Fight Party Like a Rockstar
If you haven’t heard, I am the biggest, girliest mixed martial arts fan out there– I’m bored by boxing and other so called "contact sports". Mattie says I have a bloodlust. I say, Why yes I do. This weekend is one of the craziest, most anticipated fight in UFC history: Jackson vs. Griffin. *sigh* I get starry eyed just thinking about it. (FYI, my mom says I need to have estrogen shots as she is convinced I have none in my body LOL)
I’m typically working when the fights are on, but when I’m not– Captain America and I are partying like rockstars…in the comfort of our own home with friends. Throwing a fight party for guys– especially Captain America’s guys, has been a different kind of animal. This isn’t your garden variety cocktail party, and it ain’t your mama’s bridge club, but like any good gathering– food and atmosphere takes precedence.
Plan your menu– When Captain America threw his little "get together", let me tell you what we had: chips, beer and popcorn. As a foodie, that made me cringe. He insisted that men don’t care about all "that stuff" (mind you, the fair Capt. has not missed a meal since like 4th grade). We had fun, but people were hungry. And when people get hungry….people will start leaving. If you make a food run during a UFC fight, you may as well not have paid your money for it. Some of the best knock outs and submissions (aka "taps") have happened in less than a minute into the first round. You could order pizza, but come on– it’s Saturday. It’s going to be gross. So when the Captain decided to hand over the reins, I sat down that week and thought about what would be good, quick and "man-friendly". Liquor. Beef. Some Chicken. Absolutely no greens. Or water. (That’s for sissies).
Throughout the week, Captain America and I debated about what would work and placed bets on who would be the victor. He still insisted that my plans were to froo froo. But, the twist was we were now expecting 2-3 times more people than usual– up to about 35 people. Plus I was his wife. So I had to make an impression, and I was a wedding planner! People expect stuff out of you when you entertain. Our guest list were friends and colleagues from several government agencies that come from all over the world. We needed something diverse, but not intimidating. And it had to be easy– because I still had to cook, tend to a baby and chase my two year old around. But it also had to be filling– almost all of Captain America’s friends are fighters and train with him. Some would even be coming from training. And you must feed the beast.
Pick 3-5 things you believe you can master– make it fabulous and fun. The variety will be good for people’s palates (but be sure to get something that is not going to compete too badly, as these men will dump everything onto their plates). Remember the pairing principles, as well. Balance your texture and flavor. Add alcohol. See happy people.
Start the party early— Rock out to some music while you cook. It will get you in the mood. About 20 min prior to show time, get your drinks ready (clean glasses, cut or prepare garnishes, blend, shake or whatever it is you do). Remember these are guys– they’re not going to care…. and they won’t be seen drinking out of your frilly glasses. So put out your galvanized tub (because you’re stylish like that), fill it with ice and and stick your beers out. Put the tub on its stand; this will save you counter space and from loading up your refrigerator.
Put your siggy (every event needs one…this one too, just a little more covertly) in a disposable cup. Again, don’t make it frilly, and don’t make anything too pink. This is a fight party, not a tea party. Rum Runners are good, so are frozen daiquiris and margaritas. However, you can get creative– peach is a great hit here, I’m sure you can think of something. If you’re heavy handed at the bar like me, prepared to have people sleep over.
Congregate in the kitchen– When people arrive they will automatically come to the kitchen. Even though we tell the guys not to bring anything, they still bring their choice of beer and/or food (typically something their wives have made). Start handing out your drinks, get out your cold hors d’oeuvres and let everyone mingle. The best fights don’t start until the night goes on, but still give yourself about an hour before start time. As the early fights proceed on, phase in your hot tapas.
We’ve had some of our best fight party moments in our kitchen. If you have an island or a spare table that is nearby use that for your food and drinks so that people won’t have to go too far out of range of the TV. Again, if you blink at a UFC fight, you’ll miss it.
Thanks to Cocktail Food, we had the Uno Mas Quesadillas, and the Turk ‘n Roll with Mole-Sour Cream Dipping Sauce with frozen melon and pineapple margaritas, fresh salsa (The Turk ‘n Rolls disappeared so quickly, I watched part of the fight from the kitchen because everyone wanted more). Also brought in the Rockin’ Reuben, Smoked Salmon Bonbons, and my favorite Oink! Everyone loves dipping sauce and finger foods, so it’s less pretentious. The highballs were a great hit.
So now, everyone wants to get the fight at our house! Get comfortable, be prepared to eat, and let’s watch someone get their butts kicked. Good wholesome entertainment.