Monday, April 23, 2012

take a shower will ya

 This past weekend I hosted my very first baby shower. I was nervous. I spent the entire day Friday cooking and making sure I had everything ready. I spent the entire morning leading up to the shower running around my house checking off my to-do list and sweating with the knowledge that I had probably forgotten something important. Like cleaning the bathroom. Or frosting the cake.

Fortunately I didn't forget either of those things. In the case of the bathroom cleaning this was especially good considering that four males + one bathroom = Ick.

My house, under the best of circumstances, is kind of a nightmare to take pictures in. The lighting is bad. The wall color (a very muted gray-green) makes everything look washed out and bluish. My camera (not to mention my skillz) are not great either, but I can manage to get decent pictures outside on a sunny day. :) So when party day arrived, cloudy and with the humid rumble of thunder in the air, I knew that picture-taking was a lost cause. So just try to muscle your way past the visual gag reflex whilst perusing my pathetic pictures. Deal? Deal.

I really wanted to make some pretty decorations for this party. My friend Jenn is the kind of person who will do anything for you. In fact, she showed up to her own shower with her hands full of bags, which were full of things to give other people. That's just how she is. So I wanted to try and make her something special in return, knowing that she would appreciate any little detail I decided to include. At first my idea was goofy woodland cutesy stuff (think owls and garden gnomes), but as the decorations and food ideas evolved it became something a little different. Still woodsy but not exclusively so.

 I spread the table with deer skins that my husband tanned all by himself, and put out a few little cut logs as pedestals. The cake was made to look vaguely log-like, and I made meringue mushrooms to scatter around it.

I made antipasto skewers, chicken mushroom and rice soup, and chicken salad sandwiches for the savory side of things. Speaking of chicken salad, I used this recipe and it was sooooo good. Although I think I put in less mayonnaise, and I squeezed in the juice of a lime to brighten the flavor a bit. But still. Yummo. You should try it.

For sweets I made the log cake, and some s'mores on a stick (dip marshmallows in melted dark chocolate, then roll in graham cracker crumbs. You're welcome).

Aaaaand I made some hilariously lame looking toadstool cupcakes. That's them on the top. Eurgh, right? Hahaha. Oh well.

Note to self: mixing red food coloring into cream cheese frosting will never get you red frosting. Neither will adding various other colors into the mix in a desperate attempt to color-correct.

I wanted to make some nice little party favors for all the guests, so I whipped up some small jars of sugar scrub. I chose sugar scrub partially because I love sugar scrub for my hands (especially after a few hours of weeding my garden) and partially because I love any excuse to experiment with essential oil combinations.

Anyway, the party was nice. We didn't do any games. No awkward "mixers". People were not penalized for saying the word "baby" or crossing their legs. We just hung out and ate food and talked. The highlight of the party was seeing a group of women crowding into my kitchen to watch my husband make coffee in our coffee siphon thingy. I don't know why it was so fascinating, but I couldn't get over my usually quiet, stoic husband being the center of attention at a baby shower. My sister-in-law's mom got this picture on her iPhone.

But the absolute best part about the party was blessing Jenn. Love ya girl! Can't wait to meet baby Matthew!


Amy said...

very nice! love the details! for red icing,maybe find Wilton no taste red.ya have to use the no taste cuz it will take a lot to make red instead of pink. and red coloring can have a funky taste.:)

rachel.lyn said...

nicely done, jen :) that cake looks yummy!

B.A.L.|5iveArts said...

uumm yeah, definitely a good thing I wasn't there. All those sweets look way too tempting for this 39 week GD preggo. I don't know how Jennifer resisted!

Elizabeth said...

Love the decor and all the food! Great job!!

Jennifer R said...

Brooke..resisted? I think not. I had to walk A LOT!!!!! Jenn - this was so amazing and such a blessing. It was awesome to be with you in your bubble of cool ideas! I loved the mushrooms, the decor, the cake was soooo yummy and especially the decorations. Those paper flower balls - wow! Yup...I said it. And the best part was that I could tell you were enjoying yourself as well :) YAY!!!