Party preparations yesterday were a bit tense.
First 6-year-old Etani pulled the tablecloth off the table and dumped the spinach vegetable chips all over the floor. Twice. And his mother, who would prefer to write about herself in the third person in this instance, completely lost it and got furious and shrieked so loudly that even though said mother was in the hallway out of sight and not yelling at any particular child (though she wanted to throttle one particular male child who had already made several other messes and had generally been underfoot in a totally annoying way all morning), the sound made the 4-month-old baby in her father’s arms cry.
Then 9-year-old Athena burst into sobs and wouldn’t–or couldn’t–tell us why she was crying. Finally I coaxed it out of her that she was feeling badly because she didn’t have anything green to wear. I did a quick sewing fix on a pair of brightly patterned green pants and 10-year-old sister Hesperus let her borrow some white tights to wear under them, suggested a yellow shirt to go with them, and gave Athena a green headband and hair clip, and all was well again.
As I was frantically making food, vacuuming the chips off the carpet, and wiping down the window sills, I decided I was completely crazy to even think about hosting a party. But like with long car rides with the kids fighting and whining where the hell of the travel itself is forgotten in the bliss of arrival, as soon as the guests started arriving, we all put the preparation frustrations behind us (except maybe James who I think is still mad at me for startling the baby) and had a blast.
Thank you to all the readers who shared your green food ideas! I made pesto (out of arugula, basil, pine nuts, olive oil, garlic, parmesan cheese, and a few almonds) over herb fettucini, cucumber salad with dill, green apple and kiwi salad (green grapes are not in season so they didn’t have any at the co-op), and a chocolate cake with green frosting and pistachio nuts on top.
Don’t tell the kids but I found a wonderful totally healthy way to make the frosting green: I crushed two spirulina pills in the mortar and pestle and added that and a capsule-full of kelp to a frosting made from mostly cream cheese, a little butter, powdered sugar, a half teaspoon of vanilla, and a tiny bit of cream. The spirulina gave the frosting both a nutritional boost and a gorgeous green tint and you couldn’t taste it at all.
Etani made super sour ultra-delicious limeade sweetened with white grape juice, with lime slices floating on top.
Here are the other green dishes everyone brought:
Kristine, Kaj, and Marge brought grilled asparagus marinated in sesame oil and soy sauce to die for. Kristine is the kind of cook who looks at the food and it comes out delicious. She is someone you want at your party. Any party! (At one point I found her in the kitchen secretly doing dishes. See what I mean?)
Albie, Kasey, Sierra, and Sky brought a broccoli and cheese casserole that got devoured almost instantly. Albie also brought a cold “green tea” beverage.
Adena, James, Jaden, and Samera brought a big green salad with tofu in it and green salad dressing.
Janis and Ruby brought sushi, granny smith apples, and a heart-shaped bowl full of green M&Ms.
Bill and Zoe brought a homemade no-sugar-added peach pie from the peaches they hand picked and canned this summer.
Dave, Corey, Amelia, and Ben brought a beautiful raw salad plate with fennel, asparagus, carrots, red peppers, and both hummus and guacamole dip.
We ate, the kids ran around screaming outside for awhile, and then we did our Green Show.
Zoe gamely agreed to emcee at the last minute (who knew Zoe was such an amazing emcee?!) and she dressed up in a pink boa and a paper maché hat and called out the acts, which included a hip hop skit called “Remembering Ballet” set to Janet Jackson music by the mother from the second paragraph of this post and her 10-year-old daughter, an improv piano piece by 5-year-old Ben, a high-tech showing of Corey’s paintings (Dave dug the TV out of the closet and managed to hook it up to the wires and apparati he brought with him), a skit by Athena and Sierra about why we should help endangered animals (they put a money jar by the door and we are going to send the donations to Wildlife Images), a circus performance by James and Samera (yes, Samera can actually stand up on top of her father’s palms while he lies on his back with his legs in the air), hip hip dancing by Amelia, original songs by Janis (who used to be a professional singer songwriter and has the kind of voice that makes you want to cry it’s so beautiful), two lute pieces by James (one Renaissance, one Bob Dylan), a hilarious adult-humor based-on-a-true-story skit by Bill and Zoe called “World’s Worst First Date,” and some unicycle tricks by Kaj.
Clean green fun. There are still two days before St Patrick’s Day and more than a month before Earth Day. You won’t regret hosting a Green Party! Despite the preparations.
Are you doing anything green to celebrate St Patrick’s Day or Earth Day this year?