15 June, 2009

There's a Party in the Park

In case you were wondering, birthday parties for a three year old are so worth the effort. She won't remember it, but I will forever remember impatience for the last month - drama included - and the high of having all these people there for her, the Happy Birthday Girl.  The drama on her part, and mine, was worth it.

With so much competitive parenting going on these days I would like to think I am immune to it. We've been to our share of birthday parties of late and inevitably we do take notes. Usually those notes revolve around ways to make the party clean-up easier and how to sneak some wine into a kid friendly venue.  Thankfully we have a great group of friends and family that were more than happy to simply come and hang out with us on a finally hot Saturday afternoon. There is a park across the street from our house, a rather convenient feature considering that we still have no yard.  So we carried over a few picnic tables, a couple of quilts, a mess of sandwiches, some bubbles and balls for the kids, and had ourselves a picnic.

I realize that this fruit porcupine is more than a tad over the top for a picnic.  It was a fantastic way to keep a now three year old occupied with prep work.  Skewering grapes, a new way to kill time and fruit.  Plus, there were no post slurp watermelon rinds to deal with.  Keep in mind that this is not a way to serve things if you have any distance to travel to your picnic.

Remember the asparagus?  Edgar Farms is still picking, so I'm still eating.  On my continued mission to indoctrinate, er... feed my friends good food I blanched some, along with some green beans, and served them with some Gull Valley cherry tomatoes and a homemade blue cheese dip.  For the few moments when I sat down I was parked near this platter. I'm not sure how many people tried the asparagus with me hogging the plate.

The rest of the menu included grilled veggies and Boursin on a whole wheat baguette, a recreation of the famous Italian Centre sandwiches (very well received and a soon to be picnic staple in this house), tabouleh salad, Holy Guacamole (We Got Chips), and some brewed iced tea and lemonade.  And don't forget the cupcakes!

Speaking of the cupcakes, I'm pretty sure that the was the only food most of the other kids ate. I think my friends were maybe prepared for me and my tendencies because most of them brought their own food for the kids.  Hey, I made peanut butter and jam sandwiches too! I thought it was pretty kid friendly with the fruit porcupine and veggies, but maybe that is only my kids? 

No party would be complete without a little entertainment.  No clowns or facepainting here. We had Uncle Paul juggling fire!  Sadly fire is not that noticeable at 4 in the afternoon.  I can tell you that it is very noticeable after a few beers and once the sun finally sets in the summer. Unfortunately the kids always miss that entertainment.

Happy Birthday Monster!


Aimée said...

Aww, Happy Birthday!! Looks like a splendid event--well done!

danamccauley said...

What a fantastic spread! My son is a December birthday so there has never been a park party for his bday. In fact, since his birthday is in the first few days of the month, it isn't even usually cold or snowy enough to play out doors.

Summer birthdays are, indeed, the best!

bluejeangourmet said...

I love that you created a festive celebration for your "Monster" without giving into that pressure to
reward our kids with a bunch of stuff that actually isn't good for them! of course, as you know, they will gobble up the good stuff when it's put in front of them.

everything looks fantastic & tasty--do you think you would share your blue cheese dip recipe?

HipHome said...

I just sat down to research ideas for my 3 year olds party this weekend and whaddya know...I can research right on your blog :) Looks like you had a beautiful day. We are having people over on Saturday for my little guys party. He wants black beans and rice (his favorite meal) and a blue cake...love that. Bubbles and balls sound like a great idea!

Isabelle said...

Wow, what a great-looking party! That would have been right up my alley at age 3. I have a summer birthday too and I always loved doing stuff outside. Those Boursin sandwiches sounds amazing!