once, twice, thrice, ... and the Hippo's arms were sore and she's sweating like a ... eh hippo!
A total of 7 times, down carrying all the food and eat items and up the 4 flights of stairs. She could go all paperware but she wanted to have the party in proper style, so she hauled all her fine dishware, pots and pans and cooking utensils down to the clubhouse. After all that workout, she had to take 2 showers that morning to get herself clean enough for the party. She spent the whole day the day before preparing the ingredients for the meal, chopping onions and chilli peppers, mincing garlic and ginger, smashing the peppercorn, cutting hearts of palm and artichokes, measuring each ingredient, fish sauce, soy sauce, and brown sugar to marinate the meat, and prepare a glaze for the chicken, rinsing the basmati rice, washing the spring greens, cherry tomatoes, baby spinach and arugula for the salad. For a bit of sweet flavor, she even cut up some cherry to throw in to the salad. When the day came, she carried all the stuff down to the clubhouse, laid out the dinning table and turned on the music. M cooked the saffron rice and H barbeque'd the Thai chicken and ginger salmon on the outdoor gas grill. All the effort was worth it because the spicy, sweet and tangy and salty Thai chicken came out tender and tasty, and the freshly caught Atlantic sockeye salmon, marinated in green onions, ginger and orange juice, tasted mouth watering with real salmon flavor. The meat wouldnt have been so delicious if not grilled by H's superb BBQ skills. At the last minute the Hippo decided to go ahead with the sangria. Mendoza Malbec with coconut/pineapple/orange/mango fizzy soda and a thick slice of orange. Came out pretty good! whew! We had 7 bottles of wine, 4 reds and 3 whites. We only managed to do justice to 4 leaving the Maui pineapple blanc, copola's pinor noir and a cabernet for our next clubhouse party. H's Pinot Grigio and the Sans Premi Red Blend were positively heavenly and went totally with the chicken and salmon.
After the sumptuous meal, we stuffed ourselves again with the colorful dessert, peach pie, tiramasu and carrot cake, with french dark roast coffee and Nepalese Ilam tea, in the clubhouse lounge, sitting on enormous sofas, and we played our game of singing and song guessing, in the intoxicating aroma of Omani Frankincense. Hippo started off with her lousy completely off key My Fair Lady's On the Street Where you Live. Saffy kareoke'd Malcolm In the Middle. After agonizing moments of incorrect guesses, D finally got canção do mar (song of the sea) from Primal Fear, and M won the grand prize (which was a lime striped toilet seat cover and a bright orange silicone glove) with her lively grand performance of Ultraman's theme song in Japanese. D and M won the most prizes by correctly guessing most of the songs. All prizes had something to do with singing, such as a spatchula (sing while stir frying), finger roller (sing while massaging your fingers), mini dust brush and pan (sing while dusting), mini hamper (sing while laundering your stockings). The pink finger roller proved the most popular and desirable. Hm, maybe I should get all my guests a pink finger roller for the next party.
Then came the highlight of the party: Hitchcock's Rebecca in the clubhouse 16 seater theater. 'tell your HOA to put in recliners in the theater' said H. 'but they do recline, see!' D reclined his leather seat and stretched out. The B&W film followed faithfully in the book's original dialogs. "your hair? course I like your hair. what's wrong with it?', 'will you look into my eyes and tell me you love me now?' Joan Fountaine's performance was mesmerizing, while Lawrence Olivier made a poor Max, if you ask me. Oh, but it was a well done movie, good performances, awesome shots specially the one showing Manderley the first time in the rain, through the car windshield made partially clear by the wiper blades. And the cant be beat 1940's dramatic movie background music!
After the show we just hung out by the kitchen/dinning room area while some of us shot more rounds of billiard. And when all the food's been partaken, all drinks been consumed, the singing and song guessing game's over, all game prizes won, and the movie's finished, the carrying rounds started all over again, up and down we went hauling everything back up.
Sure there was a smarter, more practical and easier way to have a clubhouse party. But hey, it's the Hippo and she does everything in style. 'do or do not' says Yoda. 'do it right and perfectly or do not at all' says the Hippo.
see party pictures