At the beginning of January my wonderful husband celebrated a big birthday. Normally we would just have the family around, cake, gifts, etc – but this year I convinced him we needed to have a party. He invited friends and family close to his heart and I took charge of the food.
Now I don’t know about you, but I never know what or how much food to prepare for parties. On top of the normal issues of ‘how to keep dishes warm’ or making sure to have enough veggie options, I have a cultural difference to consider as well. I learned quite early on that English party food and American party food are not considered equal. According to my husband, party goers expect certain food when they go to a party, things like cheese and pineapple on a stick, sausages, chips, small triangular sandwiches, cake and jelly (Jell-O to you Americans). I can’t imagine expecting to have anything other than cake at a birthday party in the States.
Since I am American, and proud of it, I feel I am entitled to forego the strictures of English party etiquette, so there will be no cheese and pineapple on sticks at my party, thank you very much. Instead I asked my husband what he would like and went from there. I made an absolutely delicious pulled pork in bbq sauce that was marinated in homemade asada sauce and cooked slowly in the crock pot before mingling with my homemade bbq sauce – it took me back to my time at Queens College in Charlotte, North Carolina, great times, but I digress. I made a layered garden salad that is a favorite of the birthday boy; some savory muffins with goats cheese, red onion and rosemary which didn’t turn out as good as I had hoped; a superb foccaccia sandwich with tapenade, roasted red peppers, mozzarella, sun dried tomatoes, rocket, and pesto; as well as the usual chips and dips, veggies and bread sticks, etc. It all went over very well, but the absolute best part of the party food had to be the cake. I have to admit that it did not turn out as I had planned, but it tasted amazing and did have a bit of a wow factor about it. It took some time and lots of love, but isn’t that why you make a birthday cake rather than buying one, to show your love.
The cake was ‘Death by Chocolate’ and described as the chocolatiest chocolate cake in the whole world – its dense and gorgeous. I topped it with a heavy cream and chocolate combination and set in the refrigerator to set, but not before placing chocolate fingers all around the edge. The little truffles were Maraschino Cherry Cake balls covered in dark chocolate. Not bad for an amateur. 🙂
Happy Birthday my Sweet! ❤