'Gold Rush: Alaska'

tvparty206.jpgWhen life gives you lemons, pack up and run to one of the most hostile environments on Earth. That's not exactly great advice, but it makes for interesting television - especially in the case of Gold Rush: Alaska, airing Fridays on Discovery Channel. With his aviation business going down the drain thanks to the economy, Todd Hoffman decided to do what almost no one does: He packs up everything (friends and family included), heads into Alaska's southeastern region, leases a gold claim and starts digging. So if you love the pioneering spirit - and gold! - call your friends, because we're throwing a Gold Rush: Alaska party!

Setting the scene:
It sounds ridiculous, but with gold at approximately $1,400 an ounce, we should all consider panning for gold - and that's exactly what we're going to do. Set up a makeshift mining camp in your living room. Drape muslin fabric across part of the ceiling and down two walls to simulate the inside of the tent. Have cots and sleeping bags set up next to large burlap bags marked "supplies," "flour" and "rice," and add touches such as shovels, hard hats with miners lights, work gloves and pickaxes. Of course, you'll also need prospecting tools from Fisher, including gold pans, strainers and vials (filled with gold!). You might want to create a mini sluice box with rain gutters and a garden hose to give guests a sense of what it is really like to pan for gold. (You'll need some dirt and a few pieces of pyrite as well.) Feel free to put someone in a grizzly bear costume, and occasionally have him run out and try to eat the prospectors. Don't forget a handmade sign saying "Welcome to Porcupine Creek Claim - Keep Out!"

While mining allows for any type of comfortable clothing, it seems everyone needs an awful beard and a hard hat.

On the menu:
There are a lot of recipes for golden foods, such as golden dumplings, golden lasagna and golden chicken, but be sure to have Golden Grahams and Yukon gold potatoes available. Or you can have it catered by Golden Corral. Don't forget the Goldschlager!

On the hi-fi:
Goldfinger by Shirley Bassey, Silver and Gold by Burl Ives, Gold Digger by Kanye West, Sister Golden Hair by America, Heart of Gold by Neil Young, GoldenEye by Tina Turner, Gold Dust Woman by Fleetwood Mac, Hey Goldmember by Beyonce.

The showstopper:
We don't know where you live, but we're willing to bet you don't have any gold in your backyard. So why not move this shindig (emphasis on "dig") to Alaska and take everyone on a prospecting vacation? Trips cost an average of $1,800 per person per week, so you need to find just an ounce or two to pay for the whole trip!