Our tween girls birthday party turned out to be the biggest success. Instead of having a crowd of tweens at her party, our daughter, Pia, decided to have a fun sleepover. We invited five other girls for after dinner fun and games. A tween is often overwhelmed by large groups especially in her own home. It can become difficult for her to give each friend sufficient attention. We aimed for an equal amount of girls so that each girl would have a partner.
While brainstorming with Pia about her party, I gave Pia a choice. To either have a more elaborate dinner party or an after dinner sleepover. We discussed whom to invite without making the other girls in her class feel left out. She invited her two cousins who are close to her age and three other neighborhood friends. Tweens are likely to have two sets of friends - school friends and home chums. Sometimes even a girl in her class can be her home friend while in school they may barely acknowledge each other’s existence. Snacks were in abundance and Pia checked with her guests earlier to make sure there were no allergy issues with any of the girls.
The latest craze in adult get together is the Pickling Party. There is more than one method of making pickles. I have been successfully making pickles for my family lately using an extremely easy recipe. I generally buy the Sunset sweet pickling cucumbers at Costco. Two of these packs were plenty for the six participants.
I purchased small small mason jars from Michaels with either a 40& or 50% off coupon so the price was quite economical. Rice vinegar, water, salt, sugar and pickling spices were the basics for the pickles. Fresh garlic and thinly sliced onion are always in my pickles. All you do is rinse the jars to begin your pickling adventure. In a large pot, add equal amounts of water and rice vinegar - enough to fill the jars. Then add equal amounts of salt and sugar according to taste. After the mixture boils pour the water over the pickles to cover completely. If not using the garlic and onions close jar snugly. Otherwise, place the thinly sliced onion and fresh garlic clove on top of the pickles before closing.
As soon as the jars are cooled slightly immediately refrigerate them. This is the distinction between our pickles and actual canning which requires sterilization of the jars. As long as the jars are promptly refrigerated there is no need for any additional preparation. How about some pretty labels for the girls to decorate with their personal signature? Inexpensive colored twine is a wonderful finishing touch for the jars.
What was fun for the girls at Pia’s party was picking their pickles, trying to figure out the best way to get the most pickles into the jars and deciding on their individual ingredients. Additional ingredients could be most veggies and additional spices. Pia’s pickle party group stuck with the ingredients mentioned previously.
Once we put the pickles to “bed”, the girls went to Pia’s room to get ready for slumberland. They couldn’t wait for the morning to examine their pickle creations. Some of them could not resist a taste of their delectable, healthy creations. It doesn’t take more than a day or two to get half sours and additional couple of days for sours. Each girl went home with their own original pickled creation. Oh, and I almost forgot to tell you about the door prize we gave the girls. Tween girls love to dress alike. I was lucky to find an adorable tee on sale on for under $10.
After breakfast, we gave out colorful strips of paper with these words, “ Peter Piper picked a peck of pickled peppers. A peck of pickled peppers Peter Piper picked. If Peter Piper picked a peck of pickled peppers”. ( the old fashioned tongue twister). The girls went home giggling as they tried again and again to articulate the complicated phrase. My daughter was so thankful and happy with her party and I felt content that the tweens were able to enjoy such wholesome, old-fashioned fun.