Tag off-roading

Bring Your Mum to Work Day: A Parties That Cook Holiday Entertaining Event Recap

We’re excited to bring you this Friday event recap from a new POV! Here, Event Manager, Christina Turner recounts her unique experience at Parties That Cook’s recent Holiday Entertaining class. Enjoy!

Growing up in Palo Alto, I have several memories of my mom, Esther, taking me into her office at Hewlett-Packard when I was in Elementary School. It was a chance for me to see what exactly my mom did between dropping my brother and I off at school in the morning and picking us up from our French tutoring sessions in the late afternoon. To be honest, I’m still not sure what she did. I do know there wasn’t a playground at her office and the only “art supplies” were presentation marker pens and recycled paper. Meh.

The cafeteria was far more interesting – filled with men in navy suits, women in shoulder pads and pumps. There were unrecognizable dishes nestled in chaffing dishes, steaming and simmering. No pizza or spaghetti for these folks. I also remember how no one stood on the benches, tuna sandwich in hand, shouting at a fellow classmate. There was no running, jumping or squeals of delight when someone traded a Fruit Roll-up for Capri Sun. Nevertheless, I knew it was important for me to be there. I was introduced to many people and my mom spoke highly of my accomplishments. Years later, I am pleased to say that I got to bring my mom to work for and show her off to my colleagues!

I took her to one of our classes – Holiday Entertaining. It felt great to be a guest rather than the planner, and more importantly, to be able to show off my company to my mom. She loved how organized, bright and happy we all are. She really got into the cooking demonstration and soaked up the suggestions for making your appetizer platter more appealing – create height by piling prosciutto slices in a mountain of beauty. Add a pop of color by placing whole seasonal fruits such as pomegranates, persimmons and pears on the platter. Sprinkle some Marcona almonds or dried fruit for texture. You get the idea.

When it came time to prepare our Seared Turkey Breast with Bay Laurel Sauce, we dove right in. We teamed up with a couple with the same sense of humor, bravado and passion for food as ourselves. I’m proud to say we were the loudest team in the bunch (thankyouverymuch)! It was like we were at home in our own kitchens. I learned so much about cooking from my mom over the years – picking up her enthusiasm for spices, tendency to not fuss with exact measurements, and yes, a bit of bossiness towards other non-cooking types who want to help but are really just underfoot.

About half way through the cooking, I realized that none of us had read the recipe completely! I tried in vain to halt the cooking so that we could re-group, assess, and make a plan. Instead, I was told “Hush, this is home cooking!” and “Now pour all those raisins in that sauce!” Well there you have it – the key components of cooking are confidence, adventure and laughter. Our turkey came out great! We’ve even planned to re-create the dish for the family at Christmas. Above is a photo of my mom with our finished platter. We named that bird Frank, and Frank was perfect … just like Esther.