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Big Birthdays: The Party Planner Celebrates Life's Milestones    by David Tutera order for
Big Birthdays
by David Tutera
Order:  USA  Can
Bulfinch, 2006 (2006)

Read an Excerpt

* * *   Reviewed by Mary Ann Smyth

The back cover of this lovely new book tells us that 'Entertaining expert David Tutera, Host of Party Planner on the Discovery Home Channel, offers practical tips and advice for throwing memorable birthday parties for all ages.'

Those words should be enough to send you scrambling to obtain a copy of this colorful and inspiring guide to throwing the very best parties possible. If not, consider this: the new and engaging ideas are enough to get saliva flowing, enthusiasm switching to high gear, ears tuning in to wonderful sounds, and eyes preparing to behold the wonders of a perfect party. Enticing odors of fine food cooked to perfection and fragrances of abundant and colorful flowers wafting past appreciative nostrils should give your party the ambience of the year. As well as leaving a lasting impression on your guest of honor and on your lucky guests who hope they will remain on your permanent party list.

Why give a birthday party for a one-year old who won't understand the whole thing anyway? David Tutera feels 'that the basic ceremony of the first party is as important as anything else – like a ribbon-cutting ceremony for all the years of great birthdays to come.' And what a ceremony! Everything about the party is soft and pleasing to the eye with plenty of pink and white balloons to set the mood.

The Menu? Organic Yogurt and Fruit Baby Food, Teething Biscuits, Homemade Applesauce, Raspberry Sorbet, Herbal Iced Tea and Vanilla Cupcakes with Pink Frosting. And don't forget to have baby changing stations with plenty of fresh smelling wipes and lotions and powders.

On to the other end of the spectrum – a 100th Birthday! Provide lots of black and white photos of the centenarian, plus vestiges of the honored guest's vocation, avocation, hobbies and collections. Floral breads and dried-bean votives could grace the table along with personalized photo-menu cards.

The menu? Seared Sea Scallops over Baby Spinach with Crème Fraiche and Sweet Chili Dressing, Baby Arugula with Warm Mushroom and Tomato Vinaigrette, Roasted Cod with Citrus Relish and Grilled Asparagus, Chocolate Polenta Cake and Roasted Strawberries with Sweet Cream and Vegetable Basket Cake. Wow! A meal fit for royalty.

From babyhood to the much more mature adult and the years in between, the right party for your birthday VIP can be found. Remember these are ideas that can be expanded upon or scaled back to create the most perfect party you have ever given.

One small drawback is the absence of recipes for the luscious foods suggested. Otherwise, Big Birthdays is a wonderful resource book that should make you the Pearl Mesta of your family and circle of friends.

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