8th Annual Hanukkah Party = Success!
I’ve been quiet on the blog front, and there are two good reasons for that. 1.) I was sick last week with the worst sore throat I’ve had in recent memory. It lasted a full SIX DAYS and I could barely swallow, let alone eat or drink without sharp pain. I consumed about 1000 Ricola cough drops (a godsend – worked better than drugs) and complained a whole lot. It wasn’t fun. and 2.) Saturday night was my annual Hanukkah party!
Needless to say, between the sickness that kept me from doing much more than pressing play on my next show (I did manage to work a few days but it wasn’t pretty) and prepping for the party, O-HI-30 just didn’t make the list. So tonight, on this first night of Hanukkah, I’ll share some highlights from #8, and then I promise I’ll be back to regular programming (upcoming post – Match.com!)
With seven parties under my belt, I’m finally starting to get the hang of hosting and pulled of #8 without too much frantic running around or stressing. There was a moment around 3 PM that afternoon that I panicked, but everything came together in time, as it always does. I’ve learned over the years that the key to throwing a good party is to have just the right amount of food – not too much, not too little. And, of course, lots of booze! And good music and fun activities like lighting the menorah and playing dreidel. You know, just the usual party things.
I failed as a blogger once again and didn’t take any photos of the food spread, but it was a good one – and the best part is, it was all eaten! Every last bite except for a few pathetic veggies and crackers. In years past I’ve been left with way too many leftovers that have seen better days, and I hate to waste food. So this year, the spread included the following:
- Latkes (frozen from Trader Joe’s) served traditional with applesauce and sour cream – I made them from scratch once and I will never again – at least not for a party!
- My Dad’s homemade hummus (he even made it – original recipe in Hebrew!) served with pita and veggies
- Hot artichoke dip
- My mom’s to-die-for mushroom cups
- Bacon-wrapped dates courtesy of Ashley (because every Hanukkah party needs some bacon)
- Various desserts made by my kind girlfriends (most famously, Jackie’s dreidel-shaped rice krispe treats).
- White chicken chili – I made a pot so early party guests could eat dinner, and leftovers freeze well!
On the booze front, I always make a vodka punch using Trader Joe’s pomegranate sparkling juice and club soda – always a hit and very pretty with cranberries floating on top. And copious amounts of other liquor, wine, and beer of course. Duh.
We lit the menorahs (I have two – one real and one that sticks into the top of a wine bottle…classy) around 10 PM, at the peak of the party. Even though Hanukkah doesn’t actually start until tonight, it’s tradition to light at least one candle at the party…so that’s what we did. Call the Jew police. And then the “dancing” of the Horah (yes, with the chair lifting an all) and general craziness until the wee hours of the night. And don’t forget the Spin Me Maybe sing-along!
One thing that sets this party apart from others is a tradition that started a number of years ago with my closest group of friends. Every party semi-destroys the home it takes place in, but my friends decided to kick that up a notch. It started tame, with baby carrots being tossed all over the place for me to clean up with the beer bottles and and crusted-on food the next day. It then escalated the next year to shaving cream on mirrors and on the walls of my shower, then paper towel mummies. But this year, they really got creative.
Yep, those are Styrofoam peanuts you see. EVERYWHERE. And I mean EVERYWHERE. And not just what is visible – all over the floor – but in every nook and cranny of my apartment. That’s where the real cleverness comes in – as I was cleaning late that evening and the next day, I found them (ok, we found them – Wyatt should get credit here for being a helpful co-host…) in coffee mugs, in bowls, in ice cube trays, in decorative martini glasses, in my pantry (laid neatly on top of each can), in my coffee maker, in my bathtub (along with all the ice from the beer bucket…that was a pleasure)…EVERYWHERE. And just as I was finally getting into bed at 2 AM, exhausted – between the fitted sheet and my mattress!
But perhaps the most clever placement of all wasn’t discovered until long after all the beer bottles were picked up, the dishes were washed, and my apartment was scrubbed head-to-toe on Sunday. It was discovered last night, when Wyatt and I were getting ready to watch an episode of The Killing (now on Season 3…so good) with a $10 pint of Jeni’s Ice Cream (dark chocolate peppermint!), and discovered this:
And with that, I’ll call Hanukkah Party #8 a success. Thanks to all who attended, and to all who didn’t – there’s always next year! Wish your Jewish friends (all hundreds of them) a Happy Hanukkah tonight, and every night for the next eight!
Truly an inspirational blog… So for those who are dying to know how I make the ONLY dish I know how: I WILL share my world-class hummus recipe free of charge (small prob – it’s in Hebrew as Sarah wrote…).