Saturday 10 December 2011

Fun With Friends

Back in August, I wrote about the once-a-month meetings with my friends here, and of course we've had our regular get-togethers in the months in between, too.
Last night, we were at my place for something that in German is called Schrottwichteln; I've heard the expression "Trash Yulklapp", too: Everyone brings one nicely wrapped up unwanted present - it has to be something clean and not broken, but unwanted; maybe simply because it is not your style or not needed, or because you don't have the room or don't particularly like the person who gave it to you, or because it really was a rubbish present in the first place.
Before I explain about the Schrottwichteln, let me show you the quick and easy preparations I made:

(That bottle is one of three in my fridge, all pub quiz wins)

For a change, I did not make pizza (it does get a bit boring since I almost always make pizza when I have guests), but opted for an old party classic: Toast Hawaii!
Until last night, I think I have not had this for about 20 years - it used to be so popular, and now most people seem to have forgotten about it.

 Pukky couldn't believe she wasn't getting any of the ham - but I'm afraid it all went on the toast!

Of course, I didn't just make one toast per person, but two rounds (with the possibility of more for those who wanted a third helping), plus salad, and one of my friends brought mousse vanille and mousse au chocolat for dessert:

And then the Schrottwichteln began!
Sitting around a table, everyone put their parcel in front of them, and then the rolling of the dices started. With every roll (one after the other, starting clock-wise), the parcels were moved one place further on. When someone threw a double, moving the parcels changed direction. That's the basic rules; of course you can elaborate on it, and you should set a time limit. We rolled the dices and shifted the parcels for 15 minutes, and then the moment of truth came :-)
I opened the parcel that had ended up in front of me...
...and wondered, what IS this??? (No, not what you think. Yes, it does look like a part of female anatomy.)
A hanging flower-pot - just what I always wanted ;-)

And so versatile - it can be used as a hat, too!

The evening went on with lots of laughter and talk, and when my friends left at 1.30 am, we all agreed that we're going to do this again next year.


  1. The variation of the game that I have played is this: after everyone has his or her gift, the dice is then rolled and others are allowed to TAKE your present, if they want it badly enough. Oh no, that just is not fun for me. (Especially if it is something for the garden that I have fallen in LOVE with!)
    Your version seems like a lot of fun and a flower pot would go to good use in my house, even though it is really funny as a hat.
    Love your big smile. Looks like you all had such a laugh and good times, that's what a good party game should do!
    Never heard of Toast Hawaii, looks easy and good, my kind of recipe. ALOHA!

  2. What a nice tradition! And I adore your new hat! ; }

  3. We have a Secret Santa at work, where we have to buy a present for someone whose name has been given to us at random in a raffle.
    Then give them the present anonymously.

    Could be another good way of recycling presents!

  4. Sounds like fun! We call it a "Yankee Swap" and they are a blast too! The more the merrier!

  5. Kay, you really have not heard of Toast Hawaii? Amazing! I thought everyone ate that during the 1960s and 70s :-)

    Thank you, Sonia :-)

    Macy, we used to do Secret Santa when I still worked at the library. It was usually some bits of clutter or rubbishy perfumed tea and the likes changing hands; so why not turn it into an open trash swap - much more fun!

    Mary, I agree; there should have been at least two more of my friends coming, but they couldn't make it.

  6. Of course, Bagman loved this. And I've never heard of toast Hawaii either. This reminds me of something we call a "Dutch Auction" -- I think. But everyone has a number and when their number comes up, they pick any package that is still unwrapped. Then--if they wish-- they can take the item and exchange it for something someone else has -- and that person can also then go to someone else and take their present. I saw the game once. It was horrible. Almost led to fistfights.

  7. What a fun party! I, too, never heard of Toast Hawaii, but it looks very tasty. Perhaps you can plant your forget-me-nots (is that what you were growing late in the summer?) in the new hanging pot.

  8. Mark, the way we play the game, swapping is allowed but not encouraged - it is your "fate" how the dices fall and with which parcel you end up, as long as it is not the one your originally brought!

    Jill, the forget-me-nots are hibernating, and I have no idea yet whether they will come back to life in the spring; at the moment, they look so sad my sister told me the other day the whole lot wants throwing out. But I shall see what happens once the season changes. And since I have no place where to hang a hanging pot from, it is going to someone else soon.

  9. Brilliant idea...not sure who'd want the vest my aunt gave me one year though.


  10. SP, even if nobody would want it, it'd still make the perfect gift for Schrottwichteln! You should have seen the horrible "gift" I gave :-D

  11. It's really great having fun parties with friends. I'm actually looking forward for our class' christmas party!

    P.S the cat's eyes look scary o_o

  12. Hello:
    What enormous fun this all is and something which, with your permission, it would be so good to imitate here in Budapest. We love the informality of it all and, of course, the element of chance, the whole combined with meeting up with friends and sharing supper.

    Pukky is lovely. We should not have denied her ham!!

    Our apologies for our erratic, and now very late, appearance on your post which, along with those we have followed recently, most often fails to be present in our Google Reader. Last night our entire blog disappeared and we had great difficulty restoring it only to find this morning we are following blogs of which we have never even heard. All very trying!

  13. Denise, Pukky is the least scary cat I have ever known - it's the camera's fault! Have fun at your class' Christmas party :-)

    Jane and Lance, the same keeps happening to me with your blog; I have added it manually to my reading list several times, but it keeps disappearing, something I find rather frustrating.

    Please do have a Schrottwichtel-Party in Budapest, and then let me know how it went, and what "lovely" present you ended up with!

    Rest assured Pukky did get her share of ham on Sunday morning. RJ usually has some for breakfast, and he spoils her rotten when he is here on weekends.