Thursday, June 20, 2013

Tiki Party - the aftermath

So.  Many.  Glasses.

(mark of a good party, I think)

But - you'll notice that these glasses are somewhat clean, which is part of my patented don't-go-crazy-after-hosting-a-party method.  (also known as the don't-fall-back-to-using-only-plastic strategy.  Or why the day after makes me feel busy and content versus never wanting to host a party ever again)

1.  Have a large container (or simply the sink) filled with water so guests can drop off their plates/silverware/glasses.
2.  You can see a lot of canning jars in the photos; this was from the frozen drinks we made prior to the party.  Have a container set aside on the countertop for just the metal lids and screw-on rings; if they end up wet, they will rust. 
(I tried soaking these in water overnight but making sure they were completely covered, and no, didn't work all that well.)
3.  To cut down on people losing glasses halfway through the night and you having to wash dirty glasses simply so people can drink (not good) - write their name on the glass with a permanent sharpie.  I promise it will come off with hot water and the scrubby side of a sponge.

1.  Most things have been soaking, so this should be easy...but rinse every dish, fork, cup, everything.  Seriously.  This fifteen minutes late at night will save probably save you 90-120 minutes the day after washing dishes, no joke.
2.  Take an ibprofen and drink several glasses of water.  Ha.  

The day after
1.  Do not plan a single difficult thing the day after the party.  No brunch, no going out later, no fancy dinner, nada.  Party cleanup is always so much easier when you know you don't have to get it done immediately, and when you have a chill evening afterwards to look forward to, all the better. 
2.  With regards to the metal lids and screw-on rings - wash with soapy water, rinse well, and then put in 9x13 pans in an oven set to 170ºF (the lowest temperature).  The nooks and crannies are darn near impossible to dry well, so use heat to your advantage.  This trick also works great for cookie cutters.  Make cookies, cut them out, and clean them well while they're baking.  After the cookies are out of the oven, turn off the oven, and put in the cookie cutters to dry.  Easy!
3.  Different people prefer different things - some like to power through and finish (me) and others prefer to do a half hour here, a half hour there.  Whichever you do, good music is key. 
4.  There are some things people serve at parties that they have absolutely no use for normally...I had about 2 gallons of juice leftover after this party, pinepple, papaya, mango, orange, grapefruit.  And I don't drink juice, really ever.  So, I poured all the juices into a stockpot and simmered it down to a syrup for about 4 hours - presto, tropical fruit syrup, ready for freezing and using later (with rum, delicious).  In the same way, I made the leftover stale-ish bread into bread crumbs by shredded it on the shredding disk of my food processor.  I froze leftover lime juice in mini canning jars for pulling out later when I need it. 
5.  Plan easy delicious surprises for yourself in advance:

Frozen key lime pie on the patio, best pre-cleanup snack ever. 

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