Fall Equinox is so tantalizingly close you can taste it. Whether you are a parent who routinely coaches homework, or a "non-traditional" returning bookworm yourself, fall is a glorious time of year. Truth be told, I geek out every year over needing to purchase new school supplies. Often noted as everyone's favorite season because of its best-of-both-worlds weather, rich warm hues in clothing and nature, and an excuse to overindulge in all things scented pumpkin – this is the perfect time for a get together to overindulge with pals in tow. Here's how:
Compile a playlist of several school-themed movie soundtracks: "Breakfast Club," "Dazed and Confused," and "Valley Girl," are just a few that immediately come to mind. "Rock 'n' Roll High School," and "Fast Times at Ridgemont High," are other excellent selections.
If folks are game, have everyone dress as an archetype from high school: cheerleader, jock, nerd, drama club weirdo, hippie teacher, hard-ass principal. Dress to reconnect with your former teenage self, or to indulge a fantasy of what it may have been like to be someone else for a day. Let this be a warm-up for Halloween.
One word for food fare: apples. They are so succulent/tasty/lovely/tart/juicy at this time of year, no one can get enough of them. Cut up slices to accompany various cheese plates with grape garnishes, and make them the dipping favorites for a caramel apple sauce centerpiece. If you're feeling ambitious, bake a homemade pie. And by all means, break out the hard cider. Assemble "after-school snacks" of "Ants on a Log," (celery, peanut butter and raisins on top), or "Lincoln Logs Sandwiches." Do not be shy about breaking out a package of Totino's Pizza Rolls or a fresh bag of Cheddar Combos. Believe me, people will delight in the nostalgia.
For other gimmicky fun, create an initiation to gain entry to your event. If leaning more toward a college theme, pop in a DVD of "Animal House." Create a drinking game where everyone does a shot whenever John Belushi as Bluto pulls a crazy stunt onscreen (food fight, breaking dude's guitar). I leave you with this from the FoodChannel Editor:
"WHAT IS A LINCOLN LOG SANDWICH?
"Question: I was watching the 'Sopranos' and saw Carmella making a dish which she called Lincoln logs. I am curious, what are they? They looked good, so how do you make them what are some of the ingredients?
"Answer: Lincoln Logs (as seen on the 'Sopranos') are apparently hot dog buns or white bread, in which you place hot dogs layered with cream cheese. They can be served warm or cold. They are also known as Seattle Cream Cheese Dogs, although the Lincoln Logs variety is said to be an East Coast version. The basic recipe appears to be:
Take a slice of white bread, spread cream cheese on it, split a cooked hot dog lengthwise and place each half, cut side down, on the bread. To get the Lincoln Log effect, you may need a second hot dog that is laid over the first in the other direction. Some versions appear to mix a little mayonnaise with the cream cheese for spreading ease. You can lightly toast the bread or add a piece of American cheese before adding the spread and hot dog.
"Or, you can try the standard Seattle recipe as found at All Recipes."
Photo, "Early Morning," by Carlos Porto at freedigitalphotos.net
FoodChannel Editor. What is a Lincoln Log Sandwich. Foodchannel. The Food Channel®. April 30, 2008. http://www.foodchannel.com/articles/article/what-is-a-lincoln-log-sandwich/