Friday, July 3, 2009

Preparing for a PARTY!

Today is the day of the 20th Annual Ladies Summer Solstice Party! I don't have much time becasue I need to do several things, but I just wanted to give a heads up on the plan. So, unlike past years, we are getting together in the afternoon for a tea, which will extend into the evening (and maybe wee hours). Since some of us have to travel a couple hours to get to the destination, and because some of those people also have small children, we chose to start the party in the afternoon to give us all enough time to really socialize. Those who can stay late and whoop it up will do so! (That will be me!)
Jerusha, the original hostess, has decided to honor the occasion with a classic English tea party, complete with a variety of teas, sandwiches, cookies and other nibbles. What a perfect way to be girly and fancy together! In addition, party-goers will be bringing other edibles and drinkables from our gardens, farm shares and kitchens. Like always, I expect that we will have way too much food!
To mark the specialness of the occasion, I want to bring my laptop and have it available for instant updates during the party! I also plan to bring a journal to have my friends write in, so that we have a keepsake that can be maintained from year to year and so that I can write a follow-up entry here at Fiddlehead. I'll need to come up with a list of questions in the journal to help jump-start the creative process. Prompts such as these might be appropriate:
  • When did you first start coming to the Solstice party? What were your expectations? What were your first impressions?
  • Tell one (or more) of your favorite Solstice stories.
  • What do you usually bring to the party? What do you think that says about you and what people think of you? (hmm. this could be confrontational . . .)
  • What was your favorite meal, cocktail or dessert?
  • Why do you think the Solstice party has been so consistently observed for so long?
Finally (I thought I said this would be brief because I have things to do!), here is what I'm bringing (Recipes to be posted later when I have a minute . . . ha!):

  1. May Wine. Red wine mulled with sweet woodruff and blended with crushed strawberries. I bring it every year.
  2. A Rose Cava Brut from Spain -- Conde de Subirats.
  3. Goat Cheese Tart. Similar to the tart I usually make but hybridized with Ina Garten's recipe.
  4. Some steamed golden beets. Simply prepared, served with a little butter and s&p.
  5. Dulce de leche, white chocolate fondue and Mexican dark chocolate fondue, which will be made dairy-free, sugar-free (I'll be using my fave, agave), cinammon, nutmeg and cayenne.
Well, I'm behind on schedule, so I'd better sign off! :*


Anonymous said...

To answer the Q's after the fact: I've been going to Solstice (and hosting it occasionally) for 16 or 17 years, can't remember for sure.

I first started going because you guys invited me and I thought you were so cool, and I didn't understand the whole pagan thing and wanted to so badly. Some folks have friendships from high school that are the ones that last; for me it has turned out to be the ones from college. I like to think that I knew then that you ladies were going to be big parts of my life, even though we'd only been friends for a few months at the time.

Fave personal experience: that year where we went skinny dipping and folks were surprised how much my boobs float (they're big). And every year, I'm amazed at how easily we fall back into our camaraderie, with lots of laughter and sharing as though there was no time or distance between our getting together, even though this group of friends only gets together twice or three times a year, including solstice.

I'm one of the cooks who come to the party: if it's at my house I go all out, with entrees, salads, veggies, whatever. If it's elsewhere I'll bring robust side dishes and non-booze drinks. One year we did an Indian-themed dinner and I made a recipe for lentil dal that has become one of my favorites ever. The Mexican fondue that you did this year knocked my purple toenail polish off (no socks). As far as I know, people think I am fabulous and like to cook. Am I wrong? :)

As a mostly booze free gal (this party may actually be the only drinking I do in a year) I love the May wine. I really love the Midori Illusions that Heather makes. Yeah, I have high school booze preferences - if it's fruity or tastes like melted ice cream and not like alcohol, I'm going to like it. Knowing that I have fruit and chocolate fondue of some kind to look forward to at these parties makes it high priority that I get there every year. But really, I go for the ladies more than the food.

Why has it lasted? Especially with the ups and downs between the friendships of the core group? I think it got through the first few years because you originiators (I'm not one)needed a way to re-bond when you scattered to college after the first one. I keep coming back because I love having a woman-only party; when we get the group including the gents together the dynamic is different, though also good. And each successive year it feels more rich, more full to keep a purley pleasurable tradition going; not one that is a holiday or a family obligation or required drudgery. Here's to twenty more years and more!

Seth said...

I never got invited :(