The Baltimore Atrocities / Real Pants Launch Party
On Saturday night we were beyond surprised by the turnout for the Launch Party we threw, in tandem with Coffee House Press, for our website and for John Dermot Woods’s amazing book (which we talked about and talked about last week in our first ever Festschrift).
On Saturday morning we were pretty sure the weather would make it so no one would show up. We had already bought four cases of nice champagne, so we were preemptively bummed. I think I might have convinced Amy and John not to buy as many cups because of this. There’s nothing more depressing than extra cups, so we only picked up 200.
I figured 52 oysters would be enough.
There was no reason to be bummed or to not get enough cups. The weather turned out okay, the venue (loft space for the suit company Bindle & Keep) was beautiful—and 150 people came, old friends and new. Our managing editor, Bob O’Brien, played smooth jamz while Willis, Spencer and everyone feasted on Popeye’s chicken, caviar, oysters, Genny Cream, champagne, salted pretzel cake. It was charmed.
Then we had a Woods-themed reading. Here’s the man himself, holding court:
And proof of chicken:
Other people read, too. We heard atrocious things to further the celebratory cause of The Baltimore Atrocities. Thanks to Sarah Jean Alexander, Elisa Gabbert, Bob O’Brien, Dylan Kinnett (our web designer) and Justin Taylor for reading. Also thanks to Emily Gallagher, who brought us to tears with laughter as she related her atrocity, about a cad from Tinder that she punk’d just an hour before the party. And also, here’s a picture of Sarah Jean Alexander, who managed to write a Weather Report in the theme of an atrocity:
Plus, at the last minute we thought we’d like to hear Amy Lawless read, and she was standing right next to us, so, voilà, she did. There was that kind of spirit in the air.
And there were gift bag tote bags! There were only 50 of those, so people shared what was inside: a copy of A Natural Family by John Dermot Woods, a mini-bottle of Cuervo or Jim Beam Honey, and a serving of homemade cherry halva granola.
Here’s the recipe for the gift bag granola, adapted from this:
Cherry Halva Granola
Mix gently in a giant bowl:
6 cups rolled oats (I used one cylinder of Quaker Oats)
1 1/2 cups toasted sesame seeds
1 1/2 cups toasted sliced almonds
1 1/2 cups dried cherries or more if you’ve got the $$
1 teaspoon sea salt
Mix hard in a middle-sized bowl:
3/4 cup honey
3/4 cup tahini
3 egg whites
Add the honey stuff (it is not pretty looking) to the oat stuff. Mix it all up. I used my hands. Spread it out on two baking sheets that you’ve lined with parchment paper. Bake in a 300° oven for about 45 minutes, stirring a few times as the top gets brown. Depending on the size of your cookie sheets, you may want to turn off the oven and leave it because you have to get to the Fast Company offices so that Anjali can give you a tour that fills your head with visions of a future Real Pants headquarters overlooking a fine city that knows how to party.
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