Sunday, October 30, 2011

#85 - Ghoul's Night Out

My family has for as long as I remember held special dinners that involve a mixed up menu with themed names for items where you order everything (including silverware and drinks) by courses hoping to get a fork with your main course or a spoon with your soup.  The menu is kept a secret in advance so that the attendees have a challenge in sleuthing out the clues in the menu.  I'm not sure where the idea originated - when I asked my parents once, they said that the first one they remembered was a church function but that they were a part of the planning group.  When I was working at my first professional job as a children's librarian, I had a couple of these dinners for the library's staff.  And when I moved to Ely, I started having them for friends.  For several years, I did one every fall, but life, travel, and other circumstances made me take a break for the last three or four Halloweens.

My cat checks out the test run of the plasma ball centerpiece
This year, I decided to revive the "Ghoul's Night Out" tradition and throw a menu mystery party again.  The menu included two drinks and four nonedible items ... can you tell which they are from the names?  Some are easier when you see what they look like ...

The Menu
1.  Bone Bits
2.  Buffy’s Weapon
3.  Devil’s Accessory
4.  Embers
5.  Evil Eye
6.  Frankenstein’s Leftovers
7.  Goblin Grins
8.  Kiss from a Vampire
9.  Marrow Scraper
10.Moon Puddles
11.Mummy Wrap
12.Spider’s Lair
13.Stewed Slugs
14.Toxic Waste
15.Vampire’s Bane
16.Witch’s Fingers

Goblin Grins
Kiss from a Vampire
Spider's Lair
The other items "served" were: fork, spoon, napkin, toothpick, water, punch, stuffed jalapeno peppers, wrap slices, roasted root vegetables, stuffed Italian shells, garlic bread, jello salad, and a marshmallow pop that looked like an eyeball.

      Parties like this one take a great deal of prep time, and it works best for the hostess if all of the food will survive a few extra minutes in the oven and doesn't need constant attention at the end of its cooking cycle.  Setting out the correct number of silverware pieces and glasses helps speed the serving along as well.  Items are removed at the end of each course (so don't try to order your fork earlier thinking you'll have it through the whole meal) - though this time around I gave each guest a take home box for lunch the next day.

The first serving arrives, and everyone rushes to check their menus.
      It's always part of the fun to watch each guest try to decide how what they ordered matches what appears on the plate!

My morning after pick-me-up of left-over Toxic Waste!



      If you like to cook, are feeling creative with names, or have a group of friends that aren't afraid to eat with fingers, I'd recommend giving this type of dinner party a try!