One of the highlights (there are so many) of our Fabulous Fun Days (that’s what we nicknamed our fun-tivities) was when I arranged for a petting zoo to be brought into my house. I did an online search using terms like “petting party” — that reminded me of high school, so I quickly changed my search terms. I tried zoo (makes sense), pets, animal demonstrations and a couple of other keywords. Didn’t take me too long until I came upon JungleJill.com.
When I called Jungle Jill to reserve her for the party, she commented that she’d never done an event for adults before, that it would be fun and different. She promised to bring some of her more unusual pets. One thing I insisted on – no scorpions; we have enough of those around here naturally!
Go for drama
I had Jill show up around 4 p.m., before my gals did. I closed off the view to the yard so the ladies couldn’t see the setup. Very important note here: you MUST have hors d’oeuvres, wine and soft drinks to kick off the festivities. I didn’t want any low-blood-sugar attacks.
Once Jungle Jill was ready, I swept open the curtains, like you see at the theater. To everyone’s surprise, there was a whole zoo on the deck. We spent the next 1.5 hours learning about each animal, petting and sometimes holding the menagerie. Though, I admit, not many of us wanted to hold the snakes.
I had prepared a dinner to fit the theme. I tend to get into a theme in a big way. I served an entirely “wild” animal dinner. We started dinner with alligator bread, turtle soup and “lamb tongue” salad, then progressed to ewe blue soufflé accompanied by antelope, buffalo and alligator sausages. I made my favorite truffle and cherries sauce for the sausages. We finished with a dessert of ice cream (OK, it’s not wild, but it did come from a cow!).
I admit, this is a lot more work than we usually put into one of these parties, but then, like I said, I tend to get into it. We each chipped in $50; we had five gals that night. That’s less than sushi and a martini where we live. And what you get with the martini is just the turkey – sometimes.
Have some fun with your fun-tivities. If you have some fun ideas or activities send me an email or post it here. We’re always looking for the next fun thing to do together. Linda
Easy recipes from the party
Find a cheese soufflé on foodtv.com or Martha Stewart or anywhere. Substitute ewe (female sheep) cheese for whatever cheese the recipe calls for. You could use any blue cheese, but then it would lose its cachet. I use goat and sheep cheeses because I’m allergic to cow dairy (except when it comes in the form of ice cream).
Lamb Tongue Salad
Lamb tongue is actually a soft and delicate lettuce shaped like a little tongue, hence the name. Use a light salad dressing. Drizzle a little olive oil, some white balsamic vinegar (find it at Trader Joe’s) and a fresh herb.
Truffle and Cherries Sauce
This sauce is easy enough to make. You can use truffle oil or truffle salt in the sauce. Get a can of black cherries in light low-sugar juice. Use a blender to puree them. In a sauce pan, combine the cherries and truffle product. I personally prefer truffle oil and butter. Or butter, olive oil and truffle salt. Add chicken or turkey broth concentrate. Cook until the sauce clings to the back of a spoon. It could take awhile. Keep the flame low and check it regularly. Better put a timer on if you are anything like me; I tend to wander and forget the stove.
Note: The concentrate can be purchased at Trader Joe’s (where else, they’re good for at least 80 percent of the ingredients I use to cook). If you don’t have concentrate, use canned or boxed broth and reduce it to about 1/4, then proceed with the recipe.
Meat Course: Wild Sausage – antelope, buffalo and alligator
Any unusual sausage or even turkey and chicken work. I didn’t hand-make these. Fortunately, at the time we had a local butcher who could order them for me. If you’re interested, do a Google search or go to igourmet.com for what you want; they always have unusual products that fit almost any exotic or daily menu.