Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Coronado Island Pirates Board the HMS Obsessed for a Halloween Sail

Ahoy, Mateys! Welcome to a recap of our 4th Annual Halloween Party. Last year's Villains on Trial theme was pretty amazing, but this year is going to be a tough act to follow. John spent endless hours researching, designing, and creating the pirate ship set, props, invitations, and our costumes. He added so many amazing artistic details. Although I bitched and moaned quite a bit during the process, I am so proud of my talented man. I talked him into leaving everything as is for another week or two, so we can enjoy it a bit longer and continue to chuckle at the aaarrrggghhs as people walk or ride by the house...


Legend be told, when the leaves begin to fall and a chill grips the air, in these parts, there be a ship only seen from a misty distance. The misfortunate who glimpsed her sails say she flies a banner of infamous pirate, Captain Juan Carlos Rodriguez Dominguez Christiania de Coronado. Ruthless, cutthroat privateer, bearing a Letter of Mark signed by the Queen of Spain herself. His ship, HMS Obsessed, sails the straights off Coronado, looking to pillage and plunder in the name of the Queen.

I heard tell from an old salty mariner, claims to have seen her late one hallowed eve. Overwhelming greed took hold the Captain and crew, as a shark to its prey. The Captain plotted course to steal the trident of Poseidon, Lord of the Sea. Slipping silently through the trade winds to the edge of the earth. Catching the deity in a dead calm of the doldrums, relieving him of his treasured trident.

Infuriated, the god whipped the seas into mountains of froth, a squall unlike any witnessed by man. He summonsed from the briny abyss the Kraken, so he could inflict bitter and merciless revenge. The crew fought valiantly to the last, an epic battle to save their ship and souls. As all weathered sailors know, their struggles were to be in vain. Victoriously, the monster sent ship, crew, and all, to the icy depths of Davey Jones’ Locker. Vengeful, the god damned all souls aboard to sail the water beyond the shores of Coronado for eternity.

In late October, when a frosty bluster blows a bitter mist from the sea, it pay you well to listen for the sounds of men on deck bringing canons to the ready. For Captain Juan Carlos Rodriguez Dominguez Christiania de Coronado and his crew of the damned come. An eternity of tortuous unsatisfied greed their compass. Enslaving those unsuspecting sailors to his eternally cursed crew, take what he may for their plunder.


The Captain, building the helm

The Captain, tying the rigging

Jumpin' Jenny

Pirate Party Invitation and Treasure Map

Awaiting the Arrival of the Crew
(Photo by Bob Younger)


As the crew arrived, we offered Spiced Apple Martinis, made with 10 Cane Rum, Apple Cider, and Amaretto de Saronna.  Of course, the bar was stocked with wine, and several crew members contributed special bottles of wine, vodka and single malt scotch whisky.

Spiced Apple Martini

We had a bountiful selection of gruel, including Carmen's Keelhaul Mini Pork Tacos, Bradley's Creamy Hot Crab Dip (from White on Rice Couple), Bob's Ceviche, Mary's Meatloaf, assorted Jerky, Cheese, Bread, Crackers, Spreads, Dips and Chips, and Finger and Rat Cookies.

Chris & Julie came aboard with lovely Charcuterie Platters


Chilled Shrimp with Remoulade worked well with the theme
 Mexican White Jumbo Prawns bathed in a mayonnaise, mustard and horseradish Creole sauce 

Shrimp Remoulade, John Besh's My New Orleans

Siren Nina graciously offered her Ahi Poke we all loved so much at one of our Concerts in the Park

Ahi Poke on Crispy Won-Tons

Essential to any pirate party is a big pot of Chicken and Smoked Sausage Gumbo.  After visiting New Orleans, hosting the Daring Cooks' Gumbo Challenge, and sampling several gumbos, I highly recommend this one from John Besh.  It can be made a day or two in advance, and warmed up just before the party.

Drew's Smoked Sausage and Chicken Gumbo
John Besh's
My New Orleans

Kai's Beef, Bean and Vegetable Chili helped keep us warm on the high seas

Pirate Chili

For dessert, I prepared tartlet versions of Bobby Flay's Throwdown Pumpkin Pie and Saveur magazine's Chocolate Caramel Tart.  I've blogged about these in the past, and they are two of my most visited posts.

Pumpkin Pie with Cinnamon Crunch and Bourbon-Maple Whipped Cream
Bobby Flay's Throwdown

Chocolate Caramel Tartlets


Captain Juan Carlos Rodriguez Dominguez Christiania de Coronado
Lord Master of Pirates, King of the Seas

Mary Read and her Salty Dog, Dooley
(Photo courtesy of Bob Younger)

The Honorable Scurvy Dog
(Photo courtesy of Bob Younger)

(Photo by Bob Younger)

Hillari, Nina and Julie
(Photo by Bob Younger)

Julie and Chris
(Photo by Bob Younger)

(Photo by Bob Younger)

The Captain, Ginger and Ken
(Photo by Bob Younger)

(Photo by Bob Younger)

Sandra and Bob

Pammy and Bradley
(Photo by Bob Younger)

(Photo by Bob Younger)

Peter and Julie
(Photo by Bob Younger)

Mike and Ruth Ann
(Photo courtesy of Bob Younger)


Treasure Hunt for the Urchins
(Photo by Bob Younger)

The Captain accepts Brad's challenge to
'Errol Flynn Swing' through the party
(Photo by Bob Younger)

The wreck of the HMS Obsessed
(Photo courtesy of Bob Younger)

The Morning After


Nina said...

Wow, what a devilishly delectable production, looking forward to trying some of the delicious recipes. That shrimp was better than a full pirate's booty!

Carmen said...

John and Denise are the party wizards!

Mom said...

You and John are so clever! Very impressive. Everyone was so creative with their costumes and it looked like an extremely delightful party. Great success and certainly deserving with all the work you both put into this extraordinary event. Sorry I missed all the fun. Maybe next year. . . Looking forward to your gumbo and Kai's yummy chili for my home therapy!


Anonymous said...

I can't wait to see the movie!

Kim said...

Denise and John: WOW. That is a serious party. It reminds me of a bi- annual Pirate Party I attended once in San Clemente. That party was such a hit (and the decorations were so remarkable) that people came by every night like it was a Disneyland display.

Also - I book-marked the pie to try later. :)


Ingrid said...

Hooray! I mean " Argh"! I'm so glad the house is getting and giving so much love!

Sandra Younger said...

Thanks so much for including us in your fabulous affair. What an amazing evening. Never knew pirates had so much fun and ate so well! Bravo!

Simply Tia said...

This looks like loads of fun!!!!