October 30th, 2004


unbirthday party

Yesterday, I hosted a small unbirthday party for myself. I have a lot of hangups about my birthday, which ends up making me usually not enjoy my birthday very much because I have high hopes/expectations, and they rarely are met. This year, after some date-wrangling about it, which, needless to say, made me grouchy, I decided not to do anything for my birthday, so, instead, I spent the day taking care of some friends' kid. That solved one level of grouchiness, but it didn't fix some of the other stuff, and, in the end, I was kinda bummed not to have a party, so a month or so later, I decided I should have an unbirthday party, unsullied by my birthday-related expectations.

So last night I had a quarter-birthday unbirthday party (which also happened to be right around the time of my brother's birthday, but he's in Argentina, the rat fink) and had a few people over. I cooked lasagnas and pies, and other people brought bread, salad and other tasties.

It was really nice. It's been ages since I hosted a get-together -- I had a few in my last apartment in Brookline, but I've been so nomadic since then that it hasn't happened. I really enjoy having people over and providing food, and good company, and I love introducing this person to that person who obviously should have been acquainted for ages but somehow haven't been, and it's just good, whole-hearted contentment to get to do that, from time to time.

Lessons learned: 10-12 people is a very good size for a low-key dinner chatting evening in this apartment. More would have started to feel crowded, I think, although probably going up to 16-18 would have been okay. Fewer would probably inspire me to be more formal and do a sit-down dinner rather than serve-yourself buffet-style. Pros of the serve-yourself: It encourages people to get up and move around, and, therefore, mix up who's chatting with whom, and in which room, etc.

And, for those of you who have been waiting with bated breath for the survey results on the avocado pie: No one hated it! In fact, several people commented with great surprise in their voices that they liked it a lot! Huzzah! Recipe to follow.

Thanks, folks, for helping me celebrate my unbirthday :)

avocado pie

Avocado Pie

1 large cup avocado pulp
1 cup sugar
1 can sweetened condensed milk
2 eggs
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon cloves
1/2 teaspoon ginger
1 teaspoon cinnamon
2 Tablespoons (heaping) cornstarch

Mix all ingredients. Bake in 9-inch pie dish at 450 degrees for 20 minutes. Reduce heat to 350 degrees; bake until knife inserted in center comes out clean. Use a graham cracker crust or make your favorite pie crust.

My notes: This was a good, custardy pie that would benefit from finding a way not to need the cornstarch, which was obviously included for texture, but, I think, made the custard taste a tad bit starchy (duh). The sweetness level was fine for my taste, but my sweet tooth knows no bounds. Decreasing the sugar wouldn't have hurt. More spices wouldn't have hurt, either, depending on the desired effect. This recipe, or something like it, would be good with banana.