Sunday, November 15, 2009

Big Goddamn Steak Night!

My favorite holiday of the year is one I made up: Big Goddamn Steak and Bucketful of Whiskey Night—or just Big Goddamn Steak Night for short. It's an annual dinner party of food movie proportions: my own little Big Night.

Originally a thirtieth birthday party for my best friend, this decade-long tradition has become a night of big songs, big toasts, big personalities, and big steaks. Not all the steaks are made of beef; vegetarians and carnivores alike sit down at the big table. Not everyone drinks the whiskey sours that flow like tap water from the big pitcher. Literal adherence to the theme is not as important as the spirit of friendship, epicureanism, and ribald snarkiness. That's the true meaning of Big Goddamn Steak Night.

BGDSN is BYOM—bring your own meat. As guests arrive, they pile their steaks on the kitchen counter. When everyone is present, I grill the steaks to order. People who request their steaks cooked more than medium are teased.

If there's anything more fun than the meal that follows, I don't know what it is. The traditional side dishes are passed around and devoured. We sporadically interrupt our conversation to sing something from the Big Goddamn Steak Night songbook, which tends to grow ever year as new songs are invented or introduced from elsewhere.

Dessert is the time to begin calling friends and family in different time zones. Often these individuals are eating big steaks, too. We sing songs and exchange congratulations. (My parents get a call earlier in the day warning them to turn off their phone before going to bed.)

After dinner, we usually compose haikus or listen to a dramatic reading. That sounds so literary, doesn't it? Except the haikus are all about steak and whiskey, and the readings are from young adult novels of questionable moral value. Or maybe we dance to the cheesy funk music playing on the stereo.

When the last guest has departed and all is quiet except the ringing in my ears, I look at my debauched table and smile. I am so thankful for my friends and for the fun we've had. I am the luckiest big goddamn steak in the world.

Big Goddamn Menu
I invite you to hold your own BGDSN whenever you're up for a big party. Mine is the Saturday closest to November 15.
Bucket of Whiskey Sours
Bring Your Own Meat
Big Goddamn Salad
Five (expletive deleted) Pounds of Mashed Potatoes
A Tiramisú as Big as You

The whiskey sours are made with Canadian whiskey and Sunkist Sparkling Lemonade in a 1:1 ratio. I know. We don't pull any punches on BGDSN.

The salad is always romaine lettuce with balsamic vinaigrette. This year it included sunflower seeds and some red pear slices that had been macerated briefly in lemon juice.

Yes, the potatoes have a crass title that I will not repeat here. They are Yukon Golds scrubbed well, sliced up with their skins on, and boiled. Then I mash them with butter, sour cream, sea salt, freshly ground black pepper, olive oil, and two heads of roasted garlic. Mmm-hmm. We save the goofing around for the dinner table.

I make the tiramisú with chocolate cake instead of the conventional ladyfingers. It's so good, makes you want to call your mom. Unless she's sitting right next to you, as mine is some years. Then it makes us both want to call Grandma.



  1. Cool idea! I want a unique holiday now!

  2. Crystal, please DO start your own holiday. It's like the saying about planting a tree: The best time to do it is twenty years ago. The second best time is now.

  3. Oh...we were soooo sad to miss BGDSN this year. It truly is the best holiday of the whole year. So happy to read about it on your blog. you are a wonderful friend Amy!

  4. All of my friends come back to town for Christmas, so I was absolutely throwing my own BGSN on Saturday after Christmas...Thanks for spreading this idea.

  5. Yay, H! More steaks = more better. I hope you and your friends have a merry one.


Thanks for your comments - nothing scatological, please. If you wouldn't bring it in the kitchen, please don't say it here.