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At Titanic Themed Dinner Club - Bad Taste?

I'm in a Dinner Club with 4 other couples. We've been doing this for 20+ years and the themes vary. Some time countries, some times not. My turn is coming up in April. I had planned on doing a Titanic Theme, as it falls in on the 100th Anniversary. I thought it would be fun to dredge up some old victorian recipes and honor those lost. But given the latest luxury liner disaster, off the coast of Italy, in recent weeks, I'm beginning to question my choice and wonder if it seems in bad taste? These are all close friends so I'm not concerned about offending anyone. But I feel a little 'off' and alot less excited about the plan now.

I'm having a hard time deciding to go ahead or make a new plan. Do any Chowfriends have an thoughts one way or another?

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  1. In my group of friends, the worse the taste, the more enjoyable the evening. But obviously you know your own friends best!

    1. Probably no worse than an Achille Lauro, Morro Castle, Lusitania or Costa Concordia party - whatever floats your boat.


      1 Reply
      1. you're not calling it a Costa Concordia Theme Dinner! the Titanic is history. Do it, enjoy, report back please!

        1. Do you think in 90 years it would be in good taste for people to have a 9/11-themed dinner party? There' s your answer.

          27 Replies
          1. re: ttoommyy

            Thank you.

            If the OP thought the question needed be asked in order to form an opinion, he knew the answer.

            1. re: ttoommyy

              Even though they're both tragedies, I don't think of a horrible accident and mass murder in quite the same way, especially after so much time has passed. The Titanic, The Hindenburg, and even parties themed on the excesses of Roman rulers like Caligula, may push the boundaries of good taste but somehow, to me, don't seem to be in the same league with more recent mass murder events. I can't compare a Titanic party to a 9/11 themed party or a concentration camp or a Jonestown themed party either. Questionable taste? Maybe, but not in the same league with the others.
              I'm not trying to say it's OK, I'm just saying it's not quite the same as a 9/11 party would be.

              1. re: bobbert

                Death and tragedy are always just that...death and tragedy. I would never celebrate either event with a party, no matter how you justify it. That is just my opinion. I wonder what relatives of the victims of the Titanic would say to such a party?

                1. re: ttoommyy

                  Not all tragedy is created equal.

                  Moreover, OP is not celebrating the tragedy of the Titanic. As OP says, they are honoring those lost. If the Titanic is too much of a powderkeg, I give OP permission to have a traditional German feast in honor of my great-great grandfather who died in a tragic sheepherding accident in the hills of southern Germany almost 100 years ago. I don't give a hoot.

              2. re: ttoommyy

                um, there was no food at the 9/11 tragedy. there were definitely many sumptuous meals on the Titanic before it went down, as a luxury liner. two very, very different things. he's not celebrating a ship going down and people losing their lives, he's recreating a menu from an event in history that we know had an elaborate, elegant meal.

                i know others and other dinner clubs have used the Titanic as a theme meal in the past. so how long does one have to wait after the admittedly very terrible Italian tragedy to make it in good taste? never? it's just a party among friends, it's just food. he may have had some qualms, which is why he/she asked for opinions. to me, the only thing the OP should take away from the naysayers here is to not invite them to his party. it sounds like his/her friends are a little more easygoing.

                1. re: mariacarmen

                  In your mind the events are not alike, in my mind they are: two tragic events that killed a lot of people and left families grieving for years and years. Justify it any way you care to, but by calling it a Titanic party one is celebrating the event. Why not just celebrate the food of the era instead and leave the Titanic out of it altogether then? In my opinion it is morbid and in bad taste.

                  1. re: ttoommyy

                    That's what I was thinking -- you could have a Victorian Splendour (make sure you spell it like Victoria would have!) and have the same sorts of dishes without a blatant connection to a tragedy.

                    (and we'll only mention in passing that 3/4 of the folks aboard were in steerage and lucky to get a sandwich that night...)

                    1. re: sunshine842

                      Inequality. Now there's your tragedy.

                      1. re: Cachetes

                        Just that if you're going to celebrate the last meal of the Titanic, it's a big disingenuous to ONLY choose what the first-class passengers were eating -- when most of the passengers died hungry.

                        1. re: sunshine842

                          You make a great point. It could probably be said of a lot of celebrations. Great point.

                  2. re: mariacarmen

                    Hm-m, not sure about that. While not being served, as the Twin Towers fell, Windows on the World, plus many employees, went down with the towers. Maybe you can find holes in that logic, but somehow, I doubt it. The night before 09/11/2001, there were several hundred meals served to the diners.


                    1. re: Bill Hunt

                      um, yeah, what i meant was, there was nothing about 9-11 that had to do with food. A luxury liner does feature food as one of its luxuries.

                  3. re: ttoommyy

                    Two different things all together. 9/11 was an act of war against Americans on our own soil.

                    The Titanic, and the Costa Concordia to a much lesser degree, were tragedies but not acts of war.

                    Either way, I couldn't choose to do it, but that's just me. I have a sick and twisted sense of humor in many other ways, though.

                    1. re: jlhinwa

                      No, just acts of human stupidity and carelessness! Paaartaaay!!!

                      1. re: ttoommyy

                        ttoommy, as I said above, I wouldn't choose to have a party celebrating the anniversary of the Titanic (or anything of that nature) for the reasons pointed out throughout this thread. I don't feel good about making light of the loss of life whether it was 100 years ago or last week.

                        I also maintain that in terms of awful days in history, the Titanic sinking and 9/11 are two very different events. An act of war/murder on Americans is different than an accident. Still, they both resulted in tragic loss of life and I couldn't "celebrate" either one of those events in a tongue in cheek manner.

                    2. re: ttoommyy

                      Actually I would not necessarily be offended by an occasion honoring either the Titanic, or 9/11. It would depend on the wording and the context. If I received an invitation stating "we are commemorating the anniversary of 9/11 by recreating the menu from Windows on the World" or "a menu consisting of some great dishes originating in New York," I would not find it objectionable. No one is saying "yippee!"

                      1. re: L.Nightshade

                        well put, reasonable and sensible, LN. as always.

                        1. re: L.Nightshade

                          Ha. They can eat trans fats and salt and smoke cigarettes- all things that were not banned at the time.

                          1. re: L.Nightshade

                            Well put! There's a difference between commemorating a historical event vs. having a party/celebration.

                          2. re: ttoommyy

                            So odd that people get all worked up about a Titanic themed party but probably don't mind in the least that Thanksgiving originated on the eve of one of history's greatest genocides.

                            IMO it's a dinner party, and there's no malice involved. The 'bad taste' crowd are over-thinking the matter.

                              1. re: cowboyardee

                                I don't celebrate Thanksgiving for that very reason.

                                On the other hand, I wouldn't be terribly upset by the thought of a Titanic-themed dinner party.
                                For those who find such a theme in poor taste, I'd agree that a party celebrating the era would be fine. Even shifting the emphasis to 'cuisine enjoyed on luxury liners circa 1911, such as might have been served on the Titanic,' rather than specifically 'the last meal served on the Titanic.'

                              2. re: ttoommyy

                                I don't think the two situations are comparable. The Titanic hit an iceberg. That was an accident. The events of September 11, 2001 were not an accident.

                                I can understand how someone might question the tastefulness of a Titanic themed dinner party. Go with your instinct. Personally, I would not have a problem with it since even most of the children of those on board are dead by now.

                                1. re: John E.

                                  Well, the thing is, the food orientation of these parties tends towards the lux end, and thereby underscores the very problem with the ship: the criminal lack of due care for the 99%, as it were. That lack of care was not the crime of a terrorist, but more the more ordinary customary thoughtlessness by the 1%. So, yes, the situations are different, but it's an opportune moment to remember how things don't change in some ways: the tendency to want to identify more with the haves lots rather than the haves not so lots.

                                  1. re: Karl S

                                    I get the vague sense that somehow you're not referring JUST to the food served on The Titanic.

                                    But I could be wrong.

                                    1. re: Karl S

                                      In the case of the Titanic, I am sure the lifeboats would most certainly be boarded by first class passengers first (in the case of the Titanic, that was not entirely the case because many first class passengers were reluctant to leave the ship for the small lifeboat). However, I do not really believe the lack of enough lifeboats for all was as much of a class distinction as it was the believe that the ship was unsinkable.

                                2. I could not celebrate the 100th Anniversary of the Titanic. In my opinion, it would definitely be in bad taste. Surely you could come up with another theme. A friend of mine threw a party for her Mom's 80th and they planned and executed an awesome Hawaiian theme. They had everything from bright flowers to paper palm trees. They also had a Hawaiian dancer. I suppose the backyard pool and the timing (August) were beneficial.

                                  I suggest that you look into ethnic themes or other notable dates in the past century. You could also have a food bank theme and keep it simple. By doing this, you could donate all funds that you saved (by keeping it simple) and donate the money to your local food bank!

                                  1. I just happened to see your post, and really was astounded by your lack of any empathy for the incredible tragedy around the Titanic. You want to celebrate with food and drink a night filled with terror and death to many human beings?

                                    1 Reply
                                    1. re: Cheriekiss

                                      People tend to forget that. Thanks for seeing my point of view Cheriekiss.

                                      Just because it was 100 years ago doesn't make it any less real. People died horrible deaths.

                                    2. personally, while i know you're not celebrating it, there's something uneasy about it to me. it's not quite the same to me as 9-11 just in terms of accident vs evil. nonetheless, other neat things from April 14th in history:
                                      1814 - Napoleon abdicated and banished to Elba
                                      1828 - Noah Webster's Dictionary published
                                      1853 - Harriet Tubman starts the Underground Railroad
                                      1859 - Dickens' A Tale of Two Cities published
                                      1903 - Dr. Plotz discovers the vaccine for Typhoid
                                      1910- Taft starts the tradition of throwing out the first ball on opening day

                                      ...just a few ideas :)

                                      4 Replies
                                      1. re: Emme

                                        Emme, those are great ideas! There is so much that could be done with some of those...the Underground Railroad these, Dickens, opening day of baseball season, even the dictionary. Nice suggestions!

                                          1. re: Kellz

                                            A dictionary party! I might have to do one of those my own self.

                                            1. re: Sue in Mt P

                                              i thought that sounded like fun too! and a tale of two cities... london and paris? could be interesting.

                                              i also liked the idea of "hidden" or "sneaky" foods, in conjunction with "freedom" foods... maybe even Freedom Onion soup :)

                                        1. I agree that an accident and murder are hardly the same thing. But what is the same, is celebrating someone else's misforturne. That seems wrong. Thanks everyone for your honest feedback and great suggestions. I guess there was a reason I felt a little weird about it, I appreciate the comments everyone!

                                          I think I'll a put out a separate post to solicite more ideas based on the requirements of my group.

                                          Thanks again.

                                          1. The 3D version of Titanic (the movie) opens on 4/6/12. Perhaps your party could celebrate that. Nothing really changes, but it sort of does.

                                            1. Those who died on the Titanic and at the WTC on 9/11 all died horrible deaths. End result. THAT was my point.

                                              1 Reply
                                              1. re: ttoommyy

                                                Totally agree. Thanks for your passionate feedback :-)

                                              2. When Titanic the movie became a world wide hit, restaurants were having meals based on the meals from all three classes. And the only ones who went hungry were the ones who were seasick. The meals for steerage sounded better than a lot of what is offered at the chains.

                                                And to add to the Titanic theme, please invite your supper club to come dressed as they were when the ship went down. I came wearing my tuxedo jacket, ruffled shirt, and boxers with pink lips all over. Most wore pajamas, while one daring lady came dressed only in a long fur coat.

                                                7 Replies
                                                1. re: INDIANRIVERFL

                                                  Did any gentleman offer to check her coat?

                                                  1. re: Veggo

                                                    Yes. Multiple times. Oh, and by the way, this was U.S. Army officers and spouses. Train hard, work hard, party hard was the Colonel's philosophy. But heaven help you if you or your troops came up on the police blotter.

                                                  2. re: INDIANRIVERFL

                                                    nobody's going to make a gala dinner out of gruel, cabin biscuits, and cheese -- which is what the majority of passengers on the Titanic were served for supper that last night. Make mine a Big Mac, please.

                                                    1500 people died.

                                                    Not a celebration.

                                                      1. re: sunshine842

                                                        I think you're kind of misrepresenting things, though sunshine. That was the final food offered for the entire day, but dinner at midday was the main meal, not the supper you list. The last dinner in 3rd class was roast beef with gravy, potatoes, corn, fresh bread... not bad for anyone of any "class", although I do realize the offerings in first class were much more refined. Still, though, it's not like the 3rd class passengers were given nothing but gruel... they simply had their main meal earlier in the day, a norm of that time.

                                                        I have perused the book mentioned below and having a Titanic themed dinner party is truly nothing new. I see both sides of the argument. I think it's all in how the gathering is delivered and perceived. It can be macabre or not. It doesn't sound like, OP, you are doing anything to celebrate others' misfortune, but to remember a time lost.

                                                          1. re: sunshine842

                                                            You said that "most died hungry" and (correctly) stated that they got gruel, cheese and bread for their last meal - that seemed to misrepresent the facts of the situation, though. After such a nice breakfast, heavy dinner, plus tea later, that 4th meal of the day, even if it was the last one offered, probably didn't equate to anyone dying hungry. Even the food served from the 3rd class Titanic kitchens would be worthy to be offered for a dinner party, if following the Titanic theme. I interpreted your comments to make it sound like the 1st class passengers were gluttons while the rest starved and it just wasn't the case. A Titanic-themed party doesn't necessarily have to draw from any class of berth as they all ate well.

                                                    1. You won't be the first: there's even a cookbook - Last Dinner On the Titanic: Menus and Recipes from the Great Liner- which has recipes for the dinners served in all three classes, as well as meals served in the separate on-board restaurant. I like reading the recipes, but have never made any of them: the First Class menu is something like 11 heavy courses!

                                                      1. Too man people here have made the poster feel bad about her idea. Nowhere did she say she was going to celebrate the anniversary of the Titanic -

                                                        "I had planned on doing a Titanic Theme, as it falls in on the 100th Anniversary. I thought it would be fun to dredge up some old victorian recipes and honor those lost."

                                                        I think to honor those lost is a good thing and see nothing wrong with it.

                                                        11 Replies
                                                          1. re: Jeanne

                                                            If you ask you must be prepared to take the good with the bad. That's the beautiful part of a free discussion. No one is trying to make th OP feel bad. We are just discussing all aspects of the topic. At the end of the day the OP is free to have an orgy if she pleases; if no one gets hurt and all guests are in accord, that's all that matters.

                                                            1. re: ttoommyy

                                                              ttommyy - I was referring to the numerous posts that referred to her celebrating a tragedy - the woman never said that. If you're going to disagree with someone - READ the original post and get the info straight.

                                                              1. re: Jeanne

                                                                I have read the original post...a number of times...and every other post. I believe celebrating the tragedy is inherent in the idea of having a Titanic party, even if one sets out to honor the survivors. If you reread my posts I never once said not to have the party nor did I ever chastise the OP for thinking about it. The OP asked for opinions and that is all I gave; just my opinion.

                                                                I'm an intelligent person, no need to reprimand me. Thanks.

                                                                1. re: Jeanne

                                                                  she didn't use the word "tragedy", but she asked "(I) wonder if it seems in bad taste?"

                                                                  Is there some problem with having read the original post and deciding to answer the question with "yes, it seems in bad taste"?

                                                                  If you'd READ the posts, mine especially since it's one you're commenting on -- you'll see that I suggested a non-Titanic party that celebrates Victorian culinary splendors....and made the point that having a heavy, multi-course Victorian meal completely ignores the majority of passengers...who ate gruel and cheese, which makes lousy party fare.

                                                                  A party around upper-class Victorian meals and the height of the British Empire sounds like a heckuva lot of fun, and raises the options of bringing in foods from the colonial holdings at the time, including Indian and African food -- along with safari hats. Heh.

                                                                  1. re: sunshine842

                                                                    ok, so it's alright to have a party that centers around "upper-class Victorian meals" even though that would ignore that there were plenty of poor and hungry people at the height of the British Empire, but it's not ok to have a menu recreating a meal that might have been served on the Titanic? i don't get the logic here. History is RIFE with tragedies, of all shapes, kinds, sizes. Poor taste can be judged in many ways.

                                                                    1. re: mariacarmen

                                                                      I really don't see any post that is telling the OP NOT to have the party. Those of us against the idea are just saying why we think it is in bad taste. Once again...the OP ASKED for our opinions and we are giving them. I NEVER once told the OP NOT to have the party.

                                                                      1. re: ttoommyy

                                                                        did i say you did? i was arguing SS842's logic. what, i can't have a counter-opinion?

                                                                        1. re: mariacarmen

                                                                          Sorry, misplaced reply mariacarmen. (that's what I get for responding on an iPad) Of course you can have a counter-opinion. That's what this board is all about.

                                                              2. What a stimulating topic. Some very interesting well reasoned thoughts and then there are the candid admissions " the worse the taste the more enjoyable the evening". really! With the passage of time, no specific amount of time, one will note that tragic events become subjects addressed with less respect than originally due them. Too many examples to list. One poster noted a celebration of the period. The Titanic has its place in history secured, your dinner party is not a bad joke but a remembrance. Other tragic events mentioned here, IMHO, would be bad taste subjects for a light hearted occasion. Ever consider a Babbitt's Feast? You would need some fantastic chef to pull that one off. Love to hear back on the dinner party results!

                                                                1. Unsinkable Molly Brown

                                                                  1. I forget who it was that said that "Tragedy plus time equals comedy". It was a LOT less than 100 years after the Titanic sunk that many people, likely including a couple of us Chowhounds, laughed hysterically at Jaime Brockett's telling of the story of the sinking of the great ship, and still crack a smile when someone says "He walked around the wheelhouse ONCE" or mentions 497 & a half feet of rope.

                                                                    And if I had a dollar for every post-Katrina New Orleans Recovery fund-raising event where hurricanes were served, I'd have been able to make a much bigger contribution.

                                                                    So I say have your party,

                                                                    1 Reply
                                                                    1. How about a dinner recreating the meal for Hitchcock's "Rope?"

                                                                      1. I have been thinking about this, and decided that if it were me, I would change the theme, and do a Titanic one later, when the tales of the recent disaster were not so fresh in everyone mind. But that is just MY thinking.

                                                                        1. would you have a party celebrating the (April 18, 1906) San Francisco Earthquake? How about the 1871 Great Chicago Fire? Or the 1942 Cocoanut Grove Nightclub fire? Would you consider the 1984 or 2011 Tsunamis? Perhaps a Hurricane Katrina Party would be good.

                                                                          None of these were caused by Humans, but the outcomes were horrifically magnified by outdated customs and technology, gross incompetence, and just plain bad luck.

                                                                          Somehow the Titanic disaster has acquired a patina of glamor and allure. All that wealth and finery lost to the sea. The indiscriminate loss of life, rich and poor perishing together. But when we stop for a minute we realize that wasn't the case. A very significant percentage of the first class passengers did make it into the lifeboats. A negligible number of those in third class survived.

                                                                          1 Reply
                                                                          1. re: KaimukiMan

                                                                            the OP is NOT having a party CELEBRATING any tragedy.

                                                                          2. So what are you serving?

                                                                            1. Seriously? Nobody has suggested a Downtown Abbey-themed menu? This will solve all your problems, be the same culture and time-period as the Titanic, be in great taste as Downtown Abbey is very hip right now, and you don't have to even touch on the idea of cruise ship disasters.

                                                                              2 Replies
                                                                              1. re: OnBlank

                                                                                Not to correct typos, just as an aid for googling, it's Downton Abbey. And agreed, it would provide the same type of menu as a Titanic theme.

                                                                                1. re: gaffk

                                                                                  Haha! I want to tell you that was autocorrect. I really, really do.

                                                                              2. I think everyone needs to chill and put this themed dinner in perspective.

                                                                                After all, the other themed evenings in this series featured the Holocaust, Slavery, and Hiroshima.

                                                                                2 Replies
                                                                                  1. Such an interesting discussion. I don't think the schedule of tv listings is out yet for April but I'll bet you that Cameron's Titanic will be playing in loops. Plus the original and the Poseidon Adventure. History as entertainment. I don't see anything wrong with your dinner plan.

                                                                                    1. I just keep thinking of Unsinkable Molly Brown. She survived the Titanic, and there are many, many dinners and dinner theatre events surrounding this larger than life personality. I have a Molly Brown cookbook, with very interesting ideas. She was known for her lavish dinner parties at the Brown Mansion in Denver.

                                                                                      1. Whatever you decide, go easy on the iceberg lettuce.

                                                                                        6 Replies
                                                                                                1. re: beevod

                                                                                                  And no floating island for dessert!

                                                                                                  1. re: beevod

                                                                                                    Dammit, that was going to be MY reply!

                                                                                                  2. Well, it's food for thought. Granted, both were complete tragedy, but in your OP you specify that you want to honor those who were lost. If you google "Titanic menu" you will find the dishes served at that last supper.
                                                                                                    Can you just ask your friends? I generally don't find this to be in bad taste but I get your reservation, all things considered. If you were doing a Tsunami meal, for some reason I would find that quite offensive, and I am not easily offended. Maybe it's because the Titanic has gone down in history and been a little romanticized in song, film and story.

                                                                                                    1. Looks like we have a weekend filled with Titanic themed events here in my town (STL) including a $500 per person dinner .


                                                                                                      I think it sounds like fun.

                                                                                                      6 Replies
                                                                                                      1. re: mtoo

                                                                                                        That's some expensive fun, mtoo.

                                                                                                        1. re: mamachef

                                                                                                          Clarification: I think it sounds like fun for someone with an extra $1000 laying around, which, at this time, is not me.

                                                                                                        2. re: mtoo

                                                                                                          I just got this in an email:

                                                                                                          So if you've wanted to experience the thrill of April 14, 1912 without the actual, you know, sinking, 41° North, 49° West (the coordinates of the last gasp) invites you to experience the Titanic's "first-class menu" on April 14, 2012. A few things to know about this, however. The menu has been "redesigned for a 21st century class of diner," which would seem to defeat the purpose. And the cost for the 7-course, inauthentic meal is $450 (the $300 spots have sold out).

                                                                                                          According to http://dinetitanic.com/ , it's sold out.

                                                                                                          1. re: Fydeaux

                                                                                                            "redesigned for a 21st century class of diner" is a finalist for "bullshit marketing phrase of the year".

                                                                                                        3. If you don't think recreating a 9/11 Windows on The World menu won't be in bad taste in 90 years time, then perhaps it's not in bad taste. Otherwise, your question rather plainly answers itself.

                                                                                                          1. Everyone is definitely entitled to their opinion, but I find so many people are sooo sensitive and ready to point out someone being "inappropriate" or "insensitive". Give me a break. I think it is a neat idea to remember and honour the tradgedy. There are lessons to be learned in every occasion good or bad ("too big to fail" comes to mind which is ironically suitable for more than one century). The poster who said that the tone of the invite is what will set the taste level is 100% correct. It is a dinner to explore historical dining. I find the bigger tradgedy would be to ignore the disaster and forget about it totally. Please, have your dinner, I think it would be neat, especially if you had some period facts and facts about the liner itself. But, I am a history buff. My dad got some early translated recipes from a dinner Ceasar attended and prepared them, not great food, but worth the experience.

                                                                                                            1. You know, military units often have reunions and they usually manage to have a good time even though there may be some somber moments when reminiscing about lost comrades - a tragedy on a much more personal level. Like at these events, a toast to those who did not survive would seem most appropriate. As stated somewhere above, how you word the invitation can easily set the tone.

                                                                                                              1. I just realized i spelled tragedy incorrectly. Twice. Oh the horror, especially since spelling errors and misuse of homonyms are my biggest pet peeves on earth. I will have to blame it on the wine....

                                                                                                                1. I have certainly enjoyed this thread, but am surprised it is approaching 100 replies.

                                                                                                                  Let's just say that a dinner party of the Titanic sinking ranks somewhere around Hogan's Heroes for its ironic blend of comedy and tragedy.

                                                                                                                  1. Interesting perspectives on this thread and a lot of passionate opinions are being expressed. Here’s my two cents. You’re looking to commemorate the event, not celebrate a tragedy. I don’t see anything wrong with that. My perspective is colored by the fact that I was at 9/11 and there are things about the day I don’t like to recall. But I’ve gotten together with colleagues to remember it and toast those we lost. We don’t celebrate the day but its appropriate to mark it.

                                                                                                                    5 Replies
                                                                                                                    1. re: Bkeats

                                                                                                                      Thanks, Bkeats, for the most sensible response in this whole bizarre thread.

                                                                                                                      I think a dinner recreating the menu from the Titanic's last day is a great idea, and not at all in bad taste.
                                                                                                                      It is really no more strange than those Civil War reenactment campouts which we see every year.

                                                                                                                      It would probably also be appropriate to do a little research into what the folks in 2nd & 3rd class and steerage were fed. That would make the dinner even more interesting.

                                                                                                                      1. re: The Professor

                                                                                                                        Hmmm. I don't know that a Civil War reenactment (noted battles of --mostly-- willing participants) is analogous to commemoration of a tragedy. I do wonder, though, if the events of 9/11 had happened later in the day, would one feel good abut a 'Windows on the World' meal, just like the one had by the tragic victims? Not saying one should, and not even taking a side, but there are minor differences that can mean a lot when we consider how we choose to commemorate a tragedy.
                                                                                                                        That said, much of this discussion makes me think of the scholarship on commemorations that suggests they serve more to forget than to actually remember.

                                                                                                                        1. re: Lizard

                                                                                                                          The comparison of the sinking of the Titanic to the events 09.11,01 are not valid. One was an accident and the other was not. One was an attack on U.S. soil the other was not. One happened 100 years ago, the other happened 11 years ago. Do I believe a food-themed commemoration of the events of 09.11.01 will be appropriate in 89 years? I do not believe so. We do not commemorate 12.07.41 is such a manner and the events of that day are most comparable to 9/11.

                                                                                                                          1. re: John E.

                                                                                                                            True, but then again the deaths of many people on the Titanic were the result of gross negligence, mostly 99%-type people who were not eating the lux foods of 1% that are being romanticized with a roseate aura.

                                                                                                                            1. re: Karl S

                                                                                                                              Many of those in the lowest decks were headed to Minnesota, my state. There was also a young couple coming home to Minnesota from their 2 month honeymoon. The maiden name of the mother of the groom was Pillsbury. The reason for the survival of he and his wife did not have an ethical problem to it. They got on the first lifeboat when nobody else was willing to leave the 'unsinkable' Titanic.

                                                                                                                    2. I once went to a a county fair in Colorado, playing in a fiddle contest. My kids and I walked around the midway.... they had a giant blow up Titanic, at a sinking angle, and the kids rode down a big slide like they were going into the water.
                                                                                                                      A ride at a fair.
                                                                                                                      I thought that instead of carnival music they ought to have been playing a recording of screams.
                                                                                                                      It was really, really creepy.

                                                                                                                      2 Replies
                                                                                                                      1. re: wyogal

                                                                                                                        Sounds like good fun to me.

                                                                                                                        On that note, does anyone recall this Milton Bradley board game from almost 40 years ago?

                                                                                                                        1. It only works if everyone goes as a zombie.
                                                                                                                          Seriously, I would chose another theme. How about cruise ship night or Qe2 night.
                                                                                                                          All you need to to is prepare a buffet the size of mount Everest :)

                                                                                                                          1. I am in a dinner club as well and we are planning our second Titanic themed dinner in March. The first one that occurred several years ago was inspired by a cookbook that I had purchased at the Titanic exhibit that was in my area. It is called Last Meal on the Titanic and includes recipes and menus for what was served on that fateful night.

                                                                                                                            Our event is not about celebrating a disaster it is more a celebration of Edwardian tradition and dining based on a multi-course Escoffier dinner. You could easily call it something else, perhaps the Downton Abbey or Upstairs Downstairs dinner. It is about celebrating an era and the Titanic to me represents the grandeur and splendor of past days.

                                                                                                                            1. Having posted earlier, I want to point out that on the Space Coast of Florida, there are three Titanic themed parties advertised in the local papers.

                                                                                                                              Party On, Dudettes and Dudes!!

                                                                                                                              1 Reply
                                                                                                                              1. re: INDIANRIVERFL

                                                                                                                                The current count locally is up to 14. Party on!

                                                                                                                              2. CNN ran a story today (or last night) on two sisters who are taking a cruise from Southampton to commemorate the Titanic's journey. They plan to arrive at the point where the ship went down on the 100th anniversary. The cruise will include period dress and dinner fare that would have been popular at the time the Titanic sailed. (They showed a Titanic first-class menu - or a replica, I think - during the piece.)

                                                                                                                                As I was searching the web for a link to this story just now, I came across this PR release on a separate Titanic-themed memorial from an Orlando, FL outfit:

                                                                                                                                "The dinner show includes a sumptuous five-course meal and a special 100th Anniversary Champagne Toast. Courses are authentic to the time period and a reflection of the courses that were served onboard Titanic and include such delectable dishes as asparagus salad with champagne saffron vinaigrette, roasted lamb with red wine sauce and mint and raspberry filled cake with raspberry drizzle.

                                                                                                                                Guests will also have an opportunity to explore the Exhibition and experience a reenactment of the disaster...."

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                                                                                                                                1. re: racer x

                                                                                                                                  Found the video clip:

                                                                                                                                  One of the sisters is a social studies teacher. She says that the segment on the Titanic is always the students' favorite topic each year.

                                                                                                                                  1. re: racer x

                                                                                                                                    Seems that things are not going so well for the "Titanic-themed" cruise. First, bad weather slowed them down, and then they had to turn about, to get a sick passenger airlifted to safety.Guess that they will soon continue. Watch out for that iceberg!!!!!

                                                                                                                                    Hope it goes better this time around.


                                                                                                                                    1. re: Bill Hunt

                                                                                                                                      that's two of their three...I think I would have disembarked.

                                                                                                                                      1. re: sunshine842

                                                                                                                                        Well, they did want to feel a little bit of what it may have been like on the real ship. This lets them experience some of the frustration and disappointment (without anyone actually getting hurt).

                                                                                                                                      2. re: Bill Hunt

                                                                                                                                        I wonder if they have a spark-gap transmitter to radio for help in the same manner as the Titanic?

                                                                                                                                    2. I still think that an "Unsinkable Molly Brown" dinner would be good.... celebrating the life of a survivor of the Titanic.