Katie’s Senior Recital

Katie’s Senior Recital

Of course, I have to write about my oldest daughter’s senior recital.  Since I was never a music major, I wasn’t aware of senior recitals and what they involved.

When my daughter sent out an announcement with the date of her senior recital and announced appetizers were being served,  I asked, “Is the school providing appetizers?”  Her response, “No, you are!”

I wasn’t sure what I was going to make until the day before my flight was scheduled.  I pondered how fancy I wanted to be and my time constraints.  Besides, I didn’t know whether or not I was feeding 25 or 60 people. It was all up in the air, and I’ll chalk it up to the great amount of communication my adult daughters give me.

The night before my flight, I scribbled down a list.  It seemed simple enough:  vegetable platter, fruit platter, cocktail meatballs, stuffed mushrooms, hummus, chocolate covered strawberries, and cheese and crackers.  Katie had requested a special bar with chocolate in it, and I added that to the list.  The list took about five minutes to put together.  I was set.  I was sure I was an appetizer genius.

Now, those that truly know me know that I’d come up with 100 dessert recipes before I’d have a list of ten appetizers.  I was so proud of myself for nailing this in five minutes flat.  I wrote down my supplies because I knew I had to hit the store when I was off the plane.

Little did I know that list would turn into a heck of a lot of work that I wasn’t expecting.

My mother picked me up from the airport, and we quickly shopped for the items on the list.  I had limited time to work with, so I knew everything needed to be purchased that night.

I don’t know where to begin here.  The following morning I started off making the cocktail meatballs and quadrupled the recipe.  The recipe I used was: Cocktail Meatballs

I refrigerated the meatballs, and made a beloved recipe given to us by a family friend who has since passed away.  I made three batches of this recipe by request of Katie.  They are dessert bars with chocolate chips in them.  No problem!

I continued on with stuffed mushrooms, quadrupled THAT recipe, and realized I had way more stuffing for the mushrooms than mushrooms.  Furthermore, the recipe multiplied called for 8 cups of butter which I knew was overkill.  I eliminated 5 cups of the butter, and added various spices to the mix to get the recipe to where I wanted it.  It just wasn’t that great, so I had to fiddle with it to get it to where I wanted it.  There was so much stuffing for the mushrooms, that I ended up using mushrooms I planned on cleverly using for the vegetable tray.

I dipped strawberries into chocolate, and let them cool.  I drizzled white chocolate over the tops that evening.
Onward…thankfully, my mother stepped in to create the veggie platter while I pulled out a dinosaur food processor that my mother took on after my grandmother passed away.

Within seconds, the machine quit working.  I found a mini processor that required holding a button down the entire time. As I held the button for 20 minutes at a time with small quantities of chick peas, I realized I could’ve just bought hummus with less effort.

I tried blending it.  I stuck it in a mixing bowl. I finally got the hummus to a point where it could legitimately qualify as hummus.

Entirely worn out, I quit for the day.  The following morning, trying to move was difficult. I had two cups of coffee, and psyched myself into continuing work.

My mother’s refrigerator wouldn’t hold the food, so I had to place a lot of the fruit in her cottage refrigerator. I went over to the cottage and saw a huge bird flapping it’s wings when I entered. I was sure it was an attacking kind of bird. I just knew I was in danger.

I quickly left the cottage. I called my brother-in-law and asked him how a big bird might have gotten into the cottage. I figured since he had done some work on it, he might know. “Is it a turkey?” he asked. “I don’t think it’s a turkey,” I said. Well, there must be some way to blame him for that bird being there. Somehow, that bird had an invitation in, but I just wasn’t sure what it was yet.

I went back to the house and had my father come with me to look at this bird.

We carefully went into the cottage, and the big vicious bird appeared:
duck1Sure, he looks all cute now, but don’t let this guy fool you. I had every right to be scared.  We shooed him out to safety, but the fact that he was there to begin with was perplexing. How did he get in? What attracted him there?

I had to let the duck thought go.  I needed to focus.  I needed to get back to work. I had the fruit platter to make. I wanted to make some kind of centerpiece, and saw a young man at Sam’s club cut little flowers out of strawberries. I thought it would be fun to make strawberry roses and carefully cut the strawberries I had leftover from the chocolate dipped strawberries. I sliced down each side without slicing through, cut a little bit of the middle part down, and placed a blackberry inside with a toothpick. Then, I stuck the strawberries into the core leftover from a pineapple I had cut up. After placing it into the center of a tray, I placed various fruit around it.

fruittrayA purchased cake picked out by her grandmother was added to the menu. After a 9-1-1 call was placed for my father, a quick and crazy ride to the college by a generous gentleman led to organized chaos as two of my sisters and a brother-in-law whipped into action to get everything I threw together laid out, and this was the end result:
tablesettingI conclude that we work well under pressure.
Three minutes later after we were done setting up, we were blessed with this:

Yes, that’s my daughter.  Visions of 21 years passed, and I knew all the right things had happened to get her to this point today.  All the effort of everything made this moment worth it.
katierecitalThat’s Katie on the right with one of her friends at the reception.

A parade of college “kids” helped with the cleanup and loading items into the car. My sisters, brother-in-law, and I went back to my parents house afterward. As we sat down discussing the day and evening, my brother-in-law’s phone rings with a ringtone that said, “QUACK! QUACK! QUACK! QUACK!”


My father patiently waited for some leftover cocktail meatballs. The following day, he had another helping while his dog, Max, waited patiently…positioning himself for the chance that opportunity might arise for some leftover leftovers.


Related posts

8 thoughts on “Katie’s Senior Recital

  1. Donna,

    I knew that your reception for Katie would be successful, whether or not you think you can do appetizers… you did! I know this trip was bittersweet and now, seeing a photo of your dad, I am even more emotionally invested in your circle of life! I’m always there for you my friend, but you did an excellent job for Katie! XO’s!

    1. Donna

      I need to get over that appetizer hump! I think I did that…just now. 😉

  2. Perri Pender

    Donna, You did a fabulous job , it turned out perfect! That’s no surprise to me ! Seeing the photo of your Dad is just erie to me, he reminds me of my Father who I lost 45 years ago when I was just a kid. I had to look at it numerous times. We are connected! You did a fantastic job and you must be so proud of Katie, she has great talent. You also my friend have a great knack at writing, keep up the good work! HUGS

  3. Donna, Donna, Donna….what an awesome story. The Duck cracked me up totally. The food looks delicious…Eating with your eyes first, I felt you were very successful. I’m sure it all tasted great as well. I loved the video of Katie singing. She is so darn talented…amazing. You are blessed. Loved the photo of your dad and the meatballs and the duck as well. You hit a home run with this one girl. Thanks for making me feel as if I were right there with you. Wonderful.

  4. *WOW*! What a great voice Katie has and most excellent job you did in pulling off the lovely array of appetizers, Donna! That danged duck. Your writing skills are excellent! This was a very fun and interesting read, (and great photos!). WTG girl!

  5. gini

    Loved the story, the food and the recital! Blessings to all the Turners.

  6. I had to come back and listen again. Brandon, even though he is just 3, had me play it over again and was totally mesmerized by her angelic voice. Yes, visions of her 21 years flashed for you, and now she is sharing her talent and joy with the rest of the world. I know you are so proud.

Leave a Reply to Sandi Cancel reply