- December 30th, 2009
When your birthday is three days before Christmas and you grow up in the United States, there is very little you can do to separate the day from the ever-eclipsing holiday mayhem. There is the inevitable dual gifting you’ve heard about, I’m sure, coupled with an incessant round of holiday parties that tend to fall on your birthday itself, negating any possibility of a romantic birthday dinner sans red and green cheer. I’ve always been ok with this though, preferring to look at it as merely a challenge to make my party the party of the season- the one people still feel the hungover effects of come Christmas morning. When I was in my more “free-spirited” phase, the parties would be laced with glow sticks and body paints with all manner of eclectic music punctuating the reverberating cacophony. The problem with those parties lie in the fact that no one would really remember anything about them either during or afterward, much less the fact that it was my birthday. Now that I’ve got a burgeoning reputation as a social maven to uphold, a bit more organization and thought goes into planning each fete, and this year was no exception.
I went with a Mad Men theme, if you haven’t seen the show you ought to. It’s set in the early 1960’s and filled with a cast of advertising execs on Madison Avenue and their wives/mistresses. I chose the period for the attire and cuisine, thinking it would be easy and fun to transport ourselves into that world. I didn’t bargain on the fact that everyone would really get into the attitude as well, which is what made it a resounding success. As many of you remember and some of you can imagine, a major focus is on the cocktails- drinking on the job from morning ‘til night is de rigueur a la Mad Men. I so wanted to find a seven or eight year old to bartend, since kids back then would frequently mix drinks for their parents, but I couldn’t get anyone to volunteer their child, despite the major résumé-building potential! Instead my dear husband Jonas transformed himself into a downright dandy bartender adopting the persona of a confident boss mixing up a bourbon concoction for a coworker before a “meeting.”
I wanted my food and drink to match what likely would have been served back in the day so I went the class and sophistication route (ha ha) with homemade cheese balls, bonbons, rumaki, Swedish meatballs, a Roquefort molded salad mousse, deviled duck eggs, and Waldorf salad.