Written by Lori Higginbotham
Megaphone Op/Ed Editor
I do not cook. I do not like cutting things up, stirring ingredients, baking things and then poking at them with little metal sticks to see if they are hot enough. (Paula Deen is always doing that with her cakes.) Cooking does not make me happy—it makes me rather frustrated. Two things make me much happier than cooking, however. These are eating and parties.
Because of my dislike of cooking, my favorite party foods are going to consist of things that generally come pre-made. This is because, on the one hand, if I am hosting the party, there will be no making of cute little miniature pies and chocolate-covered things and tiny sandwiches. On the other hand, if someone else is hosting and does care to make those tiny little pies, I have no idea what they are or how to make them, I just eat them. And no, I don’t really appreciate the work that went into making them for longer than it takes me to chew them.
1. 7-Up Punch. The best party food ever isn’t really a food—it’s the punch. Punch is necessary on multiple accounts. It’s that infamous liquid courage, it’s usually tasty, but most of all, it gives you something to do with your hands without having to constantly shovel food in your piehole. That said, punch needs to be bubbly. I don’t care what else you choose to put in it, alcoholic or no, but you need to add 7-Up. End of story.
2. Hostess Chocolate Cupcakes. A ridiculously wonderful and no-preparation required party food. You just unwrap, stack and go. Plus Hostess Cupcakes are a fantastic conversation starter. People will laugh and ponder how they haven’t seen a Hostess Cupcake since kindergarten snack time. Or those snobby people will lament about what kind of a person serves Hostess at a party. So tacky. If you’re one of those, this list isn’t going to get any better for you, and you probably should have stopped reading at the byline.
3. Kraft Macaroni and Cheese. Possibly the best food in existence. With the addition of a huge bowl of Mac and Cheese to your punch and cupcakes, you’ve got a meal. And it’s so easy to make, even I can do it. Yes, even I can boil water and stir.
4. Black olives. Now, I don’t know if these are actually a popular party food, but they are an ever-present guest at all my family gatherings. They are delicious and easy to eat, and all you have to do is open a can. We Higginbotham kids don’t get chocolate and oranges in our stockings at Christmas—we get cans of black olives.
5. Green olives. Slightly classier than its East Texas black olive cousin, the green olive is another great conversation starter. I have no idea why, perhaps it is because of their strange color and distinctly bitter taste, but everyone has very strong opinions about green olives. No one feels neutrally—they either love them or hate them.
Now I suggest putting all these delicacies out on the table at once, unless you’re having a dinner party.
Dinner parties and party-parties are completely and utterly different, and at a party-party, it’s perfectly acceptable to eat your Hostess Cupcake before your Mac and Cheese.