Make-and-Take Coozies

It's not a party until the glue guns come out.

A couple of weeks ago, I held a bacon and beer party – Baconalia!, if you would.  It was amazing.  I’m not sure if anyone else had as much fun as I did, but it was by far my favorite party that I have ever thrown.  The only one that comes close was a joint-bachelorette party for some college friends.  The main bonus of Baconalia! over that one was that since this was my party, it was void of invitations of obligation – meaning I liked everyone in attendance.  Man, oh man, it sure was great.  The rumor is that it’s “too soon” for me to hold another, but I sure am already planning it; there’s going to be a piggyata!* 

I feel like I need to insert a caveat here that bacon is neither the most flexible nor the ultimate party food, and works best at a smaller gathering.  Twelve to twenty guests would be ideal; over twenty-five would probably be too many.  (One could have multiple parties though – that’s my plan.)  Additionally, guests should arrive around the same time, as this is food/beverage with a party, versus the inverse.  We started with a little pre-mingle (with beverages) while I finished things up and people arrived.  Cooking the bacon is very hands-on (and I used oven, stove, and microwave) and well, takes forever – with the additional challenge that some things really need to be kept warm.  It’s also a party that sort of kills the budget pretty quickly.  Eh, I’ve been working a lot of overtime lately and this seemed like a good usage of those dollars.  I told people not to bring anything, although some people ignored me.  I am going to go with that for  Baconalia!2! and ask guests to bring supplemental beer that we like to drink.  (Some beers really need the bacon to be good.)


In addition to bacon and beer being delicious and that I did an A++, stand-up, totally amazing, and completely awesome job with the pairings, my guests were also a complimentary group.  I, um, also sort of offered a “make and take” craft option.  I mean, who doesn’t like to take home something other than a hangover?  Also, I think it is a true friend who says, “Hey, here’s some beer.  The hot glue guns are over in that corner.”  We made coozies, each of which was unique.  It was hilarious and fun plus practical – unique cozies make it easy to remember which beer belongs to which guest.  Seriously, I don’t know as though I’ll be able to have another party without at least offering a craft opportunity.  I fear I might have created an expectation, but at least it’s an awesome one.

For Baconalia!, I offered twelve bacon options, each matched with a complimentary beer.  The recipes were all low-key and minimal, to let the bacon really be the star.  I also offered a number of straight-up bacons.  (That number is five.)  I owe a lot to the beer folks where I buy my beer.  They gave me great suggestions and then I involved some of my favorite beers.  Again, we did a great job.  The bacon dipped in dark chocolate (that I described here instead of health care) was one of the offerings. 

I am pretty deep into the planning of Baconalia!2!.  While working on that, I am going to share the bacons (and beers) on here that were a part of the original.  When I was researching options and ideas, I found the internet to be kind of lacking.  Still do.  This was really hard for me, as the internet loves both bacon and beer and I am used to it readily providing me with a wealth of information.  This is a large pothole in the information superhighway which I aim to fill.  While my first Baconalia! post was more of a “just because” thing, subsequent ones will be posted in the middle of the week.  I don’t know about you, but there are few things that carry me better to Friday than bacon and beer. 



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