Pinterest is the epitome of smoke and mirrors. Pinterest has completely convinced me that I can do anything in only 78 easy steps. Case and point I volunteered to cater my mother’s retirement party. I’m a nurse, a mother of 3 kids under 5-years old, and not a damn caterer.
It all started when my mother made a very difficult decision to retire. She wrestled with this decision for over a year. Once she finally gave her notice the party planning began. One day she was talking about her dreams for this little shindig. She pictured coworkers and friends enjoying her gardens, sipping wine, and enjoying appetizers. Then she started talking about the menu. It was lame. Sandwiches, potato salad, and coleslaw. Oh hell no. A 40-year career is not celebrated Lutheran potluck style. I naively volunteered to bring the classy. I said I would take over the food.
Enter Pinterest. I searched out creative appetizer ideas and made a whole board full of great recipes. My mother picked out 3 that were her favorite. Sounds pretty easy right? Remember, I was under a Pinterest hypnosis. I collected all the ingredients to make those 3 recipes… and 13 other dishes. According to math that is 16 total dishes. That is 16 dishes with enough to feed 40 some people.
I started making spreads, sauces, and marinating meats. I had to go buy more storage containers after the first day. My fridge was overflowing with food that my family was not allowed to touch under penalty of death. I spent three days preparing for what I dubbed “Assembly Day”.
Assembly Day arrived. I dropped off the kids with a sitter, cranked up some punk rock, and got to work. It didn’t take long for me to realize I was in way over my head. About 2-hours in I had an overwhelming desire to drink heavily, sit on the couch, and ugly cry.
Lucky for me, my husband arrived and provided some much-needed emotional support. He even put together 10 of the 500 caprese skewers I was making. In man language that is like he completed the whole dish.
The night came to a close. I had put together everything and had it packaged to go. Admittedly I had reached my “Fuck it” point. The last thing I put together was the cucumber sandwiches. Those looked like I had slapped the cream cheese on while I was battling ninja intruders.
Party day arrived and I packed up everything and headed out. My blessing of a Mother-in-law volunteered to take my kids out of the equation so I could actually focus on setting up the party. I arrived at my parents’ house and immediately had to put out a couple fires burning between my over stressed parents. Turns out wine is a great for extinguisher.
As I unpacked and plated the 16 dishes I began to realize that there was a small chance I had over done it. The kitchen counters were jammed packed with food and I was desperately making extra space on the stove, over the sink, anywhere. My mother seemed overwhelmed just looking at what I had done.
Luckily the food was a hit and leftovers were easily sent home with guests. Some were even brought to a local homeless shelter. I was even given a few future catering offers. Unfortunately those offers sent me into a near psychotic state of anticipated stress. I quickly declined.
What I am getting at is that Pinterest is a tricky little bitch. This party would have been just as successful with half the amount of dishes, work, and stress. When it comes to Pinterest be aware that less is more.