Friday, April 13, 2012

Death and Taxes Party!

Taxes are due in a few days, and what better way to celebrate the hassle associated with tax season than to host a themed party!  Hence...A Death and Taxes Party!

Invite:  Create a fake refund check made out to each of your guests.  Give party details on the back & let them know they have to attend the party in order to get this year's tax refund!  The text on my invite read:

 April 15th is coming soon...
but we're moving tax day up a few days
and "Turbo"ing into Tax Day with a
"Death and Taxes Party!"
All your hard work can be "taxing", so come hang out 
with the girls and relax for a few hours.  
"IOU" a great dinner & then maybe
you'll "return" next time!

Decor: You could do a red, white and blue color scheme for a regular tax day party, but I chose green and black to play up the "money" and "death" theme of the evening.  As guest's entered, I set up tombstones like a cemetery.  Use funny money related epitaphs like "Owen Moore", "Bill M. Lader", "Will B. Owen", and "M.T. Wallet".

My table was set with newspaper instead of a tablecloth.  The newspaper was a mixture of Wall Street Journal pages and obituaries to play up both sides of the theme.  For the centerpiece, I borrowed a white piggy bank from a friend and set up a Turbo Tax box next to it. I scattered chocolate gold coins and fanned dollar bills around the table.  If I were to host this theme again, I would add a mini gravestone in the middle as well.  Another thought would be to create a small money tree spray painted black like death.  You could dangle the fanned bills and gold coins from it like ornaments.  I also taped 1040 Tax forms and funeral forms to the walls.  The tax ones are free from the Post Office.  You can find sample funeral records free online.

For my place card, I printed off million dollar bills from an image I found on the Internet.  I then found a facial photo of each guest and cut/glued it over the President's face.

Menu: I had a hard time deciding what to serve for this party, but I eventually decided on a foods that I could relate to the "Boston Tea Party" idea.  I served a Boston clam chowder, "tea" sandwiches, Boston Baked Beans, and finished the meal with a Boston Cream Pie.

Crockpot Boston Clam Chowder

4 potatoes, peeled and cut into ½ inch chunks
1 large onion, chopped
1 (8 ounce) can chopped clams, drained
3 large celery stalks, chopped
3 cloves of garlic, minced
1 cup clam juice
1 teaspoon fresh thyme
¼ teaspoon pepper
1 quart half-and-half cream
2 tablespoons fresh parsley, chopped
2 tablespoons of butter

First saut√© the celery, onions, and garlic with butter in a skillet.  Add all ingredients into the crockpot and pour in the sauted mixture.  Stir the ingredients around and cook on low for 8 hours for a very delicious New English clam chowder. 

Boston Cream Pie

Cake Ingredients:
1¼ cup sugar
¾ cup (1½ sticks) unsalted butter
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
2 large eggs
2 cups cake flour (not self-rising)
2½ teaspoons double-acting baking powder
½ teaspoon salt
¾ cup milk

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Butter and flour a 9½ inch springform baking pan.  Combine the butter, sugar, and vanilla in a bowl.  Cream together using an electric mixer until the mixture is light and fluffy.  Beat the eggs in thoroughly one at a time.  In a separate bowl, sift together the flour, baking powder, and salt.  Combine with the first mixture and milk.  Pour batter into the prepared pan. Bake in the middle of the oven for 50-60 minutes, or until a toothpick comes out clean.  Remove from oven and let the cake cool in the pan on a rack.

Custard Ingredients:
1/3 cup sugar
3 tablespoons cornstarch
1 cup milk
3 large eggs
½ cup heavy cream
¼ teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
3 tablespoons unsalted butter

Combine the cornstarch, sugar, milk, eggs, cream, vanilla extract, and salt in a saucepan.  Bring the custard to a boil over moderate heat, whisking constantly.  Continuing to whisk, let the custard boil for two minutes.  Remove from heat, and whisk in the butter.  Set custard aside to cook, continuing to which occasionally.

Glaze Ingredients:
6 ounces bittersweet chocolate (not unsweetened)
3 tablespoons water
2 tablespoons unsalted butter
1 ½ tablespoons light corn syrup
¼ teaspoon salt

In a double boiler, melt together the chocolate, water, butter, corn syrup, and salt stirring until smooth.  Remove top of double boiler from heat.

Putting it Together:
Remove the cake from the pan and cut it in half horizontally with a long serrated knife.  Place one half of the cake on a plate. Top with custard.  Place the other half of the cake on top.  Coat the top of the cake with glaze allowing it to drip down the sides.

This cookie photo is not my photo.  I did not take a photo of the cookie from my party

Favor:  I baked foot shaped cookies with beige icing and wrapped them in a cellophane bag.  I cut the cookie a little bit near the big toe before baking so that I would have a place to tie the tag from the morgue. I found the tag online and just added the name, date, cause of death, and parting message.  A bit of a morbid ending to the evening, but super fun!!

Hope your taxes don't cause you stress as the deadline approaches. Of course, if they a Death & Taxes party to bring in some fun!


Kira Horvath said...

Every one of your parties is more clever than the last one. I don't know how you do it! Wonderful.

Fernanda said...

Your parties are fantastic and so amusing!
I've made your Boston cream pie and it is delicious, my kids loved it.
Thanks for sharing.