It's been nine years this month that my girlfriends and I have been participating in Dinner Club. I chose to host September. I usually have October because I love Halloween, but this year I thought I would give October up and try another month. The host gets to pick their own theme and the rest of us are adventurous and usually exhibit good sportsmanship, so we just go with it and see what the evening brings. My theme, "Masquerade Theater" just came to me. I'll explain how it works.
I chose six genres; Action & Adventure, Romance, Horror, Drama, Comedy and Foreign. I wrote them all on separate pieces of paper. Then I wrote down all the components of the dinner: Appetizer, Entree, Salad, Side Dish, Beverage and Dessert. Lastly, I wrote the names; Tina, Tracy, Jeni, Stephanie, Kathy and Trisha. Since the hostess gets the entree, I left those out and had a friend draw my theme. It came out, "romance". How fitting. Therefore, I had the "Romantic Entree". The others were, Action & Adventure Appetizer by Stephanie, Salad of Horror by Tracy, Dramatic Side Dish by Kathy, Beverage of Comedy by Tina, and a Foreign Dessert by Jeni. The goal was to make your contribution closely resemble that of the genre. All of the pairings turned out good. I thought the Salad of Horror would be the most difficult and the foreign dessert sounded like bliss. My Dinner Club friends told me that out of all the Dinner Clubs we have been doing over the years, this was the most challenging and the most difficult. We had met our match. It thrilled me to hear that. That was my goal!
I wrote up a menu based on the theme and the recipes they chose. I created a program scroll keepsake that read as follows:
ACTION and ADVENTURE
Appetizer by Stephanie
This riveting dish will put you on the edge of your seat! So moving, it’s almost 3D! Her choice was inspired by the active preparation of the ingredients and the adventure of putting it all together! Autumn Apple Appetizer Bites
Entrée by Trisha
Sicilian Meatballs with Homestyle Marinara obtained from a Sicilian family that is rumored to have ties in the mob. Her choice was inspired by the romantic interlude that occurs in Walt Disney’s “Lady and the Tramp.”
Salad by Tracy
Baby mozzarella, assorted baby heirloom cherry tomatoes, baby basil with dressing made from a 30 year aged balsamic vinegar. Her choice was inspired by the movie “Rosemary’s baby.”
Pastry piped potatoes served in individual ramekins. Her choice was Inspired by the dramatically crafted presentation!
Beverage By Tina
Individualized bottles of wine adorned with comedic lables crafted by Tina herself and inspired by the character and personalities of her fellow Dinner Club members.
Dessert by Jeni
Three layer traditional German Chocolate Cake with cocoa filling and chocolate icing. This cake will whisk you back in time as the recipe was published in 1915 in a cookbook titled, “Mary at the Farm and Book of Recipes” by John Hartenstein. Her choice was inspired by German chocolate.
Being that my Dinner Club was so close to Halloween, I was able to decorate with masquerade masks. For a centerpiece that had a special "theater" effect, I found Shakesperian quotes on a website and printed them off the internet onto cream colored paper. I carefully tore the edges, top and sides, and taped them to clear glass vases. Place your tealight in the center and you have a glowing, theatrical effect that your guests can have fun reading.
Our next Dinner Club is scheduled for November 13th. Tina will be hosting and the theme is Russian. I have the side dish! Can't wait!