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Annual Bastille Day Party Planning...

Help me plan my Bastille Day annual party!

This will be the first year of our new "Bastille Day" party that we will host each year. We are both French so we thought what better time to have a party than Bastille Day??

Here is some background:
Bastille Day, July 14, is the French national holiday. The occasion commemorates the storming of the Bastille prison in Paris on that date in 1789, an act the led to the French Revolution. Today, Bastille Day is celebrated in France and abroad with fireworks, parades, festive food and drink and getting together with friends and family.

There are plenty of foods that lend themselves well to the event - but I don't want to just serve French food and wine, I want to throw a fun spin into it...

you know, a nod to marie antoinette with cake
something involving "heads" (no head cheese please)
skewers, etc

big props to anyone who comes through with some killer (haha) grub.

thanks in advance!!

*additional information
lollya is vegetarian and GF, the man is not and loves his meat. lollya = not afraid to cook it.
I'd like options for everyone!

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  1. How many guests do you think you'll have?

    2 Replies
      1. re: lollya

        I'll put my thinking cap on - just wanted a sense of the size of the crowd.

    1. I can tell you what I had in St. Malo (in Brittany, on the northern coast of France) on bastille day...

      melon with prosciutto
      tuna, corn and tomatoes with a mustard vinaigrette (sounds weird, tastes amazing)
      chicken basquaise
      green salad with mustard vinaigrette
      cold haricots verts with, you guessed it, mustard vinaigrette
      fresh baguettes
      cider (the hard stuff - brittany and normandy are known for this)

      it was all so yummy. sorry I can't think of anything involving heads. unless you do heads of cauliflower. or tete de veau, but I would NOT recommend that.

      5 Replies
      1. re: charlesbois

        charles you make me laugh!

        everything with mustard! i do love your suggestions.
        the reference to heads is tongue in cheek. you know, i want the party to be sort of an ironic twist on the horrid events. I know it's awful but quirky and fun.

        I will have to post some of the suggestions from my book tonight!

        i love getting chows involved, the potential for a wicked party is so HUGE with so many creative people here.

        1. re: lollya

          you could do something in a hot bath, a la sous vide, like Marat was in when he was stabbed!

        2. re: charlesbois

          What about crawfish, where you rip of the heads and suck the brains out?

          1. re: Chile Pepper

            great suggestion chile! i'm putting it on the list...

          2. re: charlesbois

            Will fiddlehead season have come and gone by then?

          3. Something with heads of lettuce? Not that the French would *ever* eat iceberg, but I'm wondering if there's a visual pun in there somewhere...

            1. What a tremendous party idea!

              How about some brainstorming from here: http://chicagoist.com/2008/01/08/chic...

              or, here:

              1. I was just reading something about brioche a tete. Could brioche be decorated with Marie Antoinette-style dresses and hairdo's? Hmmm.

                1. More thoughts on the Party!

                  the party book has been found:

                  "Let Them Eat Cake" Bastille Day Party or "Lose Your Head" A Bastille Day Celebration!

                  Purple was Marie Anotinettes favortie colour, be sure to decorate in it. BTW she was beheaded on October 16, 1793.

                  Hire an off duty French tongued waiter to look at your guests with haughty disdain who responds with arrogance and ignores those who don't speak to him in French. (okay so i have never experienced this in my travels, but I look French and can speak it decent enough)

                  Accent Contest for good bottle of French booze as a prize.

                  Play Boules (an outdoor bowling game similar to lawn bowling or bocce)

                  Put yourself together a sweet mix of Edith Piaf, Michel Legrand, Lady Marmalade and others to play

                  The food suggested includes

                  Calamari Salad without Heads
                  Artichoke heads
                  Roasted Garlic heads - served with baguettes
                  Head of Lettuce Salad
                  Quiche Lorraine
                  Whole Poached or grilled Salmon (with head)
                  Fruit Face Gateaux

                  1. Hi Lollya -- have you put together your menu yet? I'd love to see it when you do! Thanks!

                    1. I had a Bastille Day party last year, with 8 adult guests and four kids. We had tons of French wine ( easy to do) and played French Jazz including Nat King Cole (he recorded some in French). We grilled 2 chickens with rosemary (my guests weren't adventurous with meat so the chicken was a compromise). Ina Garten's Barefoot in Paris really influenced me, take a look at it. For starters we had homemade cheese straws along with fresh fruit and French cheeses. Soup au Pistou (Provencal veg. soup) along with Haricots verts and Provencal Tomatoes. And for dessert Frozen Grand Marnier Souffles. It was all delightful. You could do a gratin of any vegetable. Or even a Warm goat cheese tart would be nice. Also for dessert you could try any of the following: Charlotte au Chocolat, Poires au Vin Beaujolais, Pots de Creme au Chocolat, Tarte aux Fruits Frais (Fresh berry tart).