fun dinner party ideas
what sort of things do you do for dinner parties to make them special.
some things weve tried
1)all day bbq rib cookoff with old 30s bluegrass music broadcast over a oldradio from a homemade am transmitter hooked to a turntable inside. mini kegs of home brew beer,and beadcraft projects for the ladies and 12 ga. skeet for the boys.
2)themed mystery dinners, using one of those mystery dinner games, period clothes and 1980s themed menu
needless to say lots of kiwi,blue corn and peppers.
3)white trash trailer night. ruffles with and without dip.
elvis twinkies,spam loaf, jello salads, schmidt beer,
hamburger helper without meat, guests recieved the family tree stick, and we watched a series of recorded talk shows on black and white tvs. oh guests were expected to wear boots, jeans and tanktops, bring every kid they could round up and all the dogs.
can you tell we live in idaho. so we make do with what works. except during the white trash deal, one of the locals came over and decided we was real good folk after all.
4)summer scarey movies under the stars, small generator powered a 16mm projector which showed creature from the black lagoon on a sheet, 2 150,000btu burners made english fish and chips and a pickup held our 3 kegs of porter,ale and bitters. everyone had lawn chairs then cudled up under blankets during the scarey parts.
5)very conventional dinner party but for dessert packed up all the guests and had chocolate fudge bannana splits as we watched a huge summer lightening storm and saw it hit all around the van.
what fun things have you done to make your dinner great?
I've done the white trash dinner myself, and man, did we have a good 'ole time! It was the first time in about 20 years I had eaten banana pudding with Nilla wafers and whipped cream. People were fighting over it. For this occasion I was inspired to create "Fiesta Pot Pie", which is a cheese sauce based casserole with beans and veggies floating in it, topped off with corn bread crust. I made it as a joke but people also really liked it almost as much as the Nanna Puddin' and have been asking me to make it ever since.
A certain well-known NY restaurant critic and excellent cook (whose birthday is actually today) used to host Oscar® parties for his nearest and dearest (40-50 people) in his tiny apartment. Of course everyone voted/predicted winners, but our host would do that with food. The year PLATOON won, he cooked all VERY authentic Vietnamese; if it looked like a toss-up, he would make four or five distinctive entrées, each with a direct link to a nominated movie. I recall a rabbit fricasee the year FATAL ATTRACTION was up. And so on. More than a few celebs would show up for these little orgies, and they were great fun.
But one year turned out to be a lousy year for movies in general. I don't recall which year (it was mid-80s), but no one was at all turned on by any of the nominations. It must have been '84, because it was the same year that Jane and Michael Stern's SQUARE MEALS came out from Knopf. That wonderfully squalid and utterly shameless cookbook was our Baedecker for the Oscars® that year. I don't ever recall being served such hideous fare. (Unable to eat most of it, my sig. other and I ended up sending out for pizza!) Most outstanding in memory are a grotesque grape Jell-O with those horrible little red cinnamon "hot dots," a cheeseburger pie, grotesque "gumdrop pudding," and, perhaps most inedible of all, a Jell-O assemblage that included pineapple juice and Hostess Twinkies®. To vomit.
Gradually, we all got "too busy" to have such ambitious Oscar® parties, but when that silly night comes around, I do miss them.
We've done more mundane themed dinners with great success: a New Orleans menu, Greek, cheese (where every course had a different type of cheese), regional Italian, seafood. Wines to match each course. The one thing I've learned is that great guests make great parties.