February 24, 2008

Homemade pizza party review -- Thumbs up!

homemade pizzas, La Ceiba, HondurasThe guys' pizzas − heavy on the meat

To summarize the pizza and a movie party:

Food: good
Company: good
Party planning: bad
Movie: very loud!

Because of the water situation (it didn't come back until about 3 p.m.), I was horribly behind schedule. But that worked out okay because half of our guests were almost three hours late. I was glad! I kept the first guests satisfied with veggies and ranch dip while I continued preparing the pizza ingredients.

Pizzas were a great idea! They loved them and it was so much fun. Also, since only a few pizzas were prepared and baked at a time, there was less pressure on me, hostess, cook, dish washer, and waitress, to get everything ready and serve it all at once.

Honduran kids, La CeibaThe breakfast room table was big enough (and in close proximity to the television) that we could rotate from the sala familiar (family room) to the breakfast area as each batch of pizzas were ready. The little ones had this comfy spot on the floor for movie watching (and napping). We didn't have to use the dining room or stop the movie while we ate. Good thing there, because we have moved the dining room table up to the bedroom for the time being for use as a sewing table.

I told El Jefe to get movies that the kids would like and not to worry about me since I wouldn't have time to sit down to watch it anyway. He got the Transformer movie and they played it so incredible loud that I thought I was going to lose my mind! He even hooked up the stereo speakers to the new TV. Since we started so late, we only played one movie. What a joy for me when it ended!

During the evening when I was inquiring whether someone needed another drink or whatever, no one could hear my pitiful little voice. When I would use my LOUD voice, everyone would stop dead and stare at me like, "Why is that gringa SHOUTING?! Is she angry about something?" Finally, when I had an announcement to make, I had to ask El Jefe to pause the movie. It was that loud.

One announcement was, "Who wants to make the first pizzas?!" Little Elias, who is 7 years old, raced to the kitchen, saying, "Me, me, me!", followed immediately by his older brother and sisters. I informed them that the first step was to wash their hands muy bien which they dutiful did, with older brother reporting that Elias did not use soap. That omission was rectified in the kitchen.

Honduran girl, La CeibaWhile I prepared a healthy chicken and broccoli pizza for la abuela (the grandmother) who can't eat spicy food, the kids followed step by step, with Elias saying, "Don't do it for me. I want to do it!". They did an excellent job. Elias called his dad in to the kitchen to show off his pizza and even trained the grownup guys when it was their turn. This photo shows the kids' and grandma's pizzas. Elias' pizza is the one at the bottom.

homemade pizzas, La Ceiba, HondurasI asked Elias if he would share his pizza with his 3-year-old sister and he readily agreed. He usually eats like a bird and feels pressured because everyone thinks that he doesn't eat enough. But, he ended up eating his entire pizza all by himself. When I asked if his pizza was better than Pizza Hut's, he said yes. Heh, heh, heh, I agree. Isn't Abby a little doll? There is something about this pose that makes her look so much older than three.

I think everyone got a big kick out of making their own pizzas. Everyone thought the broccoli and chicken pizza was really weird, but la abuela, who said she would only have one piece, ate every bite of the whole pizza. Low on sauce and cheese, I think it was pretty healthy for her.

pizza ingredientsWe are definitely going to do this again. I may have finally found a theme that makes it a little easier to deal with the stress of cooking for so many people. I made pizza crusts on two separate days during the week and stored them partially baked in the freezer. All of the ingredients were prepared ahead of time and could have been prepared the day before. Look at all these leftover ingredients. We may have a few more pizzas this week.

Oh, and I win the $100 bet. Brother-in-law M asked how I made the sauce and sister-in-law B may be coming over one day this week to learn how to make pizza dough.

getting weighed, La Ceiba, HondurasFunniest moment: I missed the conversation that prompted this, but after dinner, El Jefe got out the scale and everyone weighed themselves. Wow, what a shocker that was. Most of them went back again, thinking the first number must have been a mistake. I think we should ALL be eating broiled chicken and steamed broccoli instead of pizza. By the way, Abby weighed 34 pounds. I'm not telling on the rest of us.

Best moment: When leaving, Brother-in-law J said, "Thanks so much. You always surprise us with a new delicious dessert that we have never tried before." (Uh-oh, putting the pressure on to continue the trend. Thanks, Honduras Sprout, for letting me know that Hondurans like baklava.)

Worst moment: I made the baklava Friday night. The recipe said that it should be kept at room temperature. In Honduras, it is extremely difficult to keep anything out, especially something very sweet and sticky, without having it invaded by ants. The pan had a plastic cover but I had my doubts about whether it was tiny-crazy-ant-proof so I kept it covered inside the oven.

All day long, I kept repeating to myself, "Don't forget to take the baklava out of the oven before you turn it on. Don't forget to take the baklava out of the oven before you turn it on. Don't forget to take the baklava out of the oven before you turn it on."

So, naturally, I did forget. When I opened the preheated 450°F oven, I screamed, "Oh, noooooo!" and everyone came running. There was the hot baklava with a wildly misshapen melted plastic lid. Not only did I not have another dessert, but this dessert cost a FORTUNE to make. Luckily, the lid distorted itself up and out rather than melting on top of the baklava.

Thankfully, the baklava didn't seem to be affected, unless we are all going to die from impregnated toxic melted plastic fumes. :-(

I am so exhausted today. I feel like I ran a marathon yesterday. Next time....I'm going back to my gringa ways and I'll do more ahead of time preparations.

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