Several years ago, I read a magazine article about "newfangled" parties. Like, fun ways to celebrate an adoption, or a "reset" party for a newly-divorced friend. There was an idea for a back-to-school party for the mothers of kids off to school, especially for the first time, whereby on the first day of school, one could invite one's mummy-friends over for coffee and cake, lest anyone should be home alone, wringing one's hands in despair, missing her little person, watching the clock tick towards pick-up time...
I thought this was a most excellent idea, and why hadn't I thought of it first?
So, for the last few years, within the first week after Labour Day, I invite some of my neighbourhood ladies over for quiche, mimosas, and lady-talk from mid-morning until lunchtime. I love hosting this party each year, and it is nice to see faces of friends and catch up a little bit - some people I'd hardly seen all summer; others I see almost daily, but it's a change to be able to visit without the small people tugging at our sleeves the whole time. It's a chance to have conversations about ourselves, and not about our children and their stuff and their schedules and their issues. (You know - not as the only topics up for discussion.)
I like to serve quiche because it's so easy to make, it's almost embarrassing to serve... throw out some cubes of cheese and a small round of delicious Camembert, some fresh figs, grapes, and all the late-summer berries, chill a bottle of bubbly and put some orange juice in a pitcher with ice. Brew some coffee. Napkins. Plates. Party!
(Oh, and I baked some cookies too, but they were from a mix, so they still count as easy-peasy.)
One thing I will do differently next year? I will move the start time from 9:30 AM to 10 AM. Trying to make a party in the morning is tricky at the best of times, but when you also have two children to get ready for school, and one of those children is being dropped off at 9:15 AM... well, that's just cutting it all too close for comfort.
Also? I'm only going to make the quiches (onion, peppers, spinach and cheese) studded with pancetta from now on - the vegetarian variety always goes unsliced, despite the fact that most of my friends are Jewish and/or semi-vegetarian. That's because everything tastes better with bacon. (That's not just my truth - that's the law of the world.)
It's nice to get a bit liquored-up in the morning sometimes, too. We're grown-ups, you know. We can do whatever we want.
YAY for back-to-school time! And YAY for neighbourhood ladies who turn up for morning parties... I wish I could have invited you all. Really, I do.
Got any easy go-to party foods or ideas? You know how I love a party... share!