Cook out and loud!
Throwing a party can be a stressful task. What should you make? Should you decorate? Will your guests have fun? Endless questions and anxieties!
Add a theme to your party, and suddenly everything falls into place. Once the theme is in place, the menu, decorations, music, ambience and everything else can be figured out almost automatically.
With dear husband’s birthday coming up shortly, I have been toying with the idea of throwing a themed party and what better place than my blog to brainstorm the ideas and get some valuable suggestions! Here is what I have managed to come up with so far:
Theme: Cook out and loud!
Ambience: Imagine the sight of rows of laughing people around stacks of ingredients, submerged in food, hands and mouths busy and smothered with color, getting to know each other, experimenting with flavor and getting bits of food everywhere. Now imagine the smell of heavenly mixtures that others are whipping up rising up in the air all around. Once you imagine all that and feel that faint smile crinkling your lips, be assured that your guests will have a blast of a time, laugh all through the process and then salivate as their food is served to them!
Family style eating fosters interaction. The way we share food affects our interactions and conversation. Different people brought together even for the first time can build beautiful relationships by sharing the experience of not just eating but also preparing food. Working together builds friendships, seeing successes and failures together builds relationships. And what can be better if the building of friendships and relationships is accompanied by so much fun, laughter and joy!
Entertainment: My role will be very important in ensuring that the fun element is maintained throughout the party! While in this cook out party, the primary source of entertainment will be the cooking itself, I have couple of other things to think about. Firstly, I have to ensure that I invite a right mix of interesting people who would love to get to know each other and have lots of fun in the process of cooking and eating. The dynamics and interaction between my guests will determine the mood of my party and resultantly of my husband! Secondly, the food items or the menu is critical – I have to select dishes that work well with group assembling, at least in part if not during their entire cooking process. Thirdly, the right guests need to be assigned to the right tables once they arrive. Someody should also be responsible for serving and ensuring the guests are fed tid-bits while they are cooking. Music will be fun country music, spanish guitar and Bollywood hits in parts. Dress code will be aprons and comfortable attires to go under.
Location: The location will be our lovely little terrace – perfect for the cool Bangalore weather that is setting in gradually.
Appetizers: Bhel Puri. Puffed rice, lemons, onions, tomatoes, boiled potatoes and sweet tamarind chutney will be handy on a table. Guests can also chose to use other ingredients placed on other tables if they want to experiment with the bhel puri.
Main course: Pizza, sandwiches and salads. Whole vegetables like onions, tomatoes, lettuce, red pepper, yellow pepper, capsicum, olives and jalepenos will be stacked on a table. There will also be cottage cheese, mushrooms and some other kinds of cheese. Pizza, sandwiches and salads can be assembled easily by all my laughing and enjoying guests with the help of my convection oven, brown bread and pizza bases. I have a plan to discard the pizzas if the heating and cooking promises to become too chaotic or any of the guests plan to get children. To supplement the main course, there will be some tried and tested chutneys like Mango Jeera, Mango garlic, Papaya raisin, Carrot blackpepper and Tomato chilli chutney from Kitchens of India. These can be used in the sandwiches and salad (and even on the pizzas as an experiment!) to make them spicier, tastier and more exciting.
Desserts: This one will be the ready dish from my side as most desserts can be cumbersome and messy if left to guests. I would only leave the last minute assembling to them. Hence, I plan to have tubs of Vanilla ice cream stocked in the fridge and have it topped with some fabulous gourmet conserves from Kitchens of India. There will be 4 of their choicest conserves – Apple Cinnamon, Strawberry and Mint, Pineapple and Green pepper and Mango Saffron.
Well, for the menu or for the whole party, these are just my thoughts at the moment that I supplemented with fabulous products from Kitchens of India – please write / comment / call and share more ideas so I can make this day very special for my special husband!