Sunday, April 4, 2010
Food Coma Book Review #1 - The Barbie Party Cookbook
Thanks to Don and Samantha who own Rabelais Books in Portland, I've recently received one of the most amazing cookbooks I’ve ever laid eyes on: The Barbie party cookbook.
Not being one to keep a find like this to myself, I’ve decided to give you a play by play of the magic contained in these pages. This is sure to become a timeless classic in your collection.
If you look deeper into Barbie’s parties, however, you find a sordid tale of lust, deception, and criminality. We will explore that with my commentary (in italics) as well as suggested wine parings (also me) should you decide to take on one of her elaborate events.
The book begins with a foreword from Barbie herself, which is broken down into three sections: planning a party, Barbie’s kitchen rules, and a convenient cooking dictionary. I’ve included a few excerpts here -
Planning a Party
A really fun party requires a lot of preparation, so before you invite all of your friends, grab a notepad, pencil, and calendar, and then sit down with one of your parents to discuss your plans. You’ll need to decide on the date, time, number of guests, place, and theme.
I would sit down with Mom, she seems more reasonable about these kind of things. Remember, you don't have to be totally honest.
Try to choose a day that doesn’t conflict with another event, that is free for your parent(s) and that is okay with almost everyone you want to invite (there are bound to be friends who can’t come so don’t be discouraged). If you’re planning a slumber party, remember that you will need to keep two days open.
Politely remind your friends that if they decline your invitation, they will most likely never be invited back. Barbie would also like to remind you that most people get really fucked up at slumber parties, so give them an extra day to recover/apologize.
Number of Guests
The best parties are always those with your closest friends and a few new acquaintances, such as the talented girl in your ballet class or the twins who just moved in across the street! By inviting these people, you get to know them better and they get to meet new people. Send out your invitations or call your friends on the phone two to three weeks before the party.
Yeah, I think I’m busy that weekend... wait, the twins from the across the street are coming? They just moved in! Oh.... you know what? I’m totally available that day!
If you’re not having your party at home but at a beach, public pool, skating rink or park, talk to the people at the place you’ve chosen to find out if it’s okay to have your party there. In many instances, you would call the Department of Parks and Recreation. Let them know the day and time as far in advance as possible (some locations get very busy at certain times of the year). Check to see what costs, if any, are involved. Make sure your parents know about these arrangements.
I’m sure the nice people down at Parks and Rec would love to hear from a ten year old, and would be happy to discuss costs and availability. Once you’ve got an invoice lined up, it’s time to get your parents involved.
On the following pages are my ten best party themes! Choose one that would fit the time of year you’re having your party. the type of food you and your friends like to eat and any other activities that you already have planned for them. For example, if you’re having a summer birthday party I would recommend either the Ice Cream Birthday Party, the Summer Cookout, the Beach Party, or the Southwestern Fiesta.
This sets the stage, but first a few of my favorite kitchen rules from Barbie:
Before you begin to cook, make sure you can use the kitchen. An adult needs to be present to help you with difficult steps and to answer your questions.
I personally think it would be best if you begin your cooking projects at three in the morning, when all of the grown-ups are asleep. Shhhh! If you wake them up, they’ll just boss you around!
If your hair is long, put it in a ponytail. Don’t wear loose baggy clothing. Hair in your eyes and clothing that gets in your way can be unhealthy and dangerous when you cook.
You look like shit, which is dangerous in the kitchen.
Make sure little brothers, sisters, and pets are kept away from knives, the stove and other hot things.
You should also probably hide your cigarettes.
The last step before we get to the theme parties is from the cooking dictionary:
Make something wet by sprinkling small drops over it.
(insert caption here)
#1 The Video Slumber Party
Suggested wine pairing: I actually think maybe a bottle of good Lambrusco, such as Villa Corlo, would cover all of your bases here.
One stormy winter night, Skipper, Christie, Teresa and I made miniature pizzas and popcorn with two different toppings. Then we climbed into our flannel nightgowns, snuggled into sleeping bags and had a ball – watching movies and snacking away! The next morning I made French Toast Raspberry Jelly Sandwiches. Yummy!
Looks like Christie showed up in her wedding gown, she’d better be careful eating her mini-pizzas! These definitely do not look like flannel nightgowns to me, with the exception of maybe Skipper. Skipper had been complaining a lot about her weight, so I didn’t make her any pizza. The movies we watched were “Ilsa: She-Wolf of the SS” followed by “Little Monsters” with our favorite, Fred Savage.
#2 Valentine’s Day
Suggested wine pairing: When pairing with sweet foods, it's best to go with even-sweeter wines. Pedro Ximenez sherry would fit the bill nicely here.
This year I sent out homemade invitations trimmed with lace and my girlfriends all wore shades of pink or red. It was a very romantic evening: We listened to love songs on the stereo. Ken was crazy about my ice cream cookie sandwiches; I loved the heart-shaped locket he gave me.
My friends started to feel a little awkward when they realized that Ken was the only guy at the party. He kept making comments like “Hey Barbie, why don’t you show your friends the locket again” and “maybe you guys should, I don’t know, play dress-up or something.” They soon took off and I thought Ken and I could finally spend some quality time, but he decided to eat too many ice cream sandwiches and complain about his stomach being upset from being “lactose intolerant.” Once again, Ken had ruined Valentines Day.
#3 Italian Festival
Suggested wine pairing: An Italian red wine called Aglianico has both the fruit and acidity to work with the tomato sauce and garlic bread - Di Majo Norante makes a good one called "Contado."
When you want to treat your friends to a really yummy, filling meal that is a jiff to make, try my dinner from Rome. I actually got the recipe for the tomato sauce from a chef I met while visiting Italy. Bon appetito!
As far as Ken knows, I never slept with the "chef," we just went out a few times. I tried to explain to Ken before we went out to eat, that I often get embarrassed when he dresses like he’s in the “Siegfried and Roy” show. This comment is greeted with, per usual, a plastic smile and lifeless eyes. I think I need a new boyfriend.
#4 Garden Tea Party
Suggested wine pairing: Champagne from a great producer such as Egly-Ouriet or Ruinart would be appropriate here.
When the roses are blooming and the afternoon sun is warm, dust off your patio and put some fresh-cut flowers in your vase. Then find a frilly dress in your closet and invite all of your friends over for tea, sandwiches, and girl-talk.
What seemed like a good idea at first has turned into just Amelia, the one I like least of the whole group, and I having forced small talk while shoveling tea sandwiches into our mouths to make time go by faster. I can’t believe all of those bitches said they were busy.... and where the fuck is Ken? I’ll bet he’s with Skipper, that skank. Worst. Garden. Tea. Party. Ever.
#5 Ice Cream Birthday Party
Suggested wine pairing: Brachetto d'acqui such as Rosa Regale from Banfi. Ice cream can be a little tough, so I think a good rule would be to pair with something you would pour over it.
Roll up your sleeves and put on your apron – you’re about to make some of the best ice cream you’ve ever tasted. Cookies N’ Cream and Super-Fresh Strawberry – both with my chocolatey hot fudge sauce – is bound to make your birthday fun, fun, fun! You may never buy store-bought ice cream again.
These bitches keep complaining about putting my fucking fudge sauce on everything, but I don't care. I remind them they can waddle their dumb-asses down to the Dairy Barn for some shitty soft-serve if they don't like it. I remind Julie that if she's going to come over with her "My Little Pony" looking hair, then she would have to deal with the fact that I color-coordinated the cones. Sometimes I don't even know why I bother throwing amazing theme parties.....
#6 Summer Cookout
Suggested wine pairing: something fruity and red from California, such as Stagecoach Vineyards Black Bart's Syrah, will go just fine with warm weather and burgers.
What’s a summer without a cookout? Well, when you taste one of my cheeseburgers you’ll wish you could cook out year-round. I like to finish this meal with a traditional favorite: S’mores! (This party could also be held at a campsite)
I'm not actually sure who's child this is but I DO know that I'm tired of feeding it. I think it might be a stray, so I feel bad for it. The other day I bought it a toy, which kept it occupied in the yard for several hours. I'm getting pretty good at this whole parenting thing....
#7 Beach Party
Suggested wine pairing: a zippy and fresh Sancerre from the Loire Valley such as Henri Bourgeois "les Bonnes Bouches."
This occasion is bound to be a splash – when you taste my Chickabobs and Pacific Salad you’ll feel as if you’re on a South Sea island. They’re the perfect food to enjoy with the surf, sun, and sand!
Ken seems strangely into Teresa lately, and he definitely has made some suggestive remarks to Christie. I thought completely emasculating him with the outfit I picked out would work, but he’s still ignoring me. Some days, I just feel like running him over with my Baja Beachcomber, and then standing over his lifeless body and telling him how much I hate all of the mean things he says to me in front of my friends. Instead I guess I should go make the fruit cups though, people look like they’re getting hungry...
#8 Southwestern Fiesta
Suggested wine pairing: If there's anything I drink with tacos outside of ice-cold beer, it's dry German Riesling. Try the Dr. Burklin Wolf Estate offering from the Pfalz.
It was a hot dusty-dry day, and we’d been out horseback riding over hill and dale. We were tired and thirsty, but most of all we wanted a meal that we could really dig into. That’s why I whipped up these mouth-watering tacos and quesadillas. They were gone in no time!
In a cowboy outfit that would make both Elton John and Liberace blush, Ken continues to embarrass me with every chance he gets. I think it's funny that Teresa doesn't seem to mind, but I think the joke will be on her when she finally discovers that Ken completely lacks any genitalia. In the meantime, that bitch can keep shoveling down the tacos that I MADE for her. Oh yeah, nice work not wearing any leggings to go horseback riding - I'm sure the horse was thrilled to have those abrasive hairy legs of yours slapping against it for several hours.....
#9 Halloween Magic
Suggested wine pairing: A Chenin Blanc called Montlouis from the Loire Valley will have the acidity plus the body to stand up to the grilled cheese and apple crisp.
For this devilish night I baked my bewitching Pumpkin-Raisin cookies and gave out half to trick-or-treaters. The rest I served at the my party and there wasn’t one left.
I couldn’t help but notice the look of disappointment on the trick-or-treaters faces as I shoved pumpkin-raisin cookies into their bags. I turned away from the door to find Ken, with his “Fisher Price: My First Bondage Party” mask on, making a face at me that implied “I told you so.” I replied that he looked like an “even-gayer Robin” and stormed away to put the rest of the cookies out for my guests. Later on I snuck into the closet and made out with Aaron, Ken’s football teammate , and it was amazing (because he had dressed as “Magnum P.I. for Halloween, and you know how I feel about the whole moustache thing).
#10 Winter Sparkle
Suggested pairing: A modestly-priced red Burgundy such as the Domaine Parize Givry "Champ Nalot" would be delicious with the mac, and the hot chocolate will cover you when it's cookie time.
Brrrr! When we all got back to my place, everyone’s toes and fingers were numb and our stomach’s were empty. After a hearty meal of scrumptious macaroni and cheese, we sipped homemade hot chocolate and nibbled peanut butter cookies. It was the perfect way to end the day.
I was in a pissy mood because my pink snowmobile shit the bed about 3 miles away, and Ken's useless ass wouldn't come pick me up. Now that I'm pretty confident I'm going to lose a toe, I guess I have to cook for these people so they'll stop complaining about being "chilly." When Ken gets here, I'm going to pour molten hot homemade hot chocolate into his lifeless plastic eyes and force-feed him my "chock-full of lactose" macaroni and cheese.
All pictures and excerpts taken from:
Vinitsky, Wendy (Foreward and Party Intros) and Helene Siegel (Recipes). The Barbie Party Cookbook. Los Angeles: Price Stern Sloan, 1991. Print.