The Party Girl Cookbook
by Nina Lesowitz and Lara Morris Starr
Published by Conari Press
336 pages, 1999
Buy it online
Party Grrrlz Handbook
Reviewed by Monica Stark
There is a certain one of my friends who (I won't mention any names, but she knows who she is) is not allowed to peek at The Party Girl Cookbook. In fact, with any luck at all, she won't even know it exists. (So I'll review quietly.) All of this evasion is to save myself and others among our mutual friends from the surefire embarrassment and perhaps even discomfort that will follow if she ever gets wind of this chunky volume. I'm hiding the book as I write.
An indoor beach party with a generous shake of island spice is a great way to get in out of the cold. Don't let the nip in the air keep you from having a sun-splashed bash. With the Party Girl's creative tips and twists, you can create a tropical paradise right in your own living room.
Decorating tips for this particular party include covering the floors and tables with "bright, colorful beach towels," and "replace and augment your current table and chairs with folding beach chairs and lawn furniture." There's more -- a lot more -- but you get the idea.
While it's very nice of you to bring a homemade dish to a party, you're not doing anyone any favors by showing up with a casserole in a nasty-looking baking pan or without the proper serving utensils. If you're bringing a store-bought salad or some other pre-fab delicacy, stop at home on your way to the party and empty it into one of your own bowls, and bring along a serving spoon. It's simply too un-chic to just rip the lid off a plastic deli tub and plop it down on a buffet table, no matter how casual the party is!
A little like Miss Manners for the new Millennium, The Party Girl Cookbook is a delight if you're in the right headspace. The authors have their patter down and their themes well organized. Now who's making the pina colada? | November 1999
MONICA STARK is a Vancouver-based freelance writer and editor.