Mad Men premiere – multigenerational prep and party (Nope, no spoilers!)

I love Sundays, my girlfriends, great food, tasty cocktails, scandalous chatter and the lusciously deceptive Don Draper.

The season 4 premiere of Mad Men has come and gone, and I’m still thinking about it.

I have this awesome group of girlfriends who I hang out with every Sunday night. We’ve been doing this since 2004. We started off as a group of six, but now we are down to our group of four, multigenerational (3 boomers and 1 gen-xer), fun-loving, adventurous, and fast-moving women.

In July 2007, when I was home alone, exhausted with a new baby, and practically brain-dead, I stumbled uponAMC’s new show, Mad Men. Talk about a quick pick me up – Don Draper and all his glorious badness. The glamour, parties, historical references, and brilliant writing… Oh yes, this was my kind of show!

"Kanesha" going to work at Sterling Cooper

Fast forward to July 2008. I had been yapping and yapping to my Sunday night crew about Mad Men all year-long, and they were not hearing me. (Heck, I had been yapping about Mad Men to anyone who would listen! I wanted to get everybody hooked!)

My girlfriends wanted to stick with the show that got our Sunday-evening rendezvous started in the first place, Desperate Housewives. I knew I had to be strategic if I was going to assist them in going gaga over Mad Men. I invited them over, provided good food, lots of great wine and made them watch, on DVD, the first two episodes of season 1. They were hooked – and now here we are in 2010 – still hooked. I’ve even “Mad Men” myself.

This summer, we all had the homework of re-watching season 3 before July 25. Some episodes we watched together, but we mostly followed the honor code of Mad Men devotion and expected we’d all be current with previous happenings and major incidents.

From my multigenerational lens, the episode from season 3 that got me extra emotional, and kind of enraged was Episode 2: Love Among the Ruins.

Recap (and I really wish I could find video clip):

When Don arrives home, Betty says William has given her two options: Put Gene in a home or have Judy care for him. Don pulls William aside and delivers an ultimatum. William will support his father financially, and Gene will live with Don and Betty. Gene’s house will remain untouched. William acquiesces. “So the animals are running the zoo,” Gene remarks after learning his fate.

Uhm…this is not the way I think making multigenerational living arrangements should go down. Living with family members or having them live with you is complicated and can be stressful if you do not handle it well. A lot of things have to be negotiated and the more you talk about things in the beginning, the better the transition will be. You may also find out multigenerational living will not work for your situation, and that’s OK too.

I do not have siblings, but I’ve watched and listened to my hubby have some interesting conversations with his siblings about our multigenerational situation. It all came down to some miscommunication and folks not being in the loop. As grown ups, we do want to be in charge of ourselves, but when people feel left out, clear thinking goes right out the door. People cannot be forced to agree with a multigenerational living set-up, but talking things out, utilizing resources, and perhaps having a mediator is a step in the right direction.

Back to the season 4 party:

My mother-in-law made this awesome and reversible apron!

I’ve mentioned before, I dabble in domesticity and I really meant that – dabble. I can cook, no problem, but my fine cuisine mostly comes from recipes, and I’m not ashamed to admit it. I also like to look the part when I’m cooking, so I wear my “couture” aprons (hand-sewn and designed by my mother-in-law) along with my pearls. Yes, I’m channeling my inner Julia.

My mother-in-law knows and understands how important my Sunday nights out are, and she usually asks me what food item(s) I plan to take  and offers assistance as needed. Yes, I’m super lucky!

I have to confess, I bought this bag of Utz while I was traveling on the east coast. They did not last until the premiere. 😦

So instead – I was in charge of the dessert, olives, and party favors for this year’s Mad Men premiere.

I made lime-infused coconut pound cake, which is a favorite  in our multigenerational household. (Sorry, mother-in-law, I know you are cutting back on sugar. I should be too!)

The recipe is in the Holiday Baking – Better Homes and Gardens Special Interest Publications – 2007. Let me know if you want the recipe. 🙂

When I’m making desserts, I need to fully concentrate. I’ve been known to leave out an ingredient, or two, if I become distracted.

Hubby and my mother-in-law did a great job keeping the 3 year-old-occupied while I baked, and they would also do an ingredient roll call.

I thought it was an excellent idea (and super cute) to make mini-bundt cakes so that everyone could have their own, but they turned out horribly. (Nope, I did not take a picture of that disaster!)

Oh well!

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What the ladies and I feasted on:

  • Champagne
  • Olives
  • Almonds
  • Smoked salmon
  • Salad
  • Cherry salsa (with various types of chips)
  • Lime-infused coconut pound cake

The evening was grand and we ate too much. I’ve watched Episode 1: Public Relations three times already. (What? I’m still on vacation. Thank you, TiVo!) I’m looking forward to episode 2/season 4 this coming Sunday, and hanging with my great girlfriends.

I’ll let you know what I cook up with this week. And based on how the mini-cakes turned out, I may be cooking side-by-side with my mother-in-law. There’s nothing wrong with a little supervision!


3 responses to this post.

  1. Posted by Vicki on July 29, 2010 at 12:28 pm

    Love your description of our Sunday night gatherings! Can’t wait to watch the next episode of Mad Men.


  2. […] are for family fun and girls’ night out. The bonus for this Sunday is that the primetime Emmy awards will be on. I have to confess, I love […]


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