“What rock have you been living under?”
That was the only thing that came to mind when I informed Boomer of my day of Yoncé. He said to me “Who's Yoncé?”
I caught him up on everything Beyoncé. Things that he should have known about. Her unexpected album drop, the music videos, the Superbowl performance of Formation. For good measure, I threw in the birth of Blue Ivy.
That's when he looks at me like I'm an idiot. He says to me, “Of course I know about that.” Was I just supposed to assume that. He didn't even know that Beyoncé had made the world stop on December 13 in 2013. If she'd paused our rotation any longer, we all would have died. That's how cataclysmic this album release was, and yet he knew who Blue Ivy was? That's a shade, shady.
It dawned on me that he probably didn't even understand the invitations. They were printed on a black lacquer paper, and in a soft pastel pink was inscribed Yoncé. On the back date, time, information was all spaced like song titles with the symbol for Parkwood Entertainment under all of it. He didn't know I'd just made my invitations resemble Beyoncé's album.
This day was a momentous day of celebration for me. It was going to be a day of style and sophistication all in honor of Queen Bey.
My basic plan was that of a dignified tea party without the tea (We must remember the invitees are college students who can only handle Starbucks coffee). Mind, you I had sweet tea, but the big drink of choice was the Pink
Kiwi Lemonade I made. It was lovingly brewed by me the day before and it was perfect.
I also made an assorted array of baked goods: German Chocolate Cake, Rose Water Meringues, Strawberry Cream Cheese Tea Sandwiches, and Dark Chocolate Brownies. I learned my lesson from my Christmas gathering I had last year. You might make real good food, but if it's not American sounding people are not going to drift to it. They ate all of my boxed brownies, but barely touched my sables (A type of French butter cookie).
The actual viewing of Beyoncé and Lemonade went well. The Asians got very uncomfortable during the videos for “Blow” and “Partition”. There was a lot of looking down, side to side, where's the bathroom? But, I just had to tell them. This is Beyoncé's body. Embrace it, enjoy it, fear it. It's Beyoncé.
Really the only time I had to set the rules down was when it was over and my guests started comparing the videos, saying which ones were there favorites. I said (and I quote) “Now, look here you bitches. Everything Beyoncé does is perfect. Every video is upper stratosphere. There will be no comparing, because they are all on the same level. Discussion. Over.”
Pink Kiwi Lemonade
8 cups of water
2 cups of lemon juice
1 cup of cranberry juice
2 cups of sugar
2 kiwis (Peeled and cut into slices)
Mix together the water, lemon juice, cranberry juice, and sugar in a large container. Stir thoroughly until all the sugar is dissolved. Put all kiwi slices in container and serve when chilled.
Rose Water Meringues
3 Egg Whites
¾ Cup of Sugar
Preheat the oven to 250 Degrees
With an electric mixer, beat the egg whites until soft peaks form. Beat in the sugar gradually until stiff peaks form and mixture looks glossy.
Line two cookie sheets with parchment paper.
Pipe or spoon the mixture onto the cookie sheets and bake for 1 hour. The meringues should be slightly tanned on the bottom when there done. Cool them on wire racks.
2/3 Cup of Cream
1 Pint of Fresh Strawberries (Hulled)
2 Teaspoons of Powdered Sugar
2 Teaspoons of Rose Water*
With an electric mixer whip the cream until stiff peaks form. In a food processor, puree the strawberries, the powdered sugar, and rose water. Then mix it together with the whipped cream.
When the meringues are cool enough put the topping on spoon the mixture on top of the meringues.
*Rose Water is a type of extract you can find at a place like Whole Foods. If you don't know of a place where you can buy it or do not want to spend the money on it, you can substitute it with an type of extract you see fit (Vanilla, Almond, Cherry, etc.)
Strawberry Cream Cheese Sandwiches
1 loaf of white bread
1 small package of Strawberry Cream Cheese (Philadelphia Cream Cheese works well)
Cut, the crusts off of all bread (Discard the ends). Then cut them in half diagonally (You should have traingles when you cut them). When all the bread has been cut assembled by putting strawberry cream cheese in the middle.
2 sticks of butter
8 ounces of bittersweet chocolate (Chopped)
1 ¼ cup of flour
1 teaspoon of baking powder
½ teaspoon of salt
2 cups of sugar
4 large eggs
2 teaspoons of vanilla extract
¼ cup of tea leaves (Any kind will do, but they should be finely chopped)
Preheat oven to 350 Degrees
Line a nine inch baking pan with parchment paper, but still greasing the sides with cooking spray.
Melt the butter and chocolate in a medium heat proof bowl over a saucepan of simmering water, or in the microwave stirring occasionally, until smooth. If you are doing this on a stove, a double boiler is required. But, one way to fashion a homemade one is to get one of your smaller pots out, and then to find a small metal bowl that does NOT touch the bottom of the pan. You fill the pot up with water and when you put the metal bowl in, it should not touch the water. Then, you proceed as normal while cooking.
In a small bowl put flour, baking powder, and salt together.
Whisk sugar, eggs, and the vanilla extract in a bowl, then pour in the chocolate mixture, whisking until combined. Then, mix in the flour mixture and tea leaves.
Pour it into the baking pan and bake for 35 to 40 minutes. It should have started to pull away from the pan and the top might be shiny.
Cool the brownies and then invert them onto a cutting board where you will remove the parchment paper and cut the brownies into squares.
German Chocolate Cake
½ cup of cocoa powder
1 ½ cups of flour
1 teaspoon of baking soda
½ teaspoon of baking powder
¼ teaspoon of salt
1 ¼ of boiling water
4 ounces of chopped chocolate (Sweetened or unsweetened the kind of chocolate is up to you)
1 teaspoon of instant coffee
10 tablespoon of softened butter
1 ½ cups of packed brown sugar
½ cup of sour cream
1 teaspoon of vanilla
Preheat oven to 350 degrees
Grease two 9 inch round cake pans and the line the bottoms with parchment paper. Make sure to grease the sides well.
Put the flour, baking soda, baking powder and salt together.
In another bowl whisk the boiling water, chocolate, ½ cup of cocoa powder, and instant coffee together until smooth.
In a mixer beat the butter and sugar together until light and fluffy (About 3-6 minutes). Beats in eggs one at a time. Then beat in sour cream and vanilla.
Reduce speed and beat in a third of the flour mixture, then a half of the chocolate mixture. Alternating until it has all been mixed in.
Pour the batter evenly between the two pans, then bake for 15 to 20 minutes. Make sure a toothpick comes out clean.
Let the cakes cool for 10 minutes before running a knife around the edge of the cakes and flipping them onto the wire racks.
Let cakes cool for two hours before frosting.
3 egg yolks
1 cup of evaporated milk
1 cup of sugar
4 tablespoons of butter
A pinch of salt
1 ½ cups of shredded coconut
¾ cups of choppped pecans (Toasted is preferred)
Cook the egg yolks, evaporated milk, sugar, butter, and salt together in a saucepan over medium high heat, whisking constantly, until mixture is boiling. This should take 6 minutes.
Transfer the mixture into another bowl and mix in coconut. Let the mixture cool slightly and then cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least two hours. Stir in the pecans just before you assemble the cake.
Put the first cake on the cake plate and spread half of the mixture over the cake. Then place the second cake on top of the first one and pour the rest of the mixture on top of that. You do not use any of the filling on the side. That is what makes this cake easy to decorate.