My sister is a photographer, so I let her take the photos. Then what do I find this afternoon but her MySpace page chock full of hideousness. Here's one of the less embarrassing ones:
I was Hermione Granger, and my sister was a "punk vampire." I know, this photo is scary in many ways.
Okay, and here is an embarrassing one, which I'm only posting so that you can see Darwin's hilarious wig called The Rug:
That's Darwin as Ron Weasley. My sister captioned this photo: "Hermione gives the socially awkward Ron a little kiss."
Moving on ...
The day of the party was frenzied but surprisingly lighthearted. Usually when we're under pressure, we start sniping at each other and end up having screaming fights in which I throw a box of macaroni at Darwin.
We woke up early the morning of the party to get started cleaning. I cleaned the bathrooms better than they've ever been cleaned before, while Darwin vacuumed the whole house.
We also did a lot of decluttering, cleaned the kitchen, and frankly I don't even remember what else we did.
Once the house was basically clean, we started on the food. We made chili, which turned out to be a big hit. I swear, it was the best chili I've ever had in my life, and other people liked it, too. I think it was the green pepper the made it so good.
Here's the recipe, which I found at About.com and altered slightly:
2 pounds ground beef
1 cup chopped onion
1 green bell pepper, chopped
1 28 oz. can crushed tomatoes
1 8 oz. can tomato sauce
1 can kidney beans
1 can pinto beans
1 tsp. black pepper
3 tsp. chili powder
1 tsp. garlic salt
Red pepper, to taste
Chop the onion and pepper, while not cutting yourself like I did. In a large skillet, saute chopped onion and bell pepper. Dump in the Crock-Pot with the beans, tomato, seasonings, etc., and stir to combine. Brown the ground beef and drain well. Add beef to Crock-Pot and stir everything up. Cover and cook for 7 to 8 hours on low, or as in our case, wait too late in the day and put it on high for a couple of hours, then reduce to low for 3 or so more hours. It's very scientific. Serve with grated cheese and tortilla chips. Yumyum!
I also made a trail mix with pretzels, Bugles, popcorn, peanuts and a honey/cinnamon/ginger glaze that was pretty yummy.
While I cooked, Darwin washed dishes, broke down a mountain of cardboard boxes to take to the recycling center, and did other things that needed doing. Don't ask me what.
For dessert, I made sugar cookies frosted with purple and orange, and here's where our peaceful day turned sour. First, Darwin forgot the confectioner's sugar at the grocery store and blamed me for it. He went to get some, but then I couldn't get the consistency of the icing right, and it kept running off the edges of the cookies. Also, the little cookie templates I bought didn't work, so I couldn't have the word "EEK!" or a trio of bats on my cookies like I wanted.
Darwin found all this hilarious, which made my head spin around a la Linda Blair.
Fortunately, it's hard to ruffle Darwin's feathers. I eventually calmed down, and it was a race to the finish to get showered and costumed before the guests arrived.
Once they were there, it was smooth sailing. Okay, not quite "smooth." The FM tuner for my iPod recently stopped working, and I forgot to buy a new one for the party. So I had to do things the old-fashioned way - burn CDs.
Then the first CD I burned wouldn't play, so in the mean time I played a Harry Belafonte CD, which is music better suited to a luau than a Halloween party. But so what? I LOVE Harry Belafonte.
We dined, gave tours of the house, played Dirty Minds, and Darwin and I even gave a little demonstration of our meager rhumba skills.
It was fun.
Darwin pointed out as we were preparing for the party that this was our first. I think we did pretty well for our first time.
And now Darwin's 30th birthday is coming up in just two weeks. I originally planned to have his party at the skating rink, but I'm afraid that will scare off too many staid and sane potential guests, so we may have it at home. Why not? The house is cleeeeeeeeeeean!