Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Jeff's Birthday

We had another party this weekend. Forty requires something unique, don't you think? Jeff's parents are visiting this week and we are all big fans of the show Top Chef, so I decided to have a "Top Jeff" party for the family.I even dressed up a little like Padma -- including the scar on her arm.
Our first challenge was called "This Is What 40 Looks Like." The chefs had to make a creation with 40 marshmallows.
Grandma make little aliens and called hers "Forty Is Out Of This World."
Claire made a 40 with the 40.
Jeff called his "Temple of Forty."
Grandpa made a "King of Forty."
The next challenge...
Chefs had to try to guess the name of the pasta from the package and make up a creative name. Benjamin didn't know the official names of any of them, so he just wrote "noodles" ten times. His creative names were pretty clever though -- several variations on "swirly."
Next we had a taste test. The chefs had eight substances to taste.
Jeff was very serious.
Actually, he was the only one to get all eight correct. We had caramel sauce, olive oil, pancake syrup, maple syrup, bbq sauce, corn syrup, molasses and honey. (The fake syrup vs the real maple syrup was very tricky.)

The last challenge was a group challenge that required drawing knives just like they do on the show.
Each knife had a word on it and the chefs had to rearrange the knives to form a sentence.
It read "On March tenth, 1876 Alexander Bell completed the first telephone voice transmission." (March 10 is Jeff's actual birthday.)

We had an actual Top Chef recipe for dinner. It was Tre's Bacon Wrapped Shrimp.
He originally served it over cheesy grits with a Chipolte Tomato Butter sauce. I made the sauce as directed and it was tasty, but pretty spicy and very thin. I don't do grits, so I served it over cheesy mashed potatoes. (I'm not ashamed to admit they were from a box. After all that party planning, I took the easy way out on dinner. We also had a bag salad. And brownies and ice cream for dessert.)

Every birthday party needs party favors, so the chefs each got a gift bag...

Grandpa got sardines!

Claire got clam juice.
Benjamin got Spam.
Marilyn got Menudo.
And Jeff got Spotted Dick.
They all got little boxes of Jelly Bellies, too -- to make up for the scary canned goods.

It was a super fun party and I am so thankful I've got such a fun, playful family. Hooray for 40 more great years!


Gerrie said...

Well, you know what a fan I am of this show!! this was just so cool. You are one energetic and creative woman.

Kristin L said...

I am totally hiring your family for our next birthday season. You can have a free stay in Hawaii from September till October! BTW, my vote goes to Grandpa for the King of 40, but fan favorite has to be Benjamin for his swirly pasta and the fact that his canned good is Spam -- you know Hawaii is all about Spam! (Spam v. Spotted dick was a tough call -- I had to cheer on the local team though.)

Anonymous said...

Yes, if the Twelves ever get together, you are officially in charge of games!

Jeri is said...

What a fun party! You are quite the creative party planner! Great ideas.

momma helen said...


Barbara Strobel Lardon said...

What a clever idea and they all looked like they had too much fun!
Great marshmallow creations.

Grace said...

What a great family birthday you planned.

Hey don't dis on the "Spotted Dick" the wife of an Englishman I had to taste it and it's actually delicious especially covered in just cooked custard. mmmmmh

Melly Testa said...

deborah, what fun! You are a wonder filled person.

Unknown said...

Love the marshmellow king but Benjamin looks very traumatised by being given Spam! Did he get counselling afterwards?! When I am 40 will you come over and do me a Simply Quilts themed party?

Sarah Ann Smith said...

What a wonderful party..... I love all the goofy party favors, and Benjamin's photo made me laugh out loud... this is a GOOD thing!

Many happy birthdays to all of you, Cheers, Sarah

kathy said...

what the heck is spotted dick??? Must be one of those texan thingys. Another great party added to your portfolio...must remember if I need an idea!