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'Jail/Prison' Themed Dinner Party

Help. I have to host a themed dinner party for a deputy prison governor. I want it to be light hearted but would like the food to show definite subject matter. However I am at a loss where to start, the only things that come to mind are porridge and cakes with files in! Any help much appreciated.

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  1. Well, the daily budget for prisoner meals is £1.90. That has to do three meals a day.

    So, how about doing dinner at a cost of no more than, say, 65p a head and ask how s/he likes.

    1 Reply
    1. These ideas are somewhat tenuous but how about linking the food to British prisons.

      Absinthe Cocktail - Wormwood Scrubs
      Garlicky Starter- Parkhurst Isle of Wight
      Game main course- Dartmoor
      Desert- Warden Pie - This for Bedford prison also pretty apt.

      1 Reply
      1. Are you writing down the menu? If so, play on the names but serve nice food - i.e your starter could be 'Stale bread and water' and serve crostini and champagne. 'Gruel' could translate to risotto, or 'mystery meat' could be a fine ragout.

        I feel slightly wrong writing all that. I'd say scrap the theme and just have a nice dinner to celebrate a job promotion.

        EDIT: just realised it was a dinner for a person in that job, rather than getting that job. Definitely scrap the theme.

        1 Reply
        1. re: ultimatepotato

          Good idea and I could tie it in with Papriakboy's ideas. Thank you

        2. it could be fun to serve the food on trays like you see in a cafeteria.
          mashed potatoes and a simple salad for sure
          plastic silverware? ha ha.

          1 Reply
          1. re: danionavenue

            This is good too. It is meant to be a fun night and plastic silverware could be just right. Thanks you

            1. re: ricepad

              Hey, I bet with a dash of cumin it wouldn't be too bad ;>)

              1. Are you sure they don't just want a nice interesting dinner? They had said they want it prison themed? I'd make sure.

                I had a friend who was a guard at a large prison. Make sure that this is something they would want.


                1 Reply
                1. re: GracePiper

                  I hear what you are saying but honestly it is going to be light hearted. Thank you for caring.

                2. Boston's Charles Street Jail was remodeled into The Liberty Hotel. They have retained the prison theme - some of the original brick and bars have been cleverly incorporated into the design; the bar is named "Clink". My computer is being tetchy so I haven't tried to open the menu part of the website but try poking around there: http://www.libertyhotel.com/food_and_...

                  2 Replies
                  1. re: greygarious

                    If I ever get to Boston I am going here. There is loads of ideas along the 'play on names' theme so thank you.

                    1. re: greygarious

                      I looked at LH's site later and see that Clink is a restaurant, not a bar. No jail-themed names for the menu items. You are in the UK so probably have different slang names for prison/jail, but among those in America are pokey, joint, slammer, pen, stir, cooler, clink, brig, hoosgow, can.
                      So, poke cake (google that if it's not familiar to you), a lamb or beef roast is a joint, a weak alcoholic drink is a cooler, can-died something, like ginger or violets.

                    2. I'd make bologna sandwiches and serve in paper bags.

                      1. Porridge followed by a big cake with a hacksaw baked into it.

                        1. Maybe have all foods be black and/or white?

                          1. sporks, compartment trays, orange jumpsuits, milk in tiny cartons, and a shanking in the dining room

                            2 Replies
                            1. re: BiscuitBoy

                              Now that you mentioned orange jumpsuits, maybe they can work in a little dance routine after dinner. Gosh, it makes jail look so fun, doesn't it?!

                              ETA: Maybe serve orange sherbet for dessert as a prelude to the dance number!

                              1. re: BiscuitBoy

                                biscuit boy -- yeah, don't forget the shanking. ;-). good one!

                              2. What if you did foods from famous prison movies? That way it would match the theme but wouldn't have to be real prison food, nor riffs on it...

                                examples --
                                The Green Mile -- Cornbread that Tom Hanks' wife makes
                                Cool hand luke - hardboiled eggs that he scarfs down
                                Shawshank - I don't remember much food but those ice-cold beers on the roof were unforgettable
                                There has to be something from Papillon that would give you an excuse to make something French! But also there's the coconut his friend passes him as 'extra food' in seclusion... or there's always serving bugs.
                                I feel like Shutter Island had a big dinner scene, but I don't remember what they ate... and Dead Man Walking could be a good excuse to make Louisiana style food (grits, crabboiled seafood or corn, red beans...)
                                Anyway if you like this idea, I'm sure others who are more into Movies than me could give better specific suggestions.

                                also check out these famous last meals --

                                2 Replies
                                1. re: Adrienne

                                  I like how you think! Try this scene from Goodfellas. CLASSIC! "Don't put too many onions in the sauce!" Beauti-ful!

                                  1. re: Adrienne

                                    i like this theme interpretation.