Hey y'all! How has your weekend been? I hope that things are just as you'd like them to be!
Things here have been really fun. Mister Kitsch and I were fortunate enough to be able to get together with some good friends. Friends who make me feel very fortunate AND who make me laugh until I gasp for air. We decided to put down the hammers and dust masks and throw our first dinner party at the house - and it was easy for me to pick a theme: Grandma Meal.
For quite some time now, I have been wanting to make an enormous Southern, smothered-in-butter meal. I think that it's something that's ingrained in a lot of Southern ladies. My Mom does it. My Grandmothers did it. And every woman before them did it. There is something about seeing all of those casserole dishes and platters lined up and ready for guests that does our hearts good. Something about nurturing and showing our love with food. A Sunday never comes that I don't feel like something is undone - like there is a longing for something in my soul. Yep, Grandma meal.
When I first started dating Mr. Kitsch, I took him home for his first Christmas at my Mom's house. There, he saw that the food stretched across the room and that there were at least a dozen dishes and no less than four desserts. He's from the Midwest and not used to "the spread". Upon witnessing the great wall of food, he asked me if there were a lot of people coming and I looked at him and replied, "No. It's the South." I'll never forget how sick he got by the end of that trip. He lay in the hotel bed on our way home, groaning in agony. Honestly, we both did..but I'm used to it. You've got to pay to play and if you don't eat that third helping of coconut cake, someone else will.
At the supermarket as we were buying groceries for our dinner party, I told him to grab another box of butter. After he replied that we already have lots of butter at home, I answered again with those three words: "It's the South" and he knew that there was no need to argue. Ditto on the huge jug of whole milk and my argument of, "There are NEVER too many dinner rolls!"
So, I got to cook that big meal full of grandma dishes and everyone ate lots which made me quite happy. It all happened so quickly that I didn't even take any photos. Just know that there were a lot of foods that our cardiologists wouldn't approve of. And banana pudding in a robin's egg blue, snowflake pattern Pyrex dish. Have mercy. I may not have walked through Heaven's gates but I think I may have swung from them. (And I'm not too shy to admit that I had that same banana pudding for breakfast this morning too.)
Here are some shots from the rest of the party. After my previous post about wanting to hoard Penny, the feline aerobics instructor piñata, you might be surprised that I brought her out for the party. She met her fate there....and I hate to admit it, but it was lots of fun hitting my first piñata. Admittedly, it was nerve-wracking being blindfolded and spun around and around. I mean, I'm pretty accident prone on the average day when I'm NOT blindfolded and spun around - but other than that, a good time!
Everyone got to take some turns before she was finally taken down:
On a bright note, piñatas hold a LOT of candy. Chocolate, just like promised.
And I got to keep her head (try to type THAT without feeling like a serial killer):
I also didn't know that her legs would contain "It's A Boy!" balloons. Thankfully, nobody at the party got excited and thought that it was our way of telling them that we were expecting a little baby Kitsch from Mr. Stork. Of course, it WOULD be an easy way to explain away why I eat enough for two.
For the dinner, I set the table with some of my favorite stuff, including some old tree squirrels and flower arrangements of rosemary and crape myrtle from the yard:
We listened to some tunes including the late, great Eartha Kitt. Purrrrrr....
Before the movie, we watched a short video by the also late and great Dixie Carter showing us how to feel better by relaxing with an exercise called "The Lion".
It worked too because laughter is the best medicine and this video is hilarious!
I miss that Dixie Carter. She was a Southern gem. I also think she'd be all up for a grandma meal and a piñata beat-down in the back yard. In a lady-like fashion, of course. Believe it or not, there IS a genteel way to take down a piñata.
The feature film for the night was an amazing documentary called "Off The Charts: The Song Poem Story".
It's about people who send their original songs in to small recording companies (you know the kind that you see advertised in the backs of magazines?) in the hopes of having them hit it big. Of course, they never do. The film also shows the people whose business it is to produce and record the songs. It's an amazing little film and it has some really hilarious moments in it as well as some heartbreaking and mesmerizing stories. I wish that I could adopt most of the songwriters in this film and have them come live with me. They are THAT earnest and good-hearted.
This guy is my favorite. His name is Caglar Juan Singletary and he has the BEST song about bicycles, Jehovah, Priscilla Presley and of course, Taekwondo:
I LOVE him!
The documentary was originally shown on PBS's "Independent Lens" and is on YouTube in it's entire form of about an hour. I'd highly recommend watching it if you haven't seen it already. I think I've already seen it four times and never get tired of it.
We ended out the night with funny stories, drinks, dessert, and gift bags:
Does anyone lose it for gift bags like I do? And aren't these bags cute?? They were given to me by my friend, Averyl who has mad taste for cute stuff. The gift bags included scads of hard candy (back to that whole "grandma" theme), George Jones playing cards (because "The Possum" is the stuff), and copies of some of the best songs from the documentary.
And once again, Marlene Deertrich was dressed to the nines:
Lordy. That deer has more outfits than I do!
I'll leave you with a little Dixie and "The Lion". Come on...try it. Even if the baby is sleeping. It really does lift the spirits.
Until next time...
x's and o's,
I LOVE the penguins! I love all of it!
Hey, thanks! Those penguins are actually pretty healthy for you if you don't count the tiny smattering of cream cheese (which in my book, just helps the healthy go down easier). :)
We want to move to Nashville and live in a trailer home in your backyard so we can be part of the fun!
Y'all come! We'll even help you put some pretty flower beds out around your new place. :)
the tablecloth, squirrels and the red and yellow chairs all around it is just beautiful. it makes me want to throw a party
Can you come do my next party? I LOVE the penguins, and your table is great!!
Dear Ms. Kitsch. Adopt me. It WOULD go with the It's a boy balloons!!
Your photo wearing the apron made me laugh. Just yesterday, hubby and I won a bushel basket of farmers market veggies from the local farmers market. It had okra, tomatoes, corn on the cob, peaches, blueberries, cucumbers and other great home grown stuff.(there is a pic on my mojavegirl flickr page) When I got ready to fry the okra, I wore one of my vintage aprons and felt so special wearing it. I too love making good southern food for family and friends. I am enjoying your new blog. I can see now why you wanted to do it, rather than flickr. You can get so much more in a blog.
kathryn: Thanks so much! I think that decorating for a party is one of the most fun parts, don't you? :)
Barbara: Thanks so much! If you lived closer, I'd hook you up. :)
rockabillyguy: Ha! Hey, I just might! An instant son sounds pretty good....and none of those embarrassing stretch marks! Just promise to never talk back or break your curfew and we're golden!
Candis: Hey, you! Wow, that sounds like a wonderful basket that you won. We were just talking about the joys of friend okra last night. There is just something about wearing a vintage apron - I sometimes wonder if we're connecting with those who have worn them before. And thanks! Please come around as often as you can. It'd be good to see you here!
love all of this so! def want to know how to make the penguins. we have a new tradition to BUY our thanksgiving dinner (until my kids are older) so i can make these penguins and actually make it look, as well as kid myself, that i cooked :)
I adore those squirrels! I am a southern gal, too, so I totally get the spread. My grandma used to say that you weren't full until you could touch it. Gross, right? She rocked.
Wow! Your party looks like a total blast! I am jealous! Can I come next time? I am sure Mike would not mind driving 2000 miles for a dinner party! he he! Poor, poor kitty - at least you have her head still! :)
PS - Awesome penguins!
The penguins are such a pleaser! Jon makes 'em, but they're too cute to eat so they just shrivel up and look so sad...
I'm so happy you had a fun party! It looks just wonderful... and the googlie eyes on the mask are the best touch. (I'm glad you busted the pinata. There are 2 kids of white chocolate -- the kind you buy and the kind that turns. Yuck. Had you not, you woulda had a pinata full of that yuck kind. ;))
I am in agreement with JohnnyBerry. I love this whole party so much that I am practically in tears that I wasn't there.
We will slowly move in to your yard, quietly, so you won't even notice at first. Then one day you'll be shocked to find all your Internet Peeps living like gypsies in your backyard!
Eeeeeeeeeeeek, I LOVE you guys!
I would be ashamed to give you my Mac and Cheese recipe that I invented.
You would have a literal heart attack just reading about all the fat.
Well what can I say? That all sounds like such fun! And everything looks great but especially the penguins, I would love to know how to do that, they're fab, especially for Christmas!
Eeeee...the penguins! Those squirrels! Love it all. Now I'm craving casserole, darn it.
lynxymama: Thanks! I’ll get a penguin lesson together. They are pretty easy but since you’ll actually be touching the ingredients are they are assembled, then you can definitely say that you’ve been “cooking”. You won’t even have to kid yourself! : )
Alexandra Bitchford: Yay, for Southern girls! “You’re not full until you can touch it”...ha! Yes, it’s gross but hilarious too. Yay, for Southern grandmas as well! They really DO rock.
Sara in AZ: Of course you can! Maybe if we give you and Mike a week’s notice, he can get the car ready for a road trip. We’ll make you both a big heaping plate to take home with you - AND give you two extra swings at the pinata - so it might just be worth it!
Sparkleneely: He does? Why, that Jon! He’s a keeper! Three cheers for Jon but zero cheers for white chocolate. Uggh-o-rama, sister.
1959sharon: We love you guys too! Our yard is pretty deep so maybe we can start a little trailer court back there for y’all. And heck, we like gypsies! Mister can learn some new accordion songs from you all! : )
Straight Talking Mama!: Hey, thanks! : ) I’ll put together a penguin lesson lickety-split. They are a little time consuming but pretty easy once you get a groove going.
MonsterAteMy: Thanks! I tell you, I know....casseroles are like manna from Heaven.
a couple notes:
1) omg your life is awesome.
2) those videos? glorious.
3) you're officially on my "check daily" list
thankyouthankyouthankyou for sharing these wonderful tidbits with us!
My grandparents used to put butter on pepperoni pizza.
WOW,watta party! Those cream cheese penguins,Lord I love you. And Dixie Carter showing how to perform fellatio,oh my!
I totally have to see that Independent Lens episode,dunno how I missed that one,since I live on PBS
uniqueisnull: Ha! Thanks! I've only shown the awesome parts so far. There will definitely be some "Uh oh! How did she get herself into THIS mess?" posts before it's done. And I'm so pleased that I'm on your list. I'll do my best to keep you checking in. I hope that you'll be happy!
An: Yum! Right now, that sounds like a really, really good idea.
cheshirecat666: Bah! You know, whatever gets a person relaxed...
You should check it out on YouTube if you have a fast enough connection. It's phat. Or whatever the kids say these days.
Helloooooo Eartha! Rosy just told me about your blog. Fantastic.
I have seen the movie "Off the Charts," and it was great. I learned about it from a book and two CDs called "Songs in the Key of Z" and it's full of even stranger stuff. I want the song "Rock and Roll McDonalds" as my cellphone ringtone.
I would be so honored if you would link to my website, Julie's Tacky Treasures and blog, Tackily Yours, and I will reciprocate.
i had no idea dixie was no longer with us. damn! but thank designing dieties we still have this video. it's a gem!
your party sounds so fabulous, like every occasion fashioned in kitschville. wish i could have been there! (we always save the heads, too -- is that gruesome?)
how fortunate that you didn't have a pinata mishap. apparently they are quite common.
(we save the heads, too -- is that gruesome?)
Oh, wow, "CARNAGE!" was all I could think of, seeing the pinata lying on the ground in pieces...That, and a flashback to "Apocalypse Now" in AP English.
Slaughter aside, it sounds like a marvellous party! That tablecloth is stunning, and if that is you who won it out from under (above?) me on eBay last year, I am SO glad it went to such a loving & excellent home! Not sure I need one now that my awesome vintage table is finally in the kitschen. :)
Everything sounds great. This is the sort of party I love to have and used to have a lot in the ad agency days, though sadly, no pinatas.
Such fun, and I loved the penguin DIY, too! :)
Ellyn: Yes, sadly...she passed recently. I wish that you could have been here too! We would have let you keep the head. And oh my gosh! It's right in my luck zone to have a pinata mishap. Thank goodness for none!
Jen: Ha! Oh, and I swear that I didn't win that tablecloth out from under you. I got it off eBay thankfully or I'd feel worried that I had been the one! :) Congrats on your table finally making it in. It looks beautiful.
OK, where to begin.
1) Penguins are amazing. They remind me of this cool animated claymation show called Pingu that Wolfie liked to watch when he was younger. YAY!
2) When I was in college I was in a production of Cat on a Hot Tin Roof. I was Big Mama (no laughing!). My friend Ginna was Maggie. Our director told us that Ginna's mom, who was southern, was in town and would be stopping by to talk about accents. She came and was totally gorgeous and lovely. I remember telling one of the other cast members, "Wow her mom is so elegant and sassy. She reminds me of that lady who was on Diffrent Strokes!" "Um, Alix....that IS that lady. It's DIXIE CARTER!" doh!!! She and Hal came to the show and were so great!
3) SONG POEMS!!! Greg and I are obsessed with that doc. We have most of the CDs (if yer interested...classics all. "Jimmy Carter Says Yes" is a fave) And then Greg's band actually played the premier of the movie here in SF....they did 10 of the songs, including Kung Fu Bicycle with that dude!!!! Amazing.....you are one of the only people I know who even knows what the hell Song Poems are. YAY Eartha!!
Thanks! I love penguins too! I haven't seen Pingu but I bet that if Wolfie loves it, it HAS to be cool!
And oh my gosh! You got to be in the same room with Dixie Carter?? Wow!
Isn't Song Poems ah-mazing? We just got the CD this past weekend and it just keeps spinning. That sounds like a blast that Greg got to play some of the songs for the premiere. They did Kung Fu Bicycle WITH him? Oh. My. God.
And thanks! I'm glad that someone else is equally obsessed. :D
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