Saturday, September 28, 2013

My 60s Birthday Party


It was my birthday this month so I bought age-appropriate glasses to mark the passage of time and to show how serious and mature I have become with age.

It was a 60s food party. I'm not a great party organiser so didn't go the whole hog with fancy dress, room transformation or Miller Lite, but produced a groaning table of 60s type food. We had the party at a friend's house because mine is on the small size and the kitchen gets crowded with me and the cat. They were mad enough to offer so I accepted on the spot and drew up a contract in triplicate so they couldn't wriggle out of it later...

(joke)

I had to do some research as to what people ate at parties in the 60s. I was only 7 when they became the 70s and my parents were too knackered bringing up 3 kids in pre-Pampers days to do much entertaining. Still, my mother told me that on every menu would be sausage rolls and vol au vents (chicken or mushroom). They went on the list along with, after further research on the internet, cheese, pineapple and cocktail onions on sticks, cheese straws, devils on horseback (bacon-covered prunes), potato salad, prawn cocktail, coleslaw, quiche, devilled eggs, chicken drumsticks, celery and cream cheese, canapes, and Ritz biscuits. I also bought some charcuterie.


You can't buy ready-made vol au vent cases at this time of year so I had to improvise with frozen puff pastry from Picard cut into small squares with scored inner square. A bit of a faff. The mushroom ones were the nicest.

My friend made the coleslaw and sausage rolls plus produced a ton of home-made mayonnaise for the potato salad, devilled eggs and prawn cocktail. There was food for the five thousand. More than plenty for the thirteen of us! I had a feeling we'd be eating the leftovers for weeks.

Of course we had to wash it down with something so I bought a rosé wine box and bottles of red and white wine plus a bottle each of Campari and Martini Rosso for those 60s cocktails. My eldest had drunk all the beer so my guests had to do without... Only a couple of us felt up to a Campari cocktail but I remembered just how yummy it is with its bitter taste. Glad I've got the rest of the bottle! Cheers!

Other friends made or brought the desserts thank goodness. I was all cooked out by the time I got to the end of my list so I was very grateful for all the contributions! We had cheesecake in true 60s style from a packet. It tasted very authentic. The friend who made it was a tad mortified because she makes a mean cheesecake from scratch, but that would not have been in the 60s spirit, so a packet it was. We also had fruit salad and a black forest gateaux French style which was nominated to be my birthday cake.

Sparklers almost out, quick with the pic!
My BF-cake friend had brought sparklers and candles to go with it so we had the challenge of getting all the sparklers to sparkle at the same time along with lit candles. There was more suspense than watching Bolt run 100m! A big birthday isn't a birthday without champagne and as some of the guests had brought a bottle, including my favourite Veuve Cliquot, we were able to celebrate in style. Cheers! *hic*

Hurrah for me blowing out all my candles!

It's MY birthday :)
Naturally, I had to pose for the post-candle blowing out appreciation moment, which I did in my normal discreet and modest way.

I got some lovely pressies including a pair of gold-lamé knickers because one should not go through life never having experienced the gold lamé knicker effect on one's beloved... I also got a wine vacuum thingy which keeps an unfinished bottle of wine fresh. I doubt it'll be much used... but you never know!

As everyone went on their merry way home, my hosts suggested we come back the next day to help eat up the food. Obviously they hadn't had too much of a good thing... so back we went, me, DB and boys, to stuff ourselves again with all the unfinished goodies from the party. It was definitely Party#2 but without the preparation!

Finally, on my actual birthday, a week later, my host friends came over for an apero to help me drink the champagne they had bought me but we hadn't had time to drink (if you can believe it). So we had another merry time (with less food). I'd been celebrating my birthday since July, milking it like mad, and it wasn't finished yet!

30 comments:

  1. Wow, what fun! That takes me back to the parties I attended as a student in the mid 60s. Things on sticks of course (so sophisticated) and I'm glad you didn't forget the Ritz crackers. :-) The white wine would have been Liebfraumilch or perhaps Riesling back then and the red probably undrinkable. I was a Cinzano Bianco girl myself and never rose to the dizzy heights of Campari.

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    1. We had local white, I didn't feel I could inflict the sort of cheap gut rot that I drank back in the day! No one reported being ill so it must have been decent stuff. :)

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  2. I really like cheese squares on sticks with pineapple. They shouldn't ever have gone out of fashion.

    Glad you had such fun.

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    1. Oh we did, thanks. The sticks didn't go down that well in fact but it didn't matter because we stuffed the leftovers the next day. :)

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  3. Took me back years!

    And don't you look fabulous!

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    1. Thanks Fly. :)

      It was straightforward food then, but definitely tasty which is what counts!

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  4. Glad you had such a lovely party! You look much younger than your age. As for me, well, if anyone asks, I am 35.

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    1. Thank you Mumu. :) The soft lighting does wonders. :)

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  5. Bon anniversaire! That spread of food brings back memories.

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    1. Thanks DD, it was a trip down memory lane except that it wasn't my memory :)

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  6. 1) You have seriously good party attitude. 2) I'm now pining for pineapple and cheese on sticks. 3) We should create a Cliquot clique. 4) Where's the photo of your gold lamé knickers? 5) I wish I'd aged as gracefully as you. I'll have to hang upside down from the rafters to defy facial gravity before I look like you :-)

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    1. 1. There's a Zoë Confettie party suppliers near us, you wouldn't believe what's on offer and at what price! I'd rather spend the money on food and booze!!
      2. All you need is 1/4 cabbage (you might have noticed the odd shape half grapefruit that wasn't...).
      3. Oh you're a Widow fan too are you? :) My favourite!
      4. I'll put it in the next post (due to popular demand). :)
      5. Thank you, but the lens is flatteringly soft focus and it was my party so I was lapping it up. :) (+champagne)

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  7. 50? You look about 30! Happy belated birthday - great idea for a party!

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    1. Thanks CQ, flattery will get you everywhere. :)

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  8. Agree with Curry Queen, you look so young. Fabulous dress, dahling! Am taking notes for next year xx

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    1. Thanks Trish. :)
      If you do your birthday party yourself, I suggest you don't do it on your actual birthday but a few days before or after. It was a LOT of work doing nearly all the cooking and I would have been well pissed off if I'd had to do it on my birthday. I had my party on the Saturday so the day before (a week before my birthday) I was at work all day then had to go and help pick up my DB's car and then was on my feet cooking until 9.30pm. I could barely stay upright I was so knackered. Had I done that a week later, that would have been my birthday. So it was definitely for the best I celebrate with my friends a week early. :)

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  9. That menu reminds me of my birthday parties in the 70s! Except for the Campari and Martini, of course.

    Looked like great fun. Happy Birthday!

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    1. Yes, I don't think things changed much until later when we all became foodies. :) We had a very jolly time.

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  10. You look fantastic. And we still eat a lot of food like that, out on the edges of the American Empire!
    Happy Birthday!

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    1. Thanks Hattie. I think you can still buy a lot of food like that at Iceland in the UK, but when you have to make it all, it's quite fiddly. Very tasty though I must say. The devilled eggs were a huge success for example.

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  11. What a spread! I'm lovin' the sausage rolls! You're quite the "party girl", aren't you?

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    1. The sausage rolls were fab, made by my mate whose house we were in. She had to make them herself too, to get them really tasty. :)

      I do enjoy a good party, I must say, especially when everyone is there for me. The 'feel good' factor is au top! :)

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  12. I want a pair of glasses like those, clearly the secret of looking young. A belated Happy Birthday to you!

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    1. Aren't they fab? Thanks. :)

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  13. What a great party you had, I love the idea of theming it to the 60's. We once had a dinner party themed to 1979 which was brilliant fun, apart from drinking Cherry B!

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    1. Cherry B? Yes, that would be a downer! 1979 was a good year. :)

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  14. Happy birthday! You look fabulous. But what about Blue Nun and Matteus Rose? :)

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    1. Thankfully you can't get Blue Nun here, and I forgot abut Matteus Rosé. Shame... ;)

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Comments are bienvenue.