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Willis Berry High (30 photos)



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I got my inspiration for this party from a 'high school reunion' style party I found on HWTM. My little brother was turning 18 and I wanted to do something special for him and his friends.

I showed him my ideas and he thought it was fantastic, so we ran with it!

I wanted to create a stereotypical American school environment, like the ones we see on TV here in Australia. We decided to hire a small hall that had a cafeteria window opening which was perfect for serving hungry teenagers.

I don't have any photographs of the food we served (it was eaten so quickly!) but it was a cold night so we served American style hotdogs, homemade pumpkin soup and traditional sloppy joes. Recipes below:

SLOPPY JOES (serves 50 people)

3 kg lean minced beef
6 onions, finely chopped
6 celery stalks, finely chopped
6 carrots grated or finely chopped
5 cans of diced tomatoes
3 tablespoons sweet chilli sauce
80ml Worcestershire sauce (16 teaspoons)
80ml red wine vinegar (16 teaspoons)
Freshly ground black pepper to taste
50 bread rolls

1. Cook the mince in a large non-stick frying pan over a moderate heat and cook through.
2. Break up the meat with a wooden spatula and when it is no longer pink, add the onion, celery and carrot.
3. Cook until the vegetables have softened
4. Add the remaining ingredients and stir until combined. Place a lid on the pot and leave on a low heat to thicken.

PUMPKIN SOUP (serves 30 people)

1 whole pumpkin
6 onions
2 tablespoons butter
8 cups water
3 tablespoons mixed herbs
3 tablespoons onion flakes
3 tablespoons chicken stock
1 tablespoon curry powder

1. Peel and cut pumpkin into fine cubes and place in a large pot with the water and butter.
2. Turn your stove heat setting to 1/2 full. 
2. Dice the onion and add to the pumpkin and water. Simmer these slowly for half an hour to soften.
3. Take the pot off heat and add the remaining ingredients.
4. Blend to puree (in small lots) in a food processor, blender or with a magic mixer stick.

We served the hot dogs and sloppy joes in lidded styrofoam containers with divided sections. Our pumpkin soup was served up in styrofoam cups to keep it warm. Our theme was red, blue and white - Will's favourite colours. We had streamers, balloons, napkins, cutlery and cups in these colours to tie in the theme. All of our decorations were purchased from

We asked our guests to come dressed as a highschool stereotype, and they delivered! We hired a photographer to take professional photos of our guests and we put together a "yearbook" which will be printed and given to Will as a gift. 

For extra entertainment we hired a juke box from - it was fantastic! We had a huge selection of music, disco lights and karaoke!

A pool table was also hired to keep the wall flowers busy.

Our party went way into the night, and we had a fantastic time. If you have any questions please don't hesitate to contact me :)

Golden Beach, Queensland
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