First of all I just have to say it: I love this book! I’m not sure what it is about theme parties - maybe it’s a carryover from birthday parties as a child - but there is something captivating about them. Wild Women Throw a Party provides unique theme ideas with outrageously original recipes. Not only are these party suggestions fun, they’re easy. Goody bags optional!
More than just a cookbook, Wild Women Throw a Party is a tribute to women throughout the ages. One of my favorites comes from the opening chapter ‘The Mistress of Modernism’s Are Gallery Opening’. After a brief history of Peggy Guggenheim and her contribution to the wild women of history, all you need for ‘A Bohemian Painter’s Party’ is provided. My favorite “recipe” is the Jackson Pollack Ice Cream Canvases:
Jackson Pollack Ice Cream Canvases
If art parties aren’t your thing – no worries – there are plenty of parties to choose from. From a romantic ‘Room Service for a Party of Two’ with a menu of Eggs Benedict topped with Hollandaise Sauce, Waldorf Salad, and Champagne Creamed Spinach to ‘A Sophisticated New Year’s Eve Party’ serving Caviar Puffs, Cornmeal Blinis, Brie Fondue, and Chocolate Champagne Truffles, there is something for every palate!
6 ounces cream
½ cup butterscotch sauce
6 ounces chocolate chips
1 rectangular block of vanilla 1 cup frozen, sweetened strawberries, thawed
ice cream (half-gallon)
½ cup caramel sauce
4 plastic squeeze bottles
- In a saucepan, heat the cream to a simmer. Add the chocolate chips and remove the pan from the heat. Let sit for 10 minutes, and then stir the melted chocolate into the cream to combine. Pour this chocolate sauce into a plastic squeeze bottle and keep in a warm place.
- Puree the strawberries with their liquid in a blender and then strain it. Pour this strawberry sauce into a plastic squeeze bottle and set aside.
- Heat the jars of caramel and butterscotch in a saucepan of warm water. Pour the sauces into two separate plastic squeeze bottles and keep in a warm place.
- Peel the sides of the ice cream container down to expose the sides of the rectangular block of ice cream.
- Cut the ice cream block, with a knife warmed in hot water, into 1- to 2-inch slices and place them on each guest’s plate.
- Set the squeeze bottles of sauce out for your guests to paint their own ice cream canvases a la Jackson Pollock.
A chapter on Hollywood Hostesses provides themes for movie or television themed parties, while the Literary Ladies chapter provides all that’s necessary for a party surrounding the written word. My favorite in the Literary Ladies chapter is a Halloween Party (‘The Dark Side of Wild Women’) inspired by The Bacchae, an ancient Greek tragedy. Who can resist Potato Ghosts and Bones of the Dead?
The chapter on ‘Entertaining Dames’ provides a variety of adventurous themes from a formal After-Theatre Dinner Party serving Lobster Newburg to a down home Western Barbeque. The final chapter, entitled ‘Political Partiers,’ is sure to delight with its "Women of the Senate’s Poker Party” serving up a menu of Poker Chips (vegetable medallions), Jack Stacks (a stack of cheese and vegetable layered tortillas), Pickle Cigars (pickles wrapped in ham and cream cheese), and Heart, Diamond, Spade, and Club Cookies (sugar cookies).
Everything about this book is fun - I can only hope this is only the first of many.