Monday, March 20, 2023

Happy Birthday Ratna

We had a chance to host a milestone birthday party for my wife and it was wonderful to get friends and family together at the house.  The weather was fortunately pleasant and folks could mingle out on the deck, in the kitchen and in the game room.  We were fortunate to get some hand it forward decorations and balloons which made set up pretty easy, aside from putting together all of the piles of daily living stuff like my gym bags, my daughters school stuff and daily use kitchen stuff.

We do not do a lot of entertaining so it is always interesting how we set up, how much food and drink to have on hand, making sure to introduce folks to each other and the like.  As we have gotten older, there are fewer kids in attendance as they have other commitments and activities.

The event was scheduled from 11:00 to 2:30 and we catered lunch from Masala's Restaurant based in Aurora.  They came out and set up in our backyard serving made to order dosa, vadas, hakka noodles, idly sambar and chutney.  They also served chai tea from lever armed Airpots ($30-$60 online, may have to buy one of these).  The staff was professional and courteous and it worked out very well.  It was expensive given the headcount, but we do have a lot of leftovers.

We also did a Costco/Sam's Club run getting a cheese tray, fruit, hummus, artichoke dip, pita chips, brownie bites, mini cinnamon rolls, and chicken meatballs.  We also got two half sheet cakes, one chocolate and one vanilla.  A half sheet plus a quarter sheet would have been a better decision.  For drinks we only opened 2 bottles of wine which were not finished, bought 18 beers of which 4 were drank, but we did make a good dent in the water, San Pellegrino sparkling water, and sodas.  Amongst Sunkist, 7Up, A&W pack, A&W was the most popular.  We also picked up single use paper plates, bowls and cups.  We had plenty of napkins, forks and spoons in the house.  I also picked up three 7 pound bags of ice from Circle K which was about the correct amount.

Guests started arriving around 11:30 and typically stayed for about 1.5 hours so the house never really felt full and the late crowd were heading leaving around 3:30 which worked out great.  There was plenty of seating and groups talking and socializing amongst themselves.  It was nice to have our new neighbors, old neighbors, friends and family in attendance.  

One of the unexpected challenges was trash and recycling.  We set up large trashcans, but most trash still ended up in the smaller kitchen can that needed to be emptied several times.

Straightening up took about an hour and mostly consisted of packing leftovers and handwashing serving dishes.

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