dave actually expressed interest in getting some work people together as a birthday gathering. i said "great idea", since it went well with the birthday gift (DeuS beer) i had gotten him.
to back up, X and i had gathered, over the week, daves favorite candy (dark chocolate bounty) and a new-to-him (due to its high price of $30) bottle of beer (DeuS, a champagne beer), as well as the ingredients for his birthday bread. on thursday, we made his birthday bread in the afternoon (X was a great "help", she mixes and measures and pours now...though her measuring skills need work...lol) and opened windows and employed a fan to blow out the scent of baked goods from the house. then, friday morning, X and i were able to fully surprise him with candles on his birthday bread, a song, and his gifts. success!
anyway, on to saturday, party day...we were super motivated to have people over because of the beer and the fact that we had just gotten a slow cooker and wanted to try a new recipe out. dave did a pork shoulder drenched in propeller root beer in the slow cooker that we then turned in to pulled pork sandwiches. we added corn and salt-n-pepper chips to the spread while guests brought more fancy beer, a rice pilaf, and an apple pastry.
our party consisted of janice (daves co-worker), mike and little molly as well as carl (daves co-worker), and visiting french scientist pauline (she made the apple pastry). it was a nice crowd. the food was all great and the beers (DeuS, Dominus Vobiscum Lupulus, St Ambroise Russian Imperial Stout) were all drunk by people who really appreciated them. it was also nice to hear that most of the crowd hadnt really experienced pulled pork, so they were enjoying something new to them. it sparked a discussion about future meals that might occur where people host and/or become involved in meals that are somewhat unique to their family, hometown, culture, country, or just a cuisine that they enjoy cooking that is a little more offbeat than your average meal. this sounded like a great idea to me.
as this was our first major hosting at our place since...X was born...i learned a take-home-message that its hard to play hostess and make X happy at the same time. she isnt used to lots of people invading her space, talking to her when she isnt expecting, and generally being noisy. she was fine sharing her toys and food with little molly; most of her discomfort came from people trying to engage her and basically just taking up all the "safe" and "comfortable" spots in her house. it was hard to balance chatting with making sure X felt safe and respected. i ended up being kinda isolated with her at my own party, at my own house. ah....such is life. im glad dave and the other people enjoyed themselves.