The Joy of Cooking Milhouse

Enjoy Our Party Snacks

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“The War of The Simpsons,” season 2, episode 20

Snacks are an essential part of every party. If I’m invited to a party and there’s no snacks, there’s a chance I’ll walk in, look around, say thanks for inviting me, and walk right back out and to a taco truck. It goes without saying that my parties are snack central, and now I’ll be adding something new to my rotation thanks to The Simpsons: a sandwich platter that spells out “enjoy our party snacks.” It’ll look great next to the nacho hat. Plus, nothing gets a party started like telling people to enjoy themselves.

Season two’s “The War of the Simpsons” begins with Homer and Marge prepping for a big house party. Marge sets down the aforementioned sandwich platter and Homer immediately tries to eat them, calling them “horse-do-vers.” He wonders aloud why they have to throw this party when they already had a big bash with champagne and musicians and holy men—yet another version of Homer and Marge’s wedding. They tell the kids to go to bed, and Bart replies that nothing fun ever happens in bed. Homer coyly disagrees, and what at first appears to be a sexy flashback turns out to be Homer eating a big sub sandwich in bed. It’s great. What a sandwich-filled episode.

The guests start arriving and Ned offers to make his Flanders’ Punch (I promise to make this later, “little daberoo” of creme de casis and all). It sets Homer on a drunken path that includes wearing a lampshade on his head and telling everyone that he’s the funniest guy in the world. At one point he stares at Maude’s cleavage and then ends the night passed out on the floor. Marge is humiliated. Oh, and during the party Bart reshuffles the sandwich platter to say “boy our party sucks.”

Marge unloads her disappointment on Homer to the tune of mariachi music the next morning. When asked if he remembers what happened at the party, Homer recalls a sophisticated party in the style of a New Yorker cartoon where he charmed everyone. The whole fantasy is a fun piece of animation. Marge heads to church and Homer apologizes to Bart for having to see him drunk (“Dad, I have as much respect for you as I ever did or ever will”).

Marge signs them up for a church marriage retreat. When the babysitter arrives, she has a flashback of baby Bart trying to run her over with the car, and runs screaming. Grandpa ends up babysitting, and the kids immediately start taking advantage of him. They buy tons of ice cream at the grocery and Bart smokes a cigar. They stay up late watching an action movie and have him make them coffee. I love when Bart asks Abe to top off his coffee cup, and when he asks “are you sure your mother lets you drink coffee?” Bart, shaking from the caffeine, yells “FOR THE LAST TIME, YES!” They throw a giant party and wreck the house, but when Grandpa cries, the kids feel bad and clean up the entire mess. Turns out he faked crying to get his way, and Bart declares he’ll “never trust another old person again.”

Back at the marriage retreat, Homer secretly plans to go fishing. While picking up bait, the shop keep tells the story of General Sherman, a giant catfish no one has managed to catch. Against Marge’s wishes, Homer ends up fishing and even baiting the legendary fish. He fights it for hours, with Marge attending the retreat alone, and finally catches the beast. When Marge confronts him, Homer ends up releasing General Sherman to prove he’s committed to their marriage. And they live happily ever after (kind of).

Snack time. There’s no talk of what kind of sandwiches we’re dealing with here, and for at least part of the party no one even eats them. All you can see in the animation is a thin line of green, which is probably lettuce. But instead of telling you how to making ham sandwiches, I thought we’d go classic tea/finger sandwich route with a pesto chicken salad. It’s drool-worthy. Note that their platter is apparently gigantic and it’s nearly impossible to cut the sandwiches up small enough to spell “enjoy our party snacks.” But if you have room, go for it! I spelled “ENJOY PARTY” to get the general sentiment. It would still be relatively easy to swap it to “PARTY SUCKS.” Or spell whatever you want! You’re the boss!

Enjoy Our Party Snacks Sandwiches
Serves 6 as snacks

1/2 cup fresh basil leaves, tightly packed
1/2 cup fresh parsley leaves, tightly packed
1/4 cup mayonnaise
1/4 cup toasted walnuts or almonds
1 lemon, zested and juiced
1 large garlic clove
2 tablespoons olive oil
1-2 tablespoons water
Salt and pepper
1 pound skinless, boneless chicken breasts, cooked and finely shredded
3 green onions, thinly sliced
8-10 slices of high-quality white bread, crusts trimmed (how many slices will depend on the size of your bread)

  1. Add the basil, parsley, mayo, nuts, lemon juice and zest, garlic, olive oil, and 1 tablespoon water to a small food processor or blender. Season with salt and pepper. Blend well, until everything is a smooth green sauce. Add more water if needed.
  2. In a mixing bowl, combine the chicken, green onions, and pesto. Mix well and taste for seasoning.
  3. Spread a layer of the chicken salad on a slice of bread and top with another slice, keeping everything neat. Repeat until you use all of the chicken salad.
  4. Using a sharp knife, cut the sandwiches into thin strips. Then start assembling your saying, cutting the strips into segments as needed. It helps to wipe your knife in between cuts to keep things neater.
  5. Place on a platter or two and poke with toothpicks. Enjoy the party AND the snacks!
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