Tonight we are having a fondue and kebab party, AKA the night of Food on a Stick®. My pal Cami is bringing the cheese fondue course and some veggies and homemade bread, my pal Gina is bringing the shish kebab meat and veggies, I am providing a big salad and some chocolate fondue with fruit for dipping. I am also making a pineapple orange punch, and I have never made it before. I'm nervous. I wanted something sort of fun that the kids and grownups could drink, but more special than just sodas.
Here is the punch recipe: (My own invention!!)
1 bag of frozen pineapple tidbits
1 (12 oz) can of frozen orange juice concentrate
(1) 2 liter of lemon lime soda
1 46 oz can of pineapple juice
A long time ago, when my husband and I were still pre-kids, we drove out into the countryside near Gainesville looking for this mythical flea market that was supposed to be amazing. We had some of our friends with us and the drive took us through gorgeous rolling green countryside, past horse farms and ranch homes. We even saw a single lonely and jet-black alpaca on the way, just grazing and gazing out at the road. We all squealed and pointed but my husband (the driver) had missed him we urged him to turn back to go and see the little, llama? I am never sure which animal is which, llamas and alpacas, I mean it could have been a "Push-Me-Pull-You" for all I knew, but still an amazing thing to see randomly on a lonely country road. But by the time we turned around and went back, whatever animal it was, it had gone! We all looked around in every direction to see where it had gotten to, but we never saw it again. My husband looked at us all as if we had pulled some sort of elaborate llama prank, but of course we all insisted we HAD seen it, right there on that patch of grass. There was not so much as a tree or a shrub for the thing to hide behind, so all I can assume is that alpaca-llama-yous are incredibly fast and it had beat feet to its house.
When we finally reached our destination there was a flea market of sorts, but really it looked more like a run-down farm with vendors in the old horse stalls of an ancient barn. Still, we HAD driven all this way, so we all piled out to look around. Almost immediately I saw it, jumbled among some chipped coffee mugs, and some battered tin ware; a glass punch bowl and about a dozen mismatched punch cups. I knew I had to have it. Still I played it cool, circling around, picking up stained and scarred ash trays, turning over ceramic plates. I finally asked the vendor how much he wanted for "that old punch bowl"? He named me a price and I wrinkled my nose and asked, "Is that with the cups too?" He affirmed. I nodded and walked away. I cornered my new husband away from the vendors. Hubby looked sad, probably still wishing he had seen the llama thing. I demanded that he give me $20 for the punchbowl and cups. He looked at me patiently and started to object, but I hastily informed him that we needed this punch bowl. He questioned me about the last time I had either prepared or consumed punch. I explained that I would OF COURSE make punch if only I had a punch bowl to serve it in. OBVIOUSLY! I mean what woman of 23 doesn't need her very own PUNCH BOWL and besides he had not heard the BEST PART! This punch bowl looked EXACTLY like my mother's punch bowl that she had received at a wedding shower a mere quarter of a century before. This punch bowl was filled with historic significance and it was OBVIOUSLY fate that had brought us here a'purpose to purchase this EXACT punchbowl. The llama-paca had surely been a sign, a portent of things to come. Punch to come.
I got the punch bowl.
I think I made punch once before we moved 4 years later. I carefully packed the punch bowl away, wrapping it in newspaper and bubble wrap and tape. I have since moved it 3 more times in as many years since we arrived here in the Keys. Today when I unwrapped it, I couldn't find a date on the paper, but Lindsay Lohan was ALL over the headlines... for her fabulous role in "Mean Girls". Poor Lilo. Anyhow, making punch tonight. Thinking about my Mom. Wondering where I will be in say, another 7 years?