Y’all know that I love any excuse for a party, and surprise parties are my favorite to throw because the excitement is just contagious! Everyone is in on the secret leading up the to the day, and the big reveal—if you don’t spill the beans—is never a disappointment. So when I got wind of something called a “gender reveal party,” where parents-to-be gather their friends and family to find out if they’re having a boy or a girl, I was just chompin’ at the bit for another pregnancy to grace my family.
Luckily, I didn’t have to wait long. As soon as my niece Corrie announced that she was pregnant with her first child, I asked if I could throw her such a party at my house. Being a girl after my own heart, she was more than willing to let me.
A Menu to Die for
It was so much fun to plan, y’all. Corrie and I have a lot in common—we’re as close as any aunt and niece could be. And we both know what we want. Corrie wanted a very formal, sit-down dinner party with about 20 of her closest friends and family members. She wanted the table set with good silver and fine China. And I wanted to give her the moon, so I was happy to make her wishes come true.
It was important for us both to be able to enjoy the evening and savor the moment, so I hired Susan Mason, a special friend and talented caterer here in Savannah, to handle the upscale menu that included incredible beef tenderloin, creamed spinach and loaded potato gratin. Sometimes even a control freak like me knows when to hand over the reigns, y’all.
It’s All the Details
But I definitely had a hay-day with the rest of the details. Just short of repainting the house, the pink-and-blue theme was reflected in every favor, decoration and delectable bite. It was super easy. I bought rock candy, M&Ms and macarons, added food coloring to lemonade and made a batch of melt-in-your-mouth homemade marshmallows. We even had cutouts of mustaches and lips glued to wooden rods I bought at a craft store to hold up to our faces. We had a blast posing for pictures with them!
To bring everyone in on the fun, I asked the guests to show up in the color representin’ whether they thought the baby was a boy or a girl. Against all odds, I wore pink. The men couldn’t commit; Bubba wore a pink and plaid shirt, while my assistant, Brandon, opted for seersucker pants and a pink shirt.
The Secret’s in the Cake
“You can’t have it both ways!” I teased. (Truth is, they just hate being wrong.)
For the reveal, we thought about stuffing pink or blue helium balloons into a big, wrapped box and when it was opened, they’d come flying out. Or we considered having a piñata filled with pink or blue candy that we’d have beat the secret out of. But Corrie and I decided that the baby’s gender would be hidden in the cake. When she cut into it, it would either be pink or blue.
Even though I really wanted to make my niece a special cake, doing so would’ve meant that I’d know the secret before anyone else. That couldn’t happen. I would’ve just died trying to keep that secret to myself! So instead we asked our friend Cheryl Day, who owns and operates Back in the Day Bakery along with her sweet husband Griff, to handle the cake—and the secret keeping.
The day of the ultrasound, Corrie and her husband Brian had the nurse seal the result in an envelope and have it delivered to Cheryl.
Mum’s the Word
I was like a little kid on Christmas morning when the party finally arrived. We were supposed to sit down and enjoy the meal, but I just couldn’t take it. I must’ve been drivin’ everyone crazy, because Corrie finally gave up and said, “Okay, let’s cut the cake!” before dinner even started.
When Corrie and Brian cut through the cake’s white butter cream icing, my teeth nearly fell out of my head—the cake was as blue as blue could be! Everyone squealed in surprise, but no one more than me because I would’ve bet every penny I had that my niece was carrying a girl!
We welcomed Sullivan Rooks into the world on December 15, 2012, but the celebration really started when we discovered that our family was going to be blessed with yet another little boy. But I’m not hanging up my pink shirt just yet.
Dear, Paula Deen
Well I think you are the most amazing person, you are my role model if they took you off from the set I would of died inside your the best cook and I can't waite to see you again
Alexis Conner in Summer Salad Days on December 04, 2013 at 4:59 pm
Paula, I used to watch your show on Food Network a lot when I still had the TV and cable many year ago. You weren't even that big a star back then. I always love watching you cook on Youtube after I ditched my TV and cable and read your recipes on Food Network Magazines. I hope one day you can return to Food Network and the Food Network Magazine. I stop buying the magazine since you were gone.
Orindary Jane in Love at Last on December 04, 2013 at 2:32 am
Great blog Cindy!!!! I always enjoy reading your post. This Thanksgiving centerpiece is absolutely beautiful and so easy to make.
Ann in A Perfectly Easy Thanksgiving Centerpiece on December 03, 2013 at 8:10 pm
Paula, made your Zucchini Custard Casserole for Thanksgiving and it was Fantastic!!! Thank you so much! Love you & your family. Happy holidays!
Pat Walker in Love at Last on December 02, 2013 at 8:45 pm