Holiday Tablesettings!
Showing Off!

How about a "Survivor" Party?!

Yes, once upon a time I actually gave interviews like this one!

More ideas for your Survivor’ party

Wednesday, August 16, 2000


We asked two professional party planners, Don Pushinsky of All the Rage Unlimited in Cleveland, and Beth Schreibman-Gehring of Schreibman Jewelers in Pepper Pike, to think big and give us their ideas for a fabulous "Survivor" watching party.

From the invitation to the party favors, here are ways to put your guests in an adventuresome mood.

Funky fun

Pushinsky’s party begins with guests receiving hand-delivered invitations on handmade paper stuffed inside a coconut. Tribal percussion group, live tropical birds and a sign made of bamboo and pulled skins welcome guests.

Each guest receives a shell necklace attached to a tag with space for 20 signatures. Guests will have to get all 20 spaces signed by a party guest to be eligible for a prize. A few guests will have "eliminator tags"; those people will confiscate other people’s tags and knock them out of the game.

Name tags are in two different colors to denote tribes. At various times, tribes send a representative forward to compete in activities such as bobbing for "shrunken heads" or coconut rolling.

A 24-inch volcano can light up to call the group to order for dessert. Camouflage netting and vines suspended from the ceiling can help create a rustic jungle look. Palm trees with real fronds and moss accent areas of the room.

An elaborate evening

Schreibman-Gehring felt the food should be simple and flavorful and the decor provocative.

Invitations: Start with the invitation, a construction-paper leaf stamped with bugs and then handwritten. Hand deliver each invitation rolled up in a old wine bottle. Tie the leaf invitation with raffia so that it slips out easily. (Another option is to go to any Pier 1 or World Market and get Japanese paper lanterns and write the invite on those.)

Atmosphere: The decor would be really simple. Go camp style with lots of muslin fabric (tea-stained to look grimy) draped over chairs and sofas.

For lighting, use luminarias made by filling paper bags with sand and a votive candle. She usually punches out designs on the bags with a nail or paper punch or cuts with an Exacto blade.

Make candleholders out of fruit, simply by hollowing out enough space for the candle.

For tablecloths, buy yardage of some funky snake print or animal skin fabric. Wet it, let it dry in a wrinkled heap and then shred the ends.

Make a centerpiece out of a piece of driftwood - any old tree branch will do - and some shells and candles for the buffet table. Add color by sprinkling pieces of sea glass available at craft stores.

Food and drink: Start with pina coladas or fruit daiquiri. Serve with skewered chunks of fresh fruit and cheese for an appetizer, as well as pieces of walnut chicken deep-fried and sprinkled with coconut, with a sweet pepper and mustard dip.

For fun, serve finger food for the main course. Dinner would be a simple curried shrimp with all of the normal accompaniments - raisins, peanuts, chopped coconut, sliced kiwi fruit, lime slices, banana and some assorted chutneys. Add a bowl of buttered couscous with chopped fresh mint.

Wash a head of romaine lettuce and separate it into individual leaves, (reminiscent of banana leaves) and have each guest place a scoop of couscous, curry and whatever garnishes they wish onto it, roll it up and enjoy.

A side salad of chopped avocado, sweet red pepper, cucumber and onion with a simple yogurt dressing would be excellent.

Dessert would be a wonderful fruit sorbet with a cookie on the side.

Thai iced tea also would be great with this meal, and also some sort of great beer, perhaps Singha from Thailand, or Taj Mahal from India or Fosters Lager from Australia.

Souvenirs: No party would be complete without a little favor for guests to take home. How about a shell with a sea-blue votive candle and a deck of cards to fill the evening hours on the island?

©2000 THE PLAIN DEALER. Used with permission.


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