Wednesday, July 6, 2011

My adventures of hosting two Birthday parties and some lessons learnt.

I know you all must be wondering as to where I had disappeared. In fact, I am beginning to think that I am becoming quite good at the disappearing act. I have been busy planning and executing two parties for the past two weeks. Even though I cooked  a variety of dishes, I did not have the time or the energy to photograph them. As I could not post any recipe today, I decided to post about some of the adventures I had during hosting these parties. I wish that there were some pictures that would go along this write up. I was either too busy or panicky or tired to take any. So friends, Brace your selves :)

It all started, during the mid week of June. Since Purvi's birthday was on the 27th of June. Yup my little one is now the terrible two!!!We decided to host a high tea for all the kids and mothers on the 27th and another party for all of S's friends and colleagues on the 2nd of Jul. So me and S started out on all the planning and preparation. The guest list, the menu, the decorations and the Works. We spent hours talking and arguing about all of these things. I know it is hard to believe. But we even argued about what Purvi would wear for her birthday Party. We spent hours shopping for her clothes, matching shoes, and presents. Do I need to mention what fun we had?


For the first party, I decided to make Puri with chole and potato sabzi, Vermicelli Kheer, Pizza in bread cups. I had brought Kaju Katli and there was Purvi's Dora cake of course. I even wanted to bake the birthday cake. However, I backed out because I felt that baking a cake for a strength of 20 odd people was a little too risky. Except for a few set backs like the late delivery of the cake, the party went very smoothly. All the kids and mothers (and a few fathers who joined at the last min) alike had lot of fun.

Coming to the second dinner party, this was again for a strength of around 18 people (including me and S). This time I decided to make channa dal fritters (ambode) for starters, main course had chapati (which was out sourced), Kadhai paneer, vegetable Jalfrezie, and Dal makhani, for the sides and Ghee rice with Korma and raita. There was also Plain rice, rasam and yoghurt. For desserts, I had made carrot halwa and chocolate mousse cake.

As a habit, I always make the desserts on the previous day. So on the first of Jul, I decided to make the halwa and the cake. I thought of making the mousse the next day. The halwa turned out perfect. The chocolate cake was a different story all together. I decided to double the chocolate cake recipe from here. The batter was prepared and was poured into the pans. There was a little batter that was remaining so I just added that to the second pan and baked the cakes. The first caked turned out perfect. When I inserted the skewer in the second one, It came out clean. I removed the cake and kept it out to cool. It was only  when I split the cake into halves, did I notice that the inside of the second cake was not baked at all. I was horror struck. How was that possible when the first one turned out so perfect??? I guess it was the extra batter that was added on the top of already set batter. My first instinct was to just throw the cake away. But then I remembered reading somewhere that an underbaked cake could be salvaged if it was wrapped in a  parchment paper and baked again for some more time. I did that and thankfully, the cake came out fine. So here was the first lesson learnt. NEVER tamper with the cake batter when it is already set in the pan.

The next day, I woke up early to so that I could start cooking for the dinner. Apart from cooking, I made sure that the gen set was filled with fuel in case there was a power cut. I also made sure that the over head tank was filled up. I just wanted the evening to be flawless. The guest were supposed to arrive at 7PM and by 5PM the table was set. With so much of planning and executing, nothing should go wrong right? Wrong. At 6:30PM, I went to the sink to wash my hands when I discovered that there was no water coming out of the tap. At first I thought there was some mistake because the tank was filled. Like an Idiot I waited for 5min with my hands under the tap, waiting for the water to pour out. When the water did not come out of the tap even after 5min. I panicked. I was walking all over the house checking all the taps like a mad woman. There was not a single drop of water in the whole house. I did not want this kind of an emergency and that too at a time when guests were going to arrive at any moment. S asked me to relax. He went down and arranged for a few buckets of water through our watchman. Only when I saw the water coming in did I breath properly. The second lesson I learnt was, even the best laid plans can go wrong when they have to. Just do what ever you can and enjoy the moment. Guess I am sounding like a saint with this one. am I not?

Everyone at the party (including me) had a gala time. They said that they were so full that they could not do complete justice to the food. The chocolate mousse cake was a complete hit. It was 12:00 in the midnight when everyone left. And it was 1:30Am when I dozed off to sleep tired, yet Satiated.

16 comments :

  1. Belated wishes to your little one and glad to know u had awesome parties ...well we always learn so nothing wrong in that :)

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  2. Belated wishes to ur cutie pie and hope u had a blat...

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  3. Belated wishes 2 ur lil one..:)
    I appreciate u for d work u did 4 d party..for 20 ppl it must b really tiring..I liked ur menu as well..:)

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  4. Even i wud b in tears if something wrong happens minutes before a well planned party:-) Glad that everything fell in place and u had a fun time!!
    Belated birthday wishes to ur little one

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  5. Everyday is indeed a learning day PS - not being philsophical or anything - For instance, my ragi idlis turn out simply perfect every time and then I try to make it for my sister and what do i get? pasty ones - did not change the recipe one bit! Sorry you could not photograph the goodies you made, but all eez vell :) happy birthday to Purvi!Mine will be 3 in the fall!

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  6. happy birthday to your lil one :) The party sounds so much fun. I love inviting friends over and throwing parties and getting super tired by the end of the day and yet satisfied .. like you mentioned. beautiful post.

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  7. My hearty belated birthday wishes to ur lil one, wow 20ppls,simply liked ur menu..

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  8. A high tea! What a cute idea. I have always wanted to do that for Maya's birthday but the in-laws don't really get the idea...tiny sandwiches and lemonade? Our friends will think you're cheap! :)

    Happy Belated Birtday to Purvi!

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  9. wow, 2 parties in 2 weeks, sounds like a lot and that too with such elaborate menus. Loved the menus and OMG, yes, that water thing would have driven me crazy too, glad all was well and you had fun :)

    Happy belated birthday to your princess and lots of blessings for her :)

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  10. preparing for parties is always sp stressful .. Belated Birthday wishes to the lil one

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  11. Glad to learn everything went off well. Of course we learn to be more careful after making a mistake. All's well that ends well!!!

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  12. Happy birthday to your little one! And the food at the parties sounds amazing.

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  13. You made me nervous just reading through your post. I like to cook up a storm too sometimes and pray all goes well. Commend your perseverance on how you kept yourself together through it though. Many happy returns to Purvi and even though she is not old enough but I'm sure she appreciates what mommy went through to celebrate for her :)
    US Masala

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  14. Thank you so much for all the wishes and the appreciation. This makes me and Purvi feel very special indeed :)

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  15. This is quick & it looks beautiful too Delicious,love the colour of it..
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