Hello folks! The weekend’s rolling around again (hurrah! hurrah!) and I thought I’d take a minute to share something fabulous that you can do with your friends. Sometimes the best ideas are hatched from the most mundane of weekday work conversations while we hammer away on our keyboards counting down the minutes till the clock tells us we can call it a day. Thought I’d put it out there that is was Miss Fooxy who first dreamed up this brilliant idea to have Sundaes on Sunday to celebrate the weekend, to celebrate friends, and to celebrate one of the most wondrous creations since the invention of the refrigerator: The Ice Cream Sundae.
So let me let you in on a shameful little secret I’ve been holding near and dear for sometime – it’s okay to have people over and get them to do all the work. Now I know this runs contrary to any etiquette 101 class you’ve ever taken, and the ladies brought up in the school of Southern hospitality are likely to shun me forever – but let’s be honest here, it’s hard to host and have a good time at the same time. Am I right? Or am I right? (I’m right. You really don’t have an option with this one)
If you’ve ever hosted anything – even a small dinner for four – you’ll know exactly what I’m talking about. You’re busy hustlin’ in the kitchen trying to make the chicken happen, when you know you should be hustlin’ upstairs to get your hair up and your makeup on. It just isn’t easy to get it all done in time and any affair requires planning of military precision! Now multiply the number of courses, and then multiply the number of guests, and you’ve pretty much got a full scale military operation going on.
Which is why those of you who are in the habit of hosting, are going to go delirious with delight over this party idea: The Ice Cream Buffet (where guests BYOIA – that’s pronounced “bee-whyy-ohh-I-eh,” kinda has a nice ring to it – bring your own ice cream & accompaniments) where they are encouraged to Make Your Own Sundae!
A perennial favourite of children everywhere, the ice cream sundae has the amazing ability to bring out the child in all of us – no matter how jaded or cynical we’ve become since leaving the cozy confines of school days and hitting the 9-5 (or 6 or 7 or 8 or 9…) So as you can imagine, the humble fete had an overwhelming amount of attendees all ever so eager to satisfy that craving for something sweet on a sweltering Sunday afternoon.
Perennial favourite of habitual hosts: The Ice Cream Sundae Buffet where guests get to BUILD THE ICE CREAM SUNDAE OF THEIR WILDEST FANTASIES and stuff themselves to surfeited collapse (a sure fire way to get a stomach ache – but it’s all worth it). All the hostess needs to do is (1) provide the venue (2) provide the basic building blocks and (3) provide some good old fashioned grace & hospitality.
Your guests will do the rest.
Now you see the magic in this no? Your guests bring a wide variety of ice cream to add to your own basic building blocks of vanilla and chocolate (you have to provide something), some of them even bring some toppings to go along, and the best part is they put it together all on their own! Genius isn’t it? The only thing you’ll have left to do is clean up – now I didn’t say this was a miracle (the dishwasher – now that’s a miracle), this is just a little magic to make hosting that much easier.
And if you’re as blessed as I am, your friends will come bearing the most UH-MAZING of baked goods and other bits of culinary magic to liven up the table and fill those eager empty stomachs. This time round, we were treated to Drea’s incredible homemade caramel on crack and Fooxy’s oh-so-addictive apple raisin crumble – both of which went wonderfully with the main stay of the day: The Ice Cream Sundae. Other favourites for the afternoon included: Nutella from Island Creamery, Lychee Martini from The Daily Scoop, and Potong! (Just to throw a little old school into the mix) The durian flavour proved to be a crowd favourite.
And as you’ll soon see as you scroll down the page, many were most happy that day :)
And honestly, it’s a ton of fun for your grown up guests to get the chance to DIY their own ice cream sundaes. It’s great to be able to play with flavours and try out different combinations. People can get really competitive about it! I saw some really daring (read: crazy) creations on Sunday – J in particular was a real big fan of making them as outrageous as possible :) But even the most insane ones tasted pretty damn good because hey, it’s ice cream after all!
A free form buffet like this (you’ll want to set things up on a long table) is also a great way to get people moving around, mixing with different people and it’s an easy way for folks who don’t quite know each other to get to know each other better in a relatively relaxed, informal atmosphere (vs. a sit down dinner which can be tricky if your guests don’t quite get along). I highly recommend this set up if you’re trying to bring together different groups of people (old friends, new friends, colleagues and more) on your birthday or some other big occasion, it goes easy on the ones that come alone.
With a party like this, there’s no need for the host to huff, puff or fuss in the kitchen. Everything was ready to roll in less than 45 minutes, and you’ll have plenty of time to get dressed and tressed and generally make pretty. A rarity for me – I normally look like a frazzled chicken by the time the meal is on the table which is just about the time when guests start to arrive.
Bonus fact: the accompaniments that go into an ice cream sundae buffet look so cheerful, pleasant and bright – there’s hardly a need for decorations or doodads. My helpers even asked if I was hosting a kid’s birthday party because everything looked so colourful!
All in all it was greedy gluttons galore on that rather wonderful Sunday afternoon, everyone had a really good time and I was spared the frazzled-chicken-fate. I suppose I’m lucky in that I have a good group of friends who are willing to spend hours of their weekend over a shared love for food. Just chilling and chatting and stuffing our faces :)
So all hail Miss Fooxy who first thought up the sweetest way to spend a Sunday!
And here’s what you’ll need for your very own sundae buffet (preferably held on Sunday so you can keep the awesome event name).
-The basic trio – chocolate, vanilla and strawberry (trust your guests to bring the rest)
-Accompaniments in assorted shapes, sizes, colours, flavours and textures
(I’m thinking wafers, whipped cream, chocolate sauce, caramel, marshmellows, gummybears, crushed up walnuts and kitkat, maltesers, fresh summer berries, chocolate chips, and lots and lots of crazy colourful sprinkles) – all this is obviously designed to give your guests a crazy sugar high to make them incredibly happy and nice to be around.
-Paper cups and plastic spoons (if you’re too lazy to do the dishes)
Other tips and tricks? Try your best to scrounge up every piece of colourful china you have at home – I even used some of the teacups I keep in my room for decorating purposes (wash them first!) If you have some spare ribbon lying around, tie bows around the jars and stick fresh flowers in decorative bowls (or a teapot!) to add girlish charm. And don’t forget you’ll need a large ice bucket or bowl filled to the brim with ice to keep the ice cream cool! Melted ice cream does not a good party make.