Our stuff did indeed arrive on the 19th. I spent an hour or two checking off each thing the movers brought in from the list, telling them where to put it, and feeling guilty for having a two-story house each time that thing needed to go upstairs. I suppose I'm going to have to get over my guilt about having other people move my stuff at some point, because it's going to be a reoccurring event in our lives. After the last move, in which we had lots of stuff broken or damaged, I did go ahead and wrap our glassware myself and put books I especially didn't want to get wet into Ziploc bags. (That confused our packers because why would I think books would ever get wet? Experience.) Between that, all of our wedding presents still being wrapped and boxed, and a better job on the part of our packers, we had not one item damaged in this move. The movers here took everything out of the boxes so they could take the boxes and packing paper with them, which was super-helpful and also a good incentive to put everything away. Boxes are so much easier to stack up and ignore than your individual items in a pile on the floor.
In order to further motivate ourselves to finish everything quickly (and, let's face it, to give us an excuse to use all of the fun new kitchen stuff we got as wedding presents) we decided to have a housewarming party eight days after our shipment arrived. GO!
We worked all day Saturday and a lot of Sunday and really got the bulk of it done. The office/yoga studio remains a mess in part because we're supposed to be getting a bed or futon that friends in the barracks don't have space for, so we're waiting on that to get it organized. And partly because those boxes need going through and that's going to be time-consuming. (The movers do not dump out a box full of paperwork and small items in order to take it, thankfully.)
As it turned out, we only ended up giving one tour of the house, to Pierre who was our roommate in Pensacola and has already seen all of our stuff and that we're not especially neat freaks. We did have a good turnout though. Over twenty people, including a lot of kids, which highlighted for us how not kid-proofed we are and that we have nothing fun for children here. Fortunately, it was nice out and the neighbors who came to the party have a little playground and some outdoor toys that they shared with all of the kids.
We may have gone a teensy bit overboard on food. As one does. When one is us. By far, the biggest hit of the party was Raj's samosas and mint chutney. Because he is old school and uses recipes from books, I cannot link to the recipe, but I can tell you that it came from The Complete Asian Cookbook, which Raj highly recommends. (I haven't used it myself, but can highly recommend getting someone else to cook the things in it for you.) After the samosas, the first thing gone were these mini pizzas, which I added to my list of things to make after realizing that we had a lot of kids coming and they might not be so into lemon-basil hummus or mojito shrimp.
I also realized that my plan to make Bailey's Irish Cream cupcakes was probably not appropriate. So I decided on s'mores cupcakes. I made chocolate cupcakes from a box mix and then this marshmallow buttercream, then put graham cracker crumbs on top. Except the frosting looked too sticky to me so I put in a teensy bit of milk. Then I saw my frosting running down the sides of the cupcakes and added more powdered sugar, but still, they were a bit of a sticky mess. Nobody seemed to mind though. The problem came in when one kid didn't realize that the silicone cupcake liners weren't mean to be thrown away until he was on his fourth or fifth cupcake. We fished a few out of the trash and recycling, one is lost, and I assume he had a real hard time getting to sleep last night. Though he did cut back on sugar by only eating the tops off the cupcakes before tossing the liner and cupcake stump.
Honestly, I prefered these oatmeal lemon bars. The recipe as written calls for a bag of oatmeal cookie mix, plus a few more ingredients. Apparently, people in the comments asked for a from scratch recipe, so one was added. I might have done from scratch if this was the only thing I was making, but obviously that wasn't the case, so I used the bagged mix and they turned out great. The lemon flavor was pretty subtle, at least by my standards. I used an 8x8 Pyrex pan and mine turned out much taller than the ones pictured, so even cut into 16 bars, they were pretty substantial.
Additionally, Raj made dumplings and meatballs, also from the Asian cookbook and sangria, which was so good that nobody touched any of the beer or wine that we bought or the beer or wine that guests brought. We're currently extremely well stocked for beer and wine. And I made Greek spinach dip (which has been a big hit in the past, but nobody really ate last night and I can't blame them because I underestimated the powers of the Ninja blender and it came out looking like green goop instead of spinach dip) and perhaps my favorite thing of all, this potato salad. No, I did not serve it in hollowed out baby potatoes because they didn't have baby potatoes at the commissary. So I used seven smallish regular sized red potates (skin on) and added 8oz. of Greek yogurt to hold help it hold together when not contained in a baby potato cup. It is delicious.
And we had some carrots and celery, pita pieces, baguette slices, a cheese board assembled on the wood slice platter we bought for our wedding cake, and fruit in a party platter that was a gift. Oh, and I made some strawberry pie bites that were pretty unremarkable. Here is most of it on the new tablecloth I got at an Indian import shop not far from us.
Guests also brought pigs in blankets (all gone) and a whole chocolate cake that never left its box in the kitchen. Meaning that now we have many leftovers, plus a complete chocolate cake. Meaning that this week I'm going to have to actually go to some of the fitness classes I picked out for last week and then never attended.
In addition to food and wine, we received a gift of ceramic shisa, traditional Okinawan protectors. One has an open mouth to keep evil spirits out and the other a closed mouth to keep good spirits in. Various legends have the shisa protecting Okinawans in various situations from a sea dragon.
*While it may look like I ignored your excellent suggestions for my hypothetical housewarming party, which were very margarita and queso intensive (you are my people, for sure) we plan to have another party once we have a grill that will feature fajitas, except we all know the real stars will be the queso and margaritas. We did respect your wishes with regard to no religious or political talk, no break ups, no pot smoking (almost everyone here is in the military and thus subject to random drug tests), some karaoke toward the end, and clearly lots of food, booze, and conversation.