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Thread: Social functions: it's the simple things in life, honest!

  1. #1 Social functions: it's the simple things in life, honest! 
    Forum Professor jrmonroe's Avatar
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    Here's a suggestion when it comes to social functions, and you're not quite sure what to bring. We've just passed through, and survived, the "Holiday Season", but the summertime picnics and BBQs are looming in the distance. When invited to social functions, we are sometimes asked to bring something as in a pot luck affair, or we're told the host will provide the basics and that we can bring something extra, if desired. This often happens on picnics and BBQs.

    Several years ago, I was invited to such a picnic for people in their 30s through 50s, where the host provided the basics hotdogs, hamburgs, chips and sodas. Everyone was invited to bring something extra, especially to cook on the grille. And so, people brought sophisticated stuff like pork chops, marinated steaks, jumbo shrimp, lobster tails and so on. What did I bring? I ate some of the regular stuff and then waited till the hubbub at the grille died down, and then I cooked up a little of my own stuff and left the rest there for others. Soon, a few people wandered over to the grille and then quite an unexpected spectacle began.

    "Marshmallows! Who brought the marshmallows? I haven't roasted a marshmallow since I was a kid!"
    I had brought a couple bags of marshmallows and a pack of foot-long bamboo skewers. All told, about $5.
    "Marshmallows? Really? Any Graham crackers and Hershey bars?"
    I had not thought of making s'mores, but several people stood around the BBQ for some time roasting and enjoying marshmallows and laughing and having a genuinely good time. I may have imagined this, but suddenly, those people didn't seem so middle-aged anymore. I'm thinking that doing something from childhood like roasting a marshmallow, or eating one, or licking your fingers clean, or losing your marshmallow in the coals brings back wonderful childhood memories. Smells and tastes can be powerful triggers for our memories. So, when's the last time you ate a burnt marshmallow?

    One recent holiday season, some hospitable, middle-aged friends planned a nice Thanksgiving feast for those who wished to attend. They mentioned that they would also provide the typical libations (regular/diet Coke and Pepsi), and they invited people to bring their favorite drinks. So I brought some bottles and put them on the drinks table alongside other people's wines, beers, ginger ales, etc. A couple of guys walked up to the table, and once again, something of a spectacle began this time I expected it.

    "Wow, I can't remember the last time I had birch beer!"
    "What's birch beer? Hey, is that one cream soda? I liked cream soda!"
    I had, of course, brought birch beer and cream soda.

    I don't do something like this all the time, but it can spice up an otherwise ordinary event. Quite frankly, I've come up blank for new/other ideas, and I was wondering if you can think of other fun foods/things from childhood that adults might still enjoy.


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    First time I did marshmallows with my son and his friends, I first unplugged the smoke alarm. Yeah, a couple of baking pans on the kitchen floor, and teach the kids how to build a fire with chopsticks and cardboard. You're right - it's the activity about the food, we enjoy more than the food itself. Those modern kids are so cautious they'd never dare take these "risks" themselves.

    I often bring a dessert, since most people do courses or appetizers. The Pong classic is a bugger, you'll soon understand. Home-made vanilla ice cream, tan and speckly with excessive vanilla. Classy but so what? First time I wanted to zest it up a bit for Christmas with a scattering of those minced candied fruits, red and green. Couldn't find them anywhere, so despairing I chopped gummy worms into the ice cream. Lovely. But my presentation philosophy dictates one whole gummy worm on top. Result: 50% split on whether worms make a decent addition. The debate among critics was lively enough, and even those who'd wrinkle their noses while spooning gross bits to their less finicky partners' dishes, did enjoy the ice cream. I think the anti-worm camp actually savored the ice cream more, because I'd foiled it. So now I bring "the only one with the worm on top" every time.

    You can bomb dishes likewise with whole oversized mushrooms, chicken feet, orange quarters, anything a person may-or-may-not wish to eat, but will surely find remarkable.

    This is not exactly childhood food, but it evokes a childlike response: Uhg, do I have to eat this?


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    Theatre Whore babe's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by jrmonroe View Post
    Here's a suggestion when it comes to social functions, and you're not quite sure what to bring. We've just passed through, and survived, the "Holiday Season", but the summertime picnics and BBQs are looming in the distance. When invited to social functions, we are sometimes asked to bring something as in a pot luck affair, or we're told the host will provide the basics and that we can bring something extra, if desired. This often happens on picnics and BBQs.

    Several years ago, I was invited to such a picnic for people in their 30s through 50s, where the host provided the basics — hotdogs, hamburgs, chips and sodas. Everyone was invited to bring something extra, especially to cook on the grille. And so, people brought sophisticated stuff like pork chops, marinated steaks, jumbo shrimp, lobster tails and so on. What did I bring? I ate some of the regular stuff and then waited till the hubbub at the grille died down, and then I cooked up a little of my own stuff and left the rest there for others. Soon, a few people wandered over to the grille and then quite an unexpected spectacle began.

    "Marshmallows! Who brought the marshmallows? I haven't roasted a marshmallow since I was a kid!"
    I had brought a couple bags of marshmallows and a pack of foot-long bamboo skewers. All told, about $5.
    "Marshmallows? Really? Any Graham crackers and Hershey bars?"
    I had not thought of making s'mores, but several people stood around the BBQ for some time roasting and enjoying marshmallows and laughing and having a genuinely good time. I may have imagined this, but suddenly, those people didn't seem so middle-aged anymore. I'm thinking that doing something from childhood like roasting a marshmallow, or eating one, or licking your fingers clean, or losing your marshmallow in the coals brings back wonderful childhood memories. Smells and tastes can be powerful triggers for our memories. So, when's the last time you ate a burnt marshmallow?

    One recent holiday season, some hospitable, middle-aged friends planned a nice Thanksgiving feast for those who wished to attend. They mentioned that they would also provide the typical libations (regular/diet Coke and Pepsi), and they invited people to bring their favorite drinks. So I brought some bottles and put them on the drinks table alongside other people's wines, beers, ginger ales, etc. A couple of guys walked up to the table, and once again, something of a spectacle began — this time I expected it.

    "Wow, I can't remember the last time I had birch beer!"
    "What's birch beer? Hey, is that one cream soda? I liked cream soda!"
    I had, of course, brought birch beer and cream soda.

    I don't do something like this all the time, but it can spice up an otherwise ordinary event. Quite frankly, I've come up blank for new/other ideas, and I was wondering if you can think of other fun foods/things from childhood that adults might still enjoy.
    Honey, if my marshmellow isn't burnt to a crisp.....it ain't worth eating!!! GREAT POST!!
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    Theatre Whore babe's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Pong View Post
    First time I did marshmallows with my son and his friends, I first unplugged the smoke alarm. Yeah, a couple of baking pans on the kitchen floor, and teach the kids how to build a fire with chopsticks and cardboard. You're right - it's the activity about the food, we enjoy more than the food itself. Those modern kids are so cautious they'd never dare take these "risks" themselves.

    I often bring a dessert, since most people do courses or appetizers. The Pong classic is a bugger, you'll soon understand. Home-made vanilla ice cream, tan and speckly with excessive vanilla. Classy but so what? First time I wanted to zest it up a bit for Christmas with a scattering of those minced candied fruits, red and green. Couldn't find them anywhere, so despairing I chopped gummy worms into the ice cream. Lovely. But my presentation philosophy dictates one whole gummy worm on top. Result: 50% split on whether worms make a decent addition. The debate among critics was lively enough, and even those who'd wrinkle their noses while spooning gross bits to their less finicky partners' dishes, did enjoy the ice cream. I think the anti-worm camp actually savored the ice cream more, because I'd foiled it. So now I bring "the only one with the worm on top" every time.

    You can bomb dishes likewise with whole oversized mushrooms, chicken feet, orange quarters, anything a person may-or-may-not wish to eat, but will surely find remarkable.

    This is not exactly childhood food, but it evokes a childlike response: Uhg, do I have to eat this?
    Well, I wish I had a choice. I get...would you please make your shrimp stuffed deviled eggs, or you cheese prociuotto wraps, or your potato salad?

    Hey I'd love to bring Marshmellows!!!!!!!
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    Quote Originally Posted by jrmonroe View Post



    I don't do something like this all the time, but it can spice up an otherwise ordinary event. Quite frankly, I've come up blank for new/other ideas, and I was wondering if you can think of other fun foods/things from childhood that adults might still enjoy.
    When I was a child, a few of us got bombed out on magic mushrooms. Just saying is all.
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