Besides Halloween…and Passover…Galentine’s Day is my favorite holiday! For the past five years, I have hosted a Galentine’s Day party just before Valentine’s Day, in celebration of my #girlfriendships. Aw. In case you aren’t familiar with the best TV show in the Universe, Galentine’s Day is described by Leslie Knope as, “Oh, it’s only the best day of the year! Every February 13th, my lady friends and I leave our husbands and our boyfriends at home, and we just come and kick it, breakfast-style. Ladies celebrating ladies. It’s like Lilith Fair, minus the angst. Plus frittatas.” Of noteworthy importance, is Leslie’s love of waffles, on any day, not just Galentine’s Day.
Moving on, one of the many joys of my life is cooking for friends and family. Something special happens when a group of people you love fill your home with laughter for hours – it’s as if their good mojo lingers long after they leave. Even with all the good vibe stuff, party-planning can be slightly challenging as a perfectionist-who-is-trying-to-embrace-imperfection, to say the least. Usually, I conquer that challenge by being highly organized and prepared and making as many recipes ahead of time as possible. This year was a little different. For the past several months, I have been working very hard to pack as much LIFE into my life as physically possible. In addition to regular responsibilities (working my 9-5 which frequently includes evenings and weekends, exercise, cooking, chores, etc.), I work on this blog (which is way more time consuming than I originally planned for, but I love it, so that’s ok!), have at least 3 other side projects, am redecorating my apartment, heavily participate in activism, mentor a teen girl, volunteer at various nonprofits, am dog mom to Drake, and on and on and on. Just writing that sentence makes me feel exhausted. I regularly am “doing” until midnight, when I finally wash my face, do a very abbreviated version of a skincare routine, then crawl into bed. Some days, I have started waking up at 5:00 am to write and plan blog posts for a few hours before having to head into the office. Other days, I wake up at 6:00 am and just head to the gym. Either way, I have not slept enough for a normal human to function for probably at least 3 months. Honestly, I don’t know how I have this much energy at times? I don’t even drink coffee everyday! And, I am by no means complaining about being busy. This is all my choice. There are so many things I am passionate about and want to explore that I can no longer come home from work and binge-watch my life away. To be fair, I have always been rather busy and am not one to watch TV for hours, but the idea is to not waste this precious life I have been given. So, while juggling all of these tasks and trying to prepare for my Galentine’s Day party on Sunday, I also made plans to spend time with my new beau on Saturday.
There is a very fine line between being busy enough to feel great about life and everything falling apart for me. Maybe a week or two ago, I felt that I had crossed that line, but kept pumping myself up with positive thoughts like: I can do everything that I want and need to today! I am committed to the hustle! I am not tired! I’ll sleep when I’m dead! At least I don’t have kids! How would I do this if I had kids?! My hard work now will pay off later! etc. which brings us to Saturday night. Based on my color-coded to do list, I knew I had to complete 3 cooking tasks as party prep on Saturday. I spent most of the morning cleaning and getting ready for new beau to come over before our afternoon tennis date, along with grocery shopping, so I ran out of time to make any recipes. I mentioned to him I would need to make pizza dough, waffle batter, and marinate chicken at some point in the evening. After tennis, we went out for a lovely dinner then drinks, and frankly by the time we got back to my place I was having so much fun that I didn’t remember the dough and the batter and the chicken until we were in bed and almost asleep! At which point, I probably sounded very whiny stating I had to get out of bed and tackle those recipes. He joined me in the kitchen and as I attempted to simultaneously make the pizza dough and waffle batter, both from scratch (and both needing to rise overnight), flipping back and forth between tabs on my phone to reference both recipes, he kept getting up to kiss me or feed me chocolate from the box he brought for me as an early Valentine’s Day present. Not surprisingly, I botched both recipes. The pizza dough didn’t have enough flour and I accidentally put the wrong kind of flour in the waffle recipe, at which point I realized a very important life lesson: when a tall, dark, handsome, attorney is standing in your kitchen at 1:00 am kissing you, just put down the damn whisk and kiss him back. Be in the moment when it counts. It is fine to plan ahead and have goals, but don’t let the loveliest of moments pass you by because you want to throw a perfect party. Strive for the “B” word. Balance.
Considering I had to re-make the botched recipes the next morning, and marinate the chicken, as well as make everything else on the menu, I was already behind schedule by noon. I was still cooking as guests arrived to my party, but at that point you really can’t stress about anything because your friends will help with little tasks and you want everyone to enjoy themselves. Needless to say, taking the in-progress cooking photos I normally would for a blog post was not a high priority, so I don’t have a ton of photos to share. It is much better to be present and enjoy the company of your friends than preoccupied with a blog post. While there may not be amazing photos of each menu item, the menu itself was playful and tasty.
Galentine’s Day Party Menu:
Mini Chicken and Waffle Sammies
Pizza with Fresh Mozzarella, Yellow Tomatoes, and Pesto
Belgian Endive Stuffed with Beet Hummus and Carrots
Pomegranate Guacamole with Tortilla Chips
Pink Lemonade Vodka Slushies
*I will include the recipes for this menu in a second post, coming soon.