We had about half a dozen families here. They all brought something, some even brought two dishes of various sorts. All of them brought kids along, and they all did a great job of playing around the place once I found that the far gate could be opened and padlocked it with our locker lock. It was just too scary for me to think of the two three-year-olds on the street in front of the house. Once that was taken care of, the kids pretty much could do little wrong. There was a parent-supervised game of croquet, there was the battery-powered choo-choo downstairs, and there was plenty of lawn to just run and play and tackle each other on.
This morning, we'd decided to simplify everything and just bought bratwursts for everyone. Including the vegetarians. The funny thing is that we found that Boca makes brats for vegetarians. It's all vegetable proteins of various sorts, but all vegetable matter made into a nicely spicy bratwurst shape. It grills like a brat and takes up a bun like one and the two vegetarians of the group really liked 'em. I'm glad of that. We provided some lemonade, iced tea, chips, guacamole, and buns for the brats. People brought desserts, three salads, and a huge crock of homemade beans. All delicious. It was much easier than some of the parties we've thrown. And most of it was decided this morning, at Safeway.
I managed to get up not too late, even though I'd been awake pretty late last night reading a book and thinking about things and having some time to myself after most of a week with Jet. I needed the time. But I didn't go to sleep very early, but did get up before 8. We had baked pancakes and Jet asked for "skinny pancakes" so he and I made crepes for him. He ate one with jam and butter and gave up on the rest. I had one with a little granulated sugar and John had some with with jam. We also had the baked pancake and it turned out really nicely.
Then John and I planned the party goods, and went to Safeway to buy it all. There was a good deal of it, but a lot of it we can freeze if we can't eat it all today. Since we didn't, it is a good thing. We then piled into the car and executed the plan. Jet was great for the whole thing. I was very impressed. He wrangled a Dixie cup of kettle corn from the kettle corn vendor at the farmers' market. I wanted to go there, as it opened today, and I really, truly wanted farm eggs. We went through the whole place, got vine-ripe hot house tomatoes, a nice baguette, and some peppers. Then at the very end, I gave up, and there was the stand for eggs! The guy there even had them in a refrigerated case! Small, medium, and large, and since I only have recipes for large eggs, I bought the dozen of larges. It was very reassuring to see a green egg in the dozen.
A co-worker of ours used to have layers on his farm, and they included a breed that was nicknamed Easter Egg Chickens, and it was because they would lay pink, green, and yellow eggs. Pale colors, but definitely colored eggs, fresh out of the chicken. I have to admit that I associate those 'odd' colors with really fresh, really good eggs. Chickens were not made to live on a vegetarian diet, any more than beef cattle should be raised on grain. It's convenient for the livestock people to feed them grain because it's a compact, dense, cheap form of feed, especially compared to large amounts of fresh grass and the bugs and worms that a chicken in a barnyard will naturally eat. Both, more natural, products are much higher in the same kinds of omega fatty acids that make fish so good for us, and both are leaner. It's interesting how much better they get.
Anyway... I found my eggs. I put them in our cooler and then we went to Safeway and filled a cart with party goods while Jet either rode the cart, listened to us debate over the hot dogs and brats and chips, or peered at all the merchandise without really touching or destroying anything. I was very, very happy with him. I think that the kettle corn helped level his blood sugar or something, but he was just great while we got all that done, and then promptly went to sleep on the way home. I went to sleep the moment we got home. I got woken by the sound of thunder. John put everything away. When I got up, I took care of making the iced tea. I then prepped and grilled the vegetables we'd bought for that.
One family arrived at 3 and had to run off to something else, so we fed them their dogs and some of the grilled vegetables. The rain had receded, and it was sunny and warm for a while. Then it got cold again when the rest of the crowd arrived around 4-4:30. I cooked bratwursts, toasted bread, and got coats for the people that were really shivering. The kids played their came of croquet while I cooked and John supervised. When the game was done everyone ate. It was good. Some of the kids that didn't usually like hot dogs were happy to try the novelty of a hot dog on a chop stick. *grin* That was pretty funny, that a kid that normally wouldn't eat the things ate two Beef Hebrew National hot dogs on a stick. I liked that.
Everyone got a tour of the house that wanted one. Two of the families are families that lived right next door to this house, and they said that in four years they were, perhaps, invited into the house three times. So they really liked being able to see the inside of it again, and being able explore without trepedition of any kind. They liked being invited in. I know that I liked doing that for them, too.
It's been a really fun and full evening. I think Jet enjoyed it quite a lot, as he was playing full-blast with everyone during the thing. It is oddly reassuring, though, to have him decide that he needed to just play, by himself, with his toys upstairs now that everyone is gone.