influece, pickle roll-ups are SO popular for parties. Men especially love them.

Two jars of pickles, drained and dried off.
Two "blocks" cream cheese.
A touch of Worcestershire.
Five packets of Buddig corned beef and/or pastrami. Whatever.

Smoosh up the cream cheese and Worcestershire.
Lay down a piece of meat. Spread the chream cheese mixture on it. Then take ANOTHER piece of meat, overlap that half-way onto the existing, cream-cheese piece of meat. Spread cream cheese onto new piece of meat.
Lay pickle down on this foundation.
Roll it up.
Continue until done. (Sometimes I go as far as making the meat part three pieces long, but that's only if I am sure I have plenty of it.)
Pile them up on a plate and refrigerate for a couple hours or over night or whatever you need.
Cut into nice bite-sized slices. Save the "butts" for the end of them night when you're drunken friends are desparate for more of them. :-)

Pearl said...

Rene, I actually thought of you Saturday night when I heard a Jayhawks song. :-)

Chris@Maugeritaville said...

Laughter is a universal bond. There is no substitute. Glad you and your friends got to indulge in food and chuckles.

Janie at Sounding Forth said...

Nothing like laughing until you collapse!

Laughing is GOOD!!!

Sounds like y'all had a great time at your par-tay!

mzbehavin said...

Pearl.... You make me laugh until I fall down..... and then of course... you know I can no longer get up alone.... cause I got old....

Regardless... I LOVE THIS STUFF!

Douglas said...

You failed to describe the eventual partial nudity. I am soooo disappointed.

Anonymous said...

I wish I could have shared in your party Pearl. Icky made that Salsa, didn't he? :)

Sometimes, I too laugh until I want to feint. The number one cause of my uncontrollable laughter...Mr. Cheeks.

One time we were talking about appendectomies and just to show off his medical knowledge - he drew an apendix for me...except it looked like a penis. My God...I laughed until my face hurt and I couldn't stop crying. Good times.

@eloh said...

Sounds like you all had a good time....not sure I could handle the cold sa-get, I would have grabbed the fried chicken and handled that for ya

Eskimo Bob said...

LRH (Laugh Real Hard)- The Eskimo Version of LOL - is the best thing ever.

It's a complete body workout! You're abs are sore - your face is sore - and your sphincter sometimes can't handle it and you pee your pants a little.

I've never heard of a weight-lifter or Olympic athlete who exercised so much that they pee'd their pants a little.

Erika said...

We had a laughing fit at our 4th of July party a couple of years ago. We were attacking the cheescake and my friend looked at me a la Silence of the Lambs and said, "She puts the cheesecake in her mouth." and we just about died right there on the floor. Good times.

Vanessa said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Anonymous said...

I had a magnificent time!!! How funny it is that I have but a fuzzy recollection of our late night feeding frenzy...Ha! We need to do that more often… Hugs*

Anonymous said...

I haven't been to a late party for ages. Glad you felt OK on Sunday. I would have felt like shit, I know I would have.

Madame DeFarge said...

Sounds great. I love parties that end that way, but can't remember the last one that I went to. Oh lord, I'm getting old before my time.

Pearl said...

Chris, even Monday, I still like I just left a party. There should be more parties…

Janie, I agree!

Mzbehavin, I’m glad you enjoy it!

Douglas, this year’s partial nudity was restricted to limbs. But NEXT year! You just wait ‘til NEXT year!

Sweetie, Icky DID make the salsa! And it was delish! And I just love laughing until I fall over. I’m quite good at it. (And nice story about the appendix!)

@eloh, oh, cold spaghetti (just the noodles, you understand) with zucchini, cukes, a little tomato, some parmesan and other things and it’s lovely. You would try it and you would say, “what the hell?! This is pretty tasty!”

Eskimo Bob, laughter is good exercise. And hey – I got the message re: the interview and I do want to do it. I will contact you via Facebook tomorrow!

Erika, I can guarantee you I would’ve laughed until I fell down!! Great story!

Ginger – or should I call you REBA?! – that was the highlight of the party in a whole SEA of highlights. You also gave quite a dissertation on why you needed to eat a whole lot of protein, thus justifying the chicken-eating portion of the night.

Mrwriteon, it’s all in the eating whilst drinking!

Madame DeFarge, the best way to go to a party like that is to host one. :-D I await my invitation!

Lorraine said...

I had a great time...A bit of a whoosy Sunday, but well worth it. Thanks for having me.
Love ya

darsden said...

dang I missed the big summer party.. well, crap.. and I had food I wanted to bring and share! Glad you guys had a great time. I too partied all weekend at my high school reunion.. I also stayed up past my bed time LOL and up early for Mcbreakfast club coffee too...wooohooo love summer time (except for those damn hurricanes!)

ICKY said...

I left kinda early, holding true to the crabby old man persona I'm trying so hard to achieve, but I had a great time.
I can be blamed for a good share of the pickle roll ups. By the way, I believe you promised me " a bunch of butts"!!
Anyway, thank you so much for the party.

SweetPeaSurry said...

what a fun end to a terrif night!

Pearl said...

Lorraine, you are just the sweetest thing in shoe leather and I think we are making plans for more silliness, yes?

Dar, oh, I'm glad we all had good times this past weekend. Seems like a long time coming...

Icky, yes I do believe I promised you the pickle roll-up butts. They, um, they -- hey! What's that over there?!

Sweet Pea, it was a great night and much needed!!