I was lucky enough with the suggestion and support of a certain MD PhD (Darcy) to be invited to be a co-host of a seriously epic birthday party held the weekend after my birthday. Theme: 30 Years, 30 Meats. Location: Philadelphia. Whitney and I are November birthday brethren. (There are a lot of November birthdays–maybe because people have a lot of sex in February?) And not only are we Scorpios, but we are also Roosters, which basically means that we are both secretive and flamboyant. In other news, astrology is both stupid and very amusing.

After getting on the wrong train (apparently very easy to do in Philadelphia. Thanks, Septa!), getting rescued by “a man in a plaid shirt in a black Jetta” (Thanks, Darcy and Whitney’s friend!), and being very late to my own party (Sad.), we arrived to much meat, beer and merriment (Too bad it wasn’t mead, right? Alliteration!).

The belle of the ball was the Bacosturduckhen. Is that a portmanteau? Why, yes. Yes it is. It is specifically a portmanteau of the words: hen (Cornish hen), duck, turkey and ostrich. And here, my friends, is a mind blowing example of a physical manifestation of a portmanteau in meat form. Basically, a deboned Cornish hen,  was stuffed into a deboned duck, which then went into a turkey which was then stuffed into an ostrich, which was finally wrapped in bacon. At this juncture I’d like to point out that the ostrich weighed 175 lbs prior to dressing. And following dressing it was 100 lbs.  (Like a fat runway model!) There’s a picture of someone holding an enormous ostrich drumstick in one hand and a 3L glass of beer (Oktoberfest style, you know) in the other hand. If you saw it, maybe you’d ask, is that a small viking?

Whitney’s brother cooked the Bacosturduckhen in the only place that could possible hold such a huge meat matryoshka: in a freshly dug hole in the ground. The entire thing was wrapped with multiple layers of aluminum foil and put into a hole in the ground, lined with hot coals. And more hot coals and dirt were piled on top of it, like a small miniature hell. The result was actually pretty delicious, considering how it was cooked and in what company. My meat horizons have been duly expanded.

Full prepared meat list:  Crawfish Oyster Ostrich Turkey Duck Chicken Cornish Game Hen Rabbit Eel Crab Cow Lamb Pig Quail Veal Boar Pig Buffalo Alligator Shrimp Turtle Deer Black Bass Catfish Squid

Meats present, but not served:  Red Snapper Tilapia Mussels Clams Liverwurst Trout

My contribution was eel sushi and two birthday cakes: coconut cake and The Cake (salted caramel chocolate cake).

Understatement: It was a super fun party. Whitney’s personal friend Kermit had a great time.

Other Notables:

1. Whitney spent a large majority of the night in a Taco costume that suited him perfectly.

2. Upon seeing the 3 L beer glass James immediately asked if everyone gets one which reminded me of that scene in the Fellowship of the Ring where Pippin gets jealous of Merry’s pint.

3. There was a professional deep fryer on the premises which was used to great success (fried oreos, fried pickles, fried alligator and turtle meat) by the master fryer herself, Darcy, and someone else whose name I don’t remember but he was cool.

4. An entire bottle of Wild Turkey bourbon (a Mitesh contribution) was polished off in a New York minute (or Philly minute?). It was added to the meat list.

5. People really enjoyed my cakes and told me so! That was nice, especially since the coconut cake came out not how I wanted it to. The best part was cooking in that dreamy kitchen. I have kitchen envy.