Ted. Teddy. Theo. Beaver. Theodore. These are the nicknames for one of my best friends in the whole wide world. In December of 1999, I got the chance to meet Ted Ciske for the first time. My new friend Doug had invited me to join him and a group of his friends for the Tampa Bay vs. Green Bay Packers game, in Tampa. Ted, Doug’s BFF had rented a limo, so we drove over in style with trays of cheese, beer in the fridge and Packers polka music blaring. It was one of the best days of my life. It was a great game too. It was then that I fell in love with Doug and his best friend Ted (who btw is not a stuffed teddy bear).
During the time that Doug and I dated (and throughout our married life together), we’ve been invited to Ted and Steve’s for dinner on many occasions. I will never forget the first time Ted cooked for us. He created a beautiful and delicious spinach salad with a warm goat cheese ball rolled in toasted pine nuts on top and drizzled with a warm vinaigrette, a perfectly seared filet mignon and roasted asparagus. I’m pretty sure the meal came with more, but that’s what I can remember. At that time, Doug shared with me that his love for cooking, entertaining and hospitality came in part from Ted’s influence and teaching. All I can say is that I am one lucky lady, because Doug has a passion and talent for cooking and entertaining and so does his best friend Ted!
Throughout the years, not only have we cooked for one another and shared many great meals and memories together, but Ted has been around to look out for me whenever Doug is away. With Doug’s busy travel schedule, there have been many occasion when a warm meal was delivered to me and the girls or an invitation to dinner was offered. On Christmas day a few years ago, when Sophie was really sick, she and I stayed home while Doug and Sara attended my families Christmas get together. I was so sad to miss because I have never missed a Christmas with my family. But, Ted made it better. He brought over a beautiful plate of food, so that I could enjoy a Christmas feast too.
Why yes, Ted’s food is amazing, but its the thought, love and care that goes into creating the food that makes it taste that much better!
Ted is not only a great chef, but he also brings life to any party or get together. You should attend one of the Green Bay Packers parties he hosts! He always makes sure that his guests are having fun.
He’s also an instant friend to whoever he meets. His contagious smile and personality make him someone you want to be around. When I’m with Ted I laugh a lot!
Ted’s the true kind of friend that will give you an honest opinion. You know he’ll tell you the truth (even if you don’t want the truth) when you ask for his opinion or advice, and I love that about him.
Additionally, he’s s more organized and prepared for life then most stay at home mom’s and housewives, and he always makes sure to text me when Publix has chicken breasts on sale.
Ted was the person I called when I decided that I wanted to throw Doug the best party of his life, which was his 40th cerebration. I could sit here and say that I threw Doug’s 40th, but it was Ted. We met a month before the party to make plans. We composed a list of food for the event, and made a trip to Costco for the items. Ted did all of the cooking and started prepping several days before the party, then also helped me set up the day of the party. The night of the event, it was Ted that kept the food warm, refreshed and ready to serve. People raved and asked for his business card.
Ted’s a lover of life and people and that is why so many people are attracted to him.
On Friday night the 28th of February, Doug , Steve (Ted’s partner), Ted’s mom and sister and I hosted a 50th surprise birthday party for Ted. We invited some of his closet friends, and even though it was a substantial turnout, there were many that couldn’t make it and I know some that we forgot to invite : / Ted, you have too many friends! Doug and I started preparing on Tuesday night of that week. We (well mostly Doug because I’m a nursing student) spent each night prepping the food and house for the party, and we thoroughly enjoyed the process. I had to work the day of the party, so Doug spent the day preparing the yard and house, setting up tables, chairs and decor and finishing the food throughout the day. Can I just interject that I think Doug is so amazing too! The yard looked beautiful when I drove up after work that day. Lights hung from the trees, high top tables stood in the yard sprinkled with birthday confetti, and next to the tables the outdoor sectional and fireplace welcomed visitors. The food was absolutely amazing and looked so pretty. Ok, since its not Doug’s birthday, I’ll move back to Ted, but I had to mention how impressed I am with that man.
Ted arrived right around 7:30 p.m. Everyone stood in the living room waiting. When he entered the only words he could utter was, “I’m so mad. I’m sooooo mad. I’m so so mad. I’m sooo mad!”. It was awesome. He cried several times, especially when he saw certain faces that he hasn’t seen for a while.
The night was filled with great food and great company….
….sitting by the fire…..
…..lots of wine and drinks…….
……lots of laughter and love……
……..conga playing and dancing……
….and birthday presents.
There was something about this party this stood out from any other party we’ve hosted or attended. First of all, it was one of the most enjoyable parties I’ve ever attended, because the people who attended know how to have lots of fun! Also, I have never seen such a group of people express so much love for one person, but this does not surprise me at all, because that one person is Ted Ciske.
I am honored to call Ted my friend! Happy birthday Teddy ; ) I love you!
Oh, and BTW, I’m sorry I forgot your birthday card!