Monday, April 21, 2008

A FESTA! (In the future, don't serve anything on crackers!)

Saturday was a fun-filled day of Eric and me running around trying to finish everything for our party Saturday night. I had tried to do a lot of the prep work on Friday, but there was plenty left for us to finish up on Saturday!

The party was a lot of fun. We had 23 people show up for it, and I think everyone had a good time. The highly-American-party-food we made went over real well too! I have a couple standing rules when it comes to cooking: 1. I never make Italian food for Italians and now 2. I never make Brasilian food for version will never taste like what they are expecting; I just can't compete with their Grandmas! (We served Italian shredded beef in a crockpot with mini-french rolls for sandwiches, cocktail meatballs, chicken salad with crackers, chicken salad stuffed cherry tomatoes, potato salad, bruchetta, watermelon, brownies, and 2 types of cheesecake.)

The only real problem that I didn't even see coming was with the serving of some of the food. I have mentioned before how around here holding food with your hands is a big no-no. People always use toothpicks or a fork to eat french fries and they always hold burgers in a napkin, etc. I thought I had thought through that enough: I had napkins set out next to the french rolls, toothpicks next to the meatballs, and plenty of forks and spoons for everyone. When I walked in to see one of the ladies trying to balance a cracker on a plastic spoon to get it from the tray to her plate and then try to spread chicken salad on it without touching the cracker, (while highly entertaining) I knew I had forgotten about even the most classic American finger-foods not being real big here. There was also an issue with the stuffed cherry tomatoes (after the brownie server got used to try and balance little round tomatoes from the tray to their plates, I put a pair of tongs out to pick them up with!) But other than that, everything went smoothly . . . I've been considering having some friends over for Mexican food one night, since none of them have ever had it, but I'm not sure how they would fix and eat tacos without using their hands!

Dressed and ready for our guests at 8:00 pm

The living room all set up with additional seating for the night

8:30 - Still waiting for the first guests to arrive (no one ever arrives at the stated "party time" here. Our first guests were here around 8:40 and most everyone else rolled in around 9:30.)

Marco and Regina, real good friends of ours. They were the first ones here - worried that the Americans would be expecting everyone at 8:00, they didn't want us to be waiting too long! :)

Shots with us around with other guests.

Our neighbors - one of the sweetest couples ever!

Close to midnight we brought out the birthday "cake." I wasn't sure how traditional cake would go over (the cakes here are awesome, but very different from in the US.) I opted to make a white chocolate cheesecake with oreo crust and then a smaller traditional New York Style Cheesecake. They both got lots of compliments although no one had ever had cheesecake here. (Also, important to know if you are hosting a birthday party (which we were told at the last birthday party we attended): after you bring out the cake, guests take that as their cue to leave shortly thereafter...don't bring the cake out too early!)

By around 1:15, everyone was heading out.

Marco and Regina insisted on staying and helping us clean up. I argued, but after they still insisted, well, I happily excepted the help! There were A LOT of dishes to be done! It was fun to get to spend some more time with them too. Sometime after 2:00 they left, and we crashed.


Amanda said...

The menu looked like Paula Deen made a visit to your apartment!

I wonder, what do people with children do when they attend or host parties Brasil? I had a friend come for supper the other night and she didn't leave until 10:30! I just knew the minute I crawled in the bed I would hear screaming! (but i didn't! they actually slept all night that night!)

Justin said...

Parabens pra você,
Neste data querida,
Muitos felicidades,
Muitos anos da vida!

Laural said...

I'm so impressed! I can barely pull off a party here in the States, with everything I need right at my fingertips. Congrats on such an awesome party!

wondering ego said...

Someone should have warned you. Brazilians hate to be the first to arrive at the party. I'm not sure why, but when one is the first to get there, he/she feels embarrassed!

Emily said...

Wandering ego: we were actually prepared for that - we knew nobody wants to be at the party early. It wasn't a big deal, but to be on the cautious side, we were ready at the advertised "8:00". :)

Amanda: Bedtimes (if they even exist) don't seem to be a big deal here. We see very young kids all over town after 11:00 or midnight on a regular basis even on weeknights. It seems like kids here lack a regular sleep schedule! Eric and I are regularly look at each other like, "Hey, shouldn't they be in bed by now???" My guess is they just kinda go with the flow like their grown Brasilian counterparts!

Justin: yeah, that's what we sang Saturday night!

Laural: thanks! I had a blast throwing it too!

Elaine said...

Hi Emily, I have been reding your blog for the past couples months and I must say, I love it. I am from Guaruja, Sao Paulo ( very close to Praia Grande), but I live in Tucson, AZ, with my husbdand Bryan. Its really interesting to read about your perspective of Brasil. Things we brazilians think are normel you guys sometimes may think are weird. Like eating with hands... Even after living in the USA for 4 years, I can't still eat pizza with my hands, I need fork (and Nife, to balance the food), haha.
But I am learning... it's interesting to see both points of view.
Wish you guys the best in your brazilian adventure.

Elaine said...

Correcting... my own grammar mistakes

"couple months"

I am going back to school this summer, haha.

wondering ego said...

About kids bed time: Hmmmm... like thirty years ago, when I was a kid, we were supposed to be at bed at 8 or 9 PM... but now... pfff.... I see 2 y.o. kids eating pizza at 11 pm with the adults. But I really don't think this is healthy.