When I was a little girl, my favorite game to play with my mother was WHAT DO YOU WANT TO BE? She would sit my on her lap, look me in the eyes and say, “Mary, What do you Want to Be?” If my wish was to be a princess she would gently press her finger against my lips, poof I had lipstick. A slight brush of my head and there was my tiara, sprinkles of magic dust followed and TA-DA……I was a princess.
We must have played this game 5 times a week for about 4 years and over those years I was everything from a Zoo Keeper to the Fonz. If you did the math I had exactly 1,200 opportunities to be anything I wanted to be but not once did I look up with my big brown eyes and say “Mommy, I want to be a caterer”.
You see, while I grew up in a family whose lives revolved around food and entertaining (my mother an amazing cook and my grandmother the owner of a motel), I ran like Forest for years from my destiny.
I had big plans. If anyone asked I would tell them that, I was going to be an actress like my imaginary best friends Alyssa Milano or Jo from The Facts of Life. As far as my culinary interest, I would sneak out of my house while my mothers prepared gourmet three course meals, to attack my best friends Lauren Balkin’s basement freezer where her mother kept a years supply of frozen pizzas and pigs in a blanket. (This would also end of being the same basement that I would first get drunk in…two girls, a few bottles of Manichevetz…left over from their Passover Sedar and a one sweet rabbinical buzz…but that’s a whole other blog)
I went to a great college, studied abroad in Italy, worked as a coat check girl at Nobu (where I was fired and given the honor of being called their most inconsistent, unreliable employee they ever had), tried out for James Lipton for a coveted spot at The Actor’s Studio (who basically laughed me off the stage), worked for a Entertainment agency (where I was fired for sending in my headshot for the role of Meadow Soprano instead of the actress I was instructed to), dabbled in fundraising, took jazz dance classes, went to grad school for a semester, played a terrorist in an off-off-off Broadway play and all the while little did I know it but my destiny was waiting for me in the frozen food section of the Food Emporium.
It would end up being my childhood-treasure (from Lauren Balkin’s basement) the pig in a blanket that would be my entry key into a world that I only dreamed of gaining access to. And how happy I was to have been reacquainted with this frozen treasure. A caterer I was to be. For the first time it all made sense, I was good at throwing parties, loved working creatively with food and drinks, and found my greatest joy would come from stepping back and watching our clients have fun at parties (mini theatrical performances) we helped create.
It is my hope that this Blog will be a fun place for you to come for creative party tips, whimsical recipes and some chuckles. I hope that in reading this, myself and our gang (all my pals here at MGCE) will be able to convince you that parties should always make you laugh, that mini grilled cheese is never a bad idea, that strippers eat hors d’oeuvres too, that mac & cheese CAN be served on a ferris wheel and that your dreams can come true…..even the ones you didn’t even know you wished for.