Thursday, February 23, 2012

Icing on the Cake

Before the recital, when the punch and M&Ms hadn't yet been added
Boy#3 obviously had the hardest job at the senior recital Monday night--he had to play that music which, seen on the page, looked as if the printer had jammed and all the notes from a whole piece had been overprinted onto the same staff. With sharps and flats.

But if his job was hardest, my part of the evening had the most pressure: I was the reception coordinator.

Just saying the words makes me shudder. Three loves to play the trombone, and he's very, very good at it. I, on the other hand, love to think I know how to throw a reception but I'm not very good at it. Even obsessively poring over internet entertaining sites haven't helped my ineptitude in planning a get-together with just the right combination of sophistication and whimsy. Martha Stewart I am not. Nevertheless, this was my job, so I forged ahead.

I decided early on that this would be a good excuse for using up all the recipes I'd pinned to my Pinterest board when I was feeling really, really hungry. Cookie Dough Truffles. Cake Balls. Cake Pops. Espresso Chocolate Chip Shortbread.

Still, I worried. I don't have much of a sense of style--what I did have, with one hour until the recital started, was a big box full of tablecloths and platters and three on-sale daffodil plants. 

It wasn't until just before the recital that I knew everything would be okay. That's when Much Older Sister showed up, and I grabbed her and hugged her and told her she was in charge.

"Not a problem--put the white cloth on the bottom, then crunch up the checked ones on top, and here, we'll turn these flowerpots over and make the daffodils higher, and how about putting the cake pops in vases..."

In 10 minutes flat my delightful sister had turned some cookies and tablecloths into A Reception.

When the recital was over, it was just a matter of filling the M&M bowls, turning Three's wonderful  friend loose with the punchbowl, and keeping the cookie platters filled. (As we dragged in coolers filled with cookies I thought I had enough food for eight or 10 receptions, but as it turns out, college kids are pretty good eaters and the leftovers fit into one small box. Go figure.) People talked and laughed and congratulated the star of the show, and I grinned until my face hurt.

The secret to a good reception is not in the menu or the decorations. It's in the company and the goodwill that fills the room.

Also, in having a Much Older Sister who totally rocks.


  1. Looks like Gail Simmons would be pleased with your desserts and splash of appropriate color!!

  2. I'm pretty sure Gail Simmons would have scrunched up her nose and said "Lacks seasoning," but thanks for your confidence!