A Wiseguy's 50th Birthday
Something you might not know about me is that I'm a little matchmaker. A sneaky and clever little matchmaker. At the young and stubborn age of fourteen I met the man I decided was going to be my stepfather. My manager at my first job, he wore a suit and looked like the Godfather. Then, six years later, he was family.
My stepfather, Jack, just turned fifty. Knowing how much he loves his Italian side, and loves his set of "Fat Tony" knives, my mother set me to the task of putting together a surprise party with an Italian theme and amusing mafia undertones. And oh boy did I have fun with this one!
The party was held poolside at a friends, which was perfect. Plenty of seating made for a cozy afternoon in what felt like a resort. Of course, the problem with being in the midst of things meant there were a couple of things missing on my camera when all was said, done, and packed back up. The most regrettable of which was a shot of the adorable tiki-hut turned Italian-cafe, complete with menu board advertising the day's specials of Italian sodas, gelato and flavoured coffees. The pasta and salad bar are also missing from photo-memory. Oh well, c'est la vie! Sometimes you've just gotta be part of the party instead of taking pictures all the time.
This party was the perfect balance between hilarious and cheap (bonus!) party items and classy deliciousness. Guests were "packin" water guns and gangster shades, and we found great $100 bill napkins at the dollar store to add that extra funny touch. The meal was strictly business, however, and consisted of three types of pasta, two types of salad, and a dozen or so toppings to choose from for both. At the end of the day, I counted four full heads of garlic incorporated into the menu. Good thing we didn't have a kissing booth! Hehe...
Appetizers included baby bruschetta, "cake olives", pizza on sticks, chocolate wafer "cigars", fresh gouda from Thunder Oaks, a fine herb cheeseball, and the standard fresh fruit and (real) olives, pickles, etc. This experience allowed me to fully appreciate the effect of sunshine on cheese.... gooey and delicious!
I changed up the pre-existent tiki hut to serve as the Boss' cafe & dessert shop, Fat Tony's Caffe Dolce. Cups, straw flags, and a menu board were all branded to suit, and Jack loved it.
Italian sodas, gelato, sorbetto, and coffee were all on the menu. The gelato was served in cones or cups with wooden spoons. Delizioso!
Guests went home with adorable (and vegan!) lemon cupcakes baked in square paper bowls from Think Garnish.
My favourite part of the day was when Jack put together a little memorabilia kit to remember his special day by. He gathered a piece of everything and put it all together in one of the little baskets (also from Garnish) we served the buns in for the buffet. Watching him do this as discretely as possible made all the incognito running around for the two weeks prior to the party completely worth it. I'm so glad we went through all the extra effort to let him know he's loved!
I'll try to hunt down some of the family's pictures to see if anyone caught the caffe window (adorable stripey awning!) or the full buffet spread. I promised myself I'd never forget another photo again... Whoops! I'll remember for next time.