The Party Was a Smashing Success . . . Now, Where’s the Masseuse?

The Party Was a Smashing Success . . . Now, Where’s the Masseuse?

The Party Was a Smashing Success . . . Now, Where’s the Masseuse?


Yesterday morning, the day after our big grad get-together, I fed the coffeemaker coffee grounds with a spork.

Yes, that’s “spork” as in the legendary Dr. Spock spoon/fork combo: Logan’s nerdy implement of choice when he was a middle schooler. It was either use that or a giant slotted serving spoon since those were the only two spoon-like utensils that were still clean in the whole joint.

Now that’s a true sign of a successful party!

It was a drippy morning before the party began. The deck was decked out in its Northwestern purple and white finery. . .


Grad party: the decked out deck


. . . but Mother Nature was throwing a wet blanket on the whole outdoor party scene.






However, as right as rain, wouldn’t you know the sky cleared up just in time for the big bash to begin.

We had nearly 110 people tromping through the house and descending into the basement and spilling onto the deck and then the lawn Saturday for Logan’s high school graduation party. The street was parked up for about half a block, and our foyer quickly displayed an ever-growing mountain of teenage gym shoes and flip flops.

Kids were playing basketball in the driveway, Baggo in the backyard, and video games in the basement.  Adults were eating and chatting, slapping at bugs, laughing, and eating some more.

Speaking of eating, I spent the better part of last week shopping and chopping to make the food. So much so that my cutting board and I have agreed to spend some time apart. It’s an amicable separation yet one that’s very much needed on both of our parts. Do you have any idea how many hours it takes to finely chop 10 pounds of tomatoes, chiffonade 5 large heads of lettuce, and dice onions, jalapeños and green peppers until you fear a case of chopping-induced carpel tunnel is certainly an unavoidable fate?

No? Well, neither do I really because I didn’t keep track of the time exactly, but let’s just agree to “a really long time”, and call it a day. Or several.

I made an appetizer spread that looked like this and held:

* Green apple and caramel cream cheese dip,

* A huge veggie tray with hummus and French onion tarragon dip

* Fiesta dip with tortilla chips

* Caramelized onion and smoked Gouda quesadillas

* Cheddar, corn and chile quesadillas

* And sausage and cheese dip with tortilla chips

(Pay no attention to my wacky friend, Sarah, who came by early to help and was caught red-handed attempting to eat the bowl of spicy sausage and cheese dip like it was soup.)


Grad party: Sarah caught in the act!


Initially, none of the adults touched any of the food, so I had to drag them over one by one and forcibly stick a plate in each of their hands. Then the kids came up from the basement and in from outside, and a moment later, after turning my back and briefly chatting with some friends, I turned back around, and it was all gone. It was as if a school of piranhas had swum by and devoured the whole spread in one pass.

But that was a good thing, actually, since the appetizer trays then had to be removed to make way for the taco bar. Thank goodness for helpful friends: Sarah, Laura, Steph, Bonnie, and my mom and sister (and whoever else helped and is now regretting being the happy helper because I rudely forgot to mention them here), because I couldn’t have handled it all by my lonesome.

Out came the ground beef in a crockpot, the taco chicken in a crockpot, tortillas, and about a fafillion taco toppings lined up buffet style including a Chipotle copycat guacamole recipe that I’ll share sometime soon because it was really good. For sides, we had a bevy of salads including fruit salad, a Paula Dean Frito corn salad – sharing later this week, grape salad – already shared, and lettuce salad.

And finally, dessert was upon us. Do you know that we went through an entire pan of apple crack dumplings, a double recipe of the peanut butter M&M bars, an entire Key Lime Mousse Cake, which was Logan’s special request that I’ll be sharing with you soon, and almost TWO WHOLE COSTCO CAKES!!!

Holy sweet tooth, Batman!

Oh yeah, and these adorable graduation cap goodies my friend Sue made out of mini Reese’s peanut butter cups and Ghirardelli squares. Love them!


Grad party: graduation hats made out of Reese's peanut butter cups and Ghirardelli squares


It’s so hard to gauge how much food that type of crowd is going to eat. We have 200 small tortilla shells and 10 lbs. of taco beef left over, while other dishes were basically licked clean.

The last guests didn’t leave until around 12:30 a.m., yet I, afflicted with the early riser gene, was up four and a half hours later along with the all-too-perky morning summer sun. I was bleary-eyed and in dire need of coffee, even if it did have to be scooped by a spork.

And then the rest of the day I pretty much only did this.




Hurray for a successful party!

Congrats to my beloved son, Logan!

And, oh my aching body!

Where’s a masseuse when you need one?


Written by Becky


  • Arlene Krizka says:

    Wow, Becky, everything looked wonderful. I can tell you worked really hard the week before. Please rest and just do carry-out this week, can you?

    • Becky says:

      Yep, I intend to do a lot of carrying out this week, but we also have so many taco ingredients left that I’ve been trying to think of creative ways to use them up. Tonight we had burrito casserole. It was delicious and easy and really put a dent in the leftovers.

  • Debbie says:

    Congrats to Logan on this awesome achievement! ….I love the Northwestern U. banner accompanied by the matching hanging flowers in NU purple and white! What fun awaits all of you the next four years. The party sounds like a super hit and I will look forward to reading about the great recipes! I hope you have a restful week after hosting a party like that!

    • Becky says:

      Thanks, Debbie! Yeah, we’re really looking forward to attending the football games, and I have to say, any fear I had about Logan being homesick has vanished since he’ll be so close. I love it!

  • Mary Lou Sandvik says:

    Hi Becky…Yep, I sure did enjoy the party! You have a bevy of interesting, charming friends. Even met Logan’s band director who also attended Northwestern. From what I could tell, Logan was having the time of his life with all his buddies (some female) but he always remembers to give me a big hug which makes my day at this old age. Spencer too looked like he was enjoying the company of some former neighbors who stopped by and he KNOWS I love an unsolicited hug which I got. Good thing it will be a few years before you have to repeat this gala for Spence. Now rest and take care of that back. Thanks for a super time! Your loving mom

  • Bonnie says:

    It was a wonderful party! I too really love the last picture and caption. You deserve a good week to recover! Sorry I don’t have a masseuse to send over!

  • Kim Roach says:

    It was an awesome party! Thanks so much! I also love the last picture in this post.


    P.S. I think Maddie got me the last piece of the mousse cake. It was so good, I didn’t even share!

    • Becky says:

      Yay! Glad you enjoyed it, Kim! I’m actually proud of you for not sharing because you deserved that piece of cake, darn it! I’m posting the recipe for it soon.

  • Gunter says:

    Wow. What a spread. Congrats.

  • Javier says:

    What a fun event. The food looks and sounds marvelous.

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About Me:

Hi! My name is Becky. I’m a mom, a wife, a friend, a writer, and a compulsive thinker. Don't invite me to a spa or to shop the day away, but rather, make me laugh, engage me in interesting conversation, play a game with me, or give me a cappuccino and homemade vanilla bean flan and I’m yours ‘til the cows come home.

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