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October 19, 2017

Tomorrow it all begins. Actually, scratch that. Today it all starts rolling. Tonight we have our final meeting with the rabbi, we’ll see the table layout in the social hall, and the first out of town guests arrive.

Tonight is also your last chance to enter to win a pair of tickets for the bar mitzvah week giveaway. All entries have to be submitted by 10pm tonight. Details are here.

So much is already handled. The caterers are set. The entertainment is booked. The cookies and donuts have been ordered. The kids have their clothes, or at least they will today once the final alterations are done at the tailor. Even the party favors and centerpieces have all been assembled.

Now I’m working on the afterparty—or should I say after parties—for the out of town guests. And really, afterparty is the wrong word. Because they are less like parties, and more like a chance for my oldest friends and distant family to hang out at Casa del Fussy.

It’s also an excuse to eat the bar mitzvah boy’s favorite foods that are forbidden at temple. That’s right. Saturday night we’re having pulled pork. But that’s not all.

Every fall, for the past three years, we’ve hosted a party for about fifty people with pulled pork as the centerpiece. So I’ve gotten pretty good at making it for crowds. To make it easy and idiot proof, I totally cheat. This isn’t done in a smoker. It’s done in a crock pot. The pork shoulders come from Whole Foods, and the spice blend comes from Penzeys.

The trick is that I can make these well in advance, hold them in the fridge, and warm them up as we go. Then once the party is over, any cooked pork shoulders that remain get portioned and frozen. They freeze beautifully, and then we have pulled pork on hand for hearty winter meals.

Given how often we’ve done the party, I thought the after party on Saturday evening would be a snap. What I somehow conveniently forgot was that in the past, people have brought various side dishes to supplement the sandwiches.


I don’t really know how many people are going to be coming, or how many will eat sandwiches. So I may be going a bit nuts cooking pork shoulders. Like I said, they freeze well.

To maximize meat production, I’m mostly going for boneless roasts. Yes, the bone adds flavor, but it also limits the quantity of my meaty output. Right now, I have four roasts cooked. Today I’m doing at least one more. Maybe two. And then I have one big bone in shoulder that I’m hoping will cook while the bar mitzvah itself is happening.

I’ve got a slaw to make, and I’ll pick up chips, beer, and wine. ADS will hopefully bang out some cocktails with the booze we have on hand. Really it will be more about hanging out than the food. Although I’m glad the boy will get his favorite pulled pork at the end of the day.

Sunday morning will be a casual brunch.

Yes, we’ll pick up bagels from Price Chopper. Shut up. I like their bagels. Are they as good as Long Island bagels? No. But they are better than 95% of the round bread passing as bagels across most of America.

But to stay on the theme of post bar mitzvah traif, I’ve called in an order to Chester’s Smokehouse. On Sunday morning, I’ll be picking up four pounds of their smoked breakfast sausage links, two pounds of sliced smoked veal loaf, one pound of sliced american cheese, and three dozen smoked chicken and bacon pierogies.

That last part was an impulse purchase.

By Sunday morning, the refrigerator should be cleared out enough to handle the onslaught of new foods for the brunch. I have no idea how many people we’ll get over to the house for that either. And maybe not everyone will get a pierogi. My goal is just to have a place for people to gather, where we can comfortably hang out.

The smoked veal loaf, by the way, is for Little Miss Fussy. She still has some orthodontics in her mouth and can’t eat bagels. Hopefully rolling up slices of american cheese into pieces of smoked veal loaf will be some consolation. So I bought enough that should people be curious, they could try some too. Sure, it’s mixing milk and meat. But with all the sausage and bacon, I don’t think anyone will notice.

We’ll have to see how it all goes. Now it’s time to go out and get all the buns, chips, and drinks. There’s dry cleaning to pick up, shoes to return, and printing that needs to get done. Shaving can wait until Friday. Sleep will happen on Monday.

6 Comments leave one →
  1. EPT permalink
    October 19, 2017 12:56 pm

    If you haven’t tried this, give it a shot…assuming you like mayonnaise based coleslaw. Cut your cabbage to your preferred style. Add mayonnaise to a bowl and add Marukan Seasoned Gourmet Rice Vinegar to the consistency you prefer. Add garlic powder, onion powder, ground celery seed and black pepper..NO salt or sugar. A grated carrot adds color and textural mix. It really works! If not for your big bash, try it once.

  2. Pam C. permalink
    October 19, 2017 1:37 pm

    Wow…just reading your schedule made me tired! It reminded me of when I don’t pack or prepare for a trip until the last minute, which is my usual procrastinating style. I hope you all have a wonderful weekend!

  3. October 19, 2017 1:41 pm

    I cut a bagel so it is a lot of small, circular pieces. Works best if there is a well defined hole in the bagel. Top the bite size circles with a little cream cheese and it hasn’t been a problem with orthodontics.

  4. HokieMom permalink
    October 19, 2017 2:07 pm

    Be Proud, Have Fun and Enjoy.. now we’re all hungry

  5. Ewan permalink
    October 23, 2017 2:51 pm

    Price Chopper bagels instead of Uncommon Grounds? What Hell Is This?

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