About Me
I'm a Melbourne boy, hailing from St Kilda with one ex, one current wife and four kids. Love the outdoors and making new discoveries. I cook a lot at home (cheers from wife) and do some preserving, mostly jams, pickles and fruit liqueurs. This is the diary of a cooking journey.

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Monday, April 10, 2006
Party Daze
Holy hell, I'm tired.

Regular readers would remember a couple of weeks ago, I asked for ideas for good food for my daughter M's birthday party. Thank-you to all who responded, but I feel I let the side down a bit by not doing more. We did a couple of the suggestions, but despite my good intentions, literally ran out of time to do much more. You see the social secretary booked three parties for that weekend, three parties that WE held.

The first party was a combo. I have two daughters who were both born prematurely on the exact same day, twenty years apart. So we had all the kids over on Saturday night. Wife D wisely made a big pot of gulyasleves (goulash soup), which was the entree for two of the parties. What do you think Tankeduptaco has for a main course to feed his offspring? Tacos, of course! My 22 year old son amazed me by eating ten of them, but we're not talking supermarket tacos here, we're talking homemade - okay with a couple of cheats, namely the shells and I bought a jar of taco sauce which I mixed with fresh chopped vegetables, but all the rest was homemade right down to the spice mix. For dessert we had a homemade Black Forest cake, which was just scrumptious.

The next day we were at The Brighton Recreational Centre where Daughter M does gymnastics. We had tried to get a gym party, but being so popular they were booked out, so we booked a couple of rooms, one for the food and the other for organized party games with the centre's staff. So while the 15 odd troops were off being entertained, we set up the food. There weren't any party pies, we really wanted to avoid them, but there was no getting away from chicken nuggets. We also served saveloys (small frankfurters), not the smoke injected ones dipped into red dye, but proper continental ones. Homemade pizza got a look in, which apart from the cake, was the only homemade things the kids got. The parents actually fared better than the kids, with several homemade appetisers - or is it amuse bouche these days? There was a baguette filled with roasted red pepper and anchovies, sliced into portions and little bread rounds covered on both sides with a savoury spread to which the same sized rounds of salami were pressed on and topped with a marinated green olive. The cake was a flourless chocolate made with 400 g (1 lb) dark Lindt chocolate and about the same of almond meal. Do kids have a taste for dark chocolate - you bet! And so do the parents, one was a celiac who probably never eats cake, but happily put away his portion.

So after we cleaned and packed up there, I had to go to work for a couple of hours, while wife D went home to prepare for her sister, brother-in-law and nephew. We had the gulyaseves for the entree, followed by pot roasted pork neck served with Polish style carrots (braised in butter) and homegrown potatoes along with a salad. The cake was a babka that D added plenty of raspberries to.

And that was it.

And I'm knackered.
  posted at 10:15 am

At 7:15 am, Blogger Reb said...

Sounds pretty full on! My mate G (trusty lunching companion) LOVES goulash soup but I've never made it - can you (or a special guest appearance from your wife) blog the recipe if you haven't already? Unless of course it's covered under the official secrets act and can't be made public :)

At 8:26 am, Blogger neil said...

Hi Reb, no secrets here, it's already public. You can find it at http://tankeduptaco.blogspot.com/2006/02/memories-of-easter.html It's exactly as we found it and is worth making to the recipe at least once. It improves with keeping and freezes well.

At 6:01 am, Blogger Angela said...

Hey! Sounds like you really know how to party like a rock star!

3 parties in one weekend? I'm tired just thinking about it.

I have two parties coming up (Braden's 6th and my Mom's 50th), one week apart, and I'm planning on have at least one catered. You're a brave man, but then again....your food was probably better than a caterer's!

At 11:04 pm, Blogger lazy cow said...

Oops, I just commented on your post regarding kids' party food. Obviously too late! Looks like you had a great time.

At 11:04 pm, Blogger lazy cow said...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

At 8:00 am, Blogger neil said...

Hi Angela, I never thought of it like that, do rock stars cater their own parties? For sure they never clean up. Say hi and happy birthday to Braden and your mom from Australia.

Hi lazy cow, yes a great time was had by all.

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At 8:49 pm, Anonymous Anonymous said...

The next day we were at The Brighton Recreational Centre where Daughter M does gymnastics. We had tried to get a gym party, but being so popular they were booked out, so we booked a couple of rooms, one for the food and the other for organized party games with the centre's staff.
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