I’m doing a themed dinner - thoughts?

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Jade Emperor

Sous Chef
Apr 12, 2023
Hello all!

I’m cooking a themed dinner and the theme is “What Your Mama Used To Make”.
About fifteen guests
I know this is very fraught with problems because I don’t really know what everyone’s mums cooking tasted like. And there is nothing like your mum’s cooking.
Concept: All RSVPs with a little description of their childhood food memories and then I can go from there.

Good idea?
@blissful not a problem here. Salt cod (gag) has never been a thing in Australia.
I’m just waiting to see how much meatloaf I will have to make.
Prawn cocktails all around for fancy.
It sound like fun but I think that I would use it as an excuse for a potluck style meal where everyone makes and brings a childhood favorite.

Taste of Home magazine used to have a column called Mom’s Best Meals years ago and published many of those columns into a cookbook. I always enjoyed reading about the family memories and traditions formed around those simple meals of the 40s, 50s, and 60s.

Please keep us posted on how this project comes together.
That's what i thought you meant Jade. Everyone brings their favourite meal their mom used to make. Think you are diving into murky waters trying to emulate someone's mom!

But brave you, sounds exciting, challenging and will be lots of fun and hopefully many laughs.

Edit: thinking about popular casseroles, etc. from "days gone by"... Tuna Casserole, Macaroni & Cheese, Sunday Meat Loaf, Green Bean Casserole. LOL - are you reserving rights to "adjust" duplicates?
Be pretty funny if, as you say, you end up with 15 Meat Loaves. You'll have to make one for each and have a "taste-off"!
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When I think of Cod - I love it.... When I think of Salt Cod - it just turns me right off.... my problem is that I've never had it but am afraid I'm so prejudiced that it wouldn't matter if it was good or not - I'd still gag. Mind over matter... would need someone who is amazing at preparing it.
I had thought about a potluck style event, but I waiver on that thought. It’s like a threesome - someone always gets left out. I have done some potlucks that turned out slightly ugly, because sometimes the “salt cod” gets no love and the provider gets a bit upset.
Also there is the fact that it is going to be 15 small tasting portions.
Imagine everyone bringing their large casserole dishes full of tasty mum food!
I envisage everyone perhaps having some input to the event apart from just telling me what they remember from their childhood dinner table.
I have already had a friend reply, berating me because I said “Mum’s Cooking” and they lost their mama before they could remember any dinners, being fed by their Da.
Like I said earlier, fraught!
The other thing that comes to mind, and please don’t think that I am going big note on myself - but a lot of my guests would be perhaps intimidated by a potluck.
Imagine being invited to a potluck with Blumenthal.
Everyone on the guest list here knows that I am a chef (or was).
Therefore the wonderful dish of sausage and tatties with onion Bisto might not be entirely enjoyed, because the theme would be completely misunderstood.
I can see that this post might come across as pretentious, but I honestly don’t think that way 🫠
I like the idea,
You could have some issues making things fit, but then there are always starters and appetisers...
I mean, you might have people growing up on Hawaiian, English, German, Japanese, Indian and whatsoever food...

By the way, dad mostly cooked at our place
Jade, it is not pretentious at all. It is a theme, and if your guests cannot understand that, well, I feel sorry for them! I'm sure the guests that do will have great fun and as I said earlier - probably some good chuckles too.
If you haven't sent out the invites you could rephrase to "Childhood favorites" to allow for single parent homes. If you feel you have to be PC....

You sure won't have trouble with any of the cooking of favorites and maybe consider intentionally burning something to bring back those memories! (Of course we still ate it!)

Sounds like a fun evening of conversation from childhood memories anyway!
I have sent out the invites and I used “memories” as the template theme.
So far, I have three RSVP’s.
One guest has replied with “ham steaks with pineapple and cherry”.
Yikes! I will probably do that as a canapé to be passed around with pre-dinner drinks.
Another has returned with roast chicken bought from the store. I will be doing something with that, but roast it myself probably in the smoker.
Every guest that I have spoken to so far has been positive about the dinner plans and they all are looking forward to a fun night.
Haha - I just dropped a LOT of $$$ on champagne and wine, but you only live once and I want to party with some beautiful friends before I go.
I actually wish that I could send invites to all my wonderful friends here! 🫠
We have been invited and are excited to participate if only in reading your posts, both pre-dinner and at-dinner! Thank you so much for the invite!
My memories that pop up are my mom's hash made from Sunday's roast and her chicken and dumplings. (choose which ever fits into the menu - either - both - or neither!)
We have been invited and are excited to participate if only in reading your posts, both pre-dinner and at-dinner! Thank you so much for the invite!
My memories that pop up are my mom's hash made from Sunday's roast and her chicken and dumplings. (choose which ever fits into the menu - either - both - or neither!)
I’ll bring a date cake!

Your party reminded me of a New Year's Eve party I attended many, many years ago. The party was a Fraternity Brothers reunion, as much as anything. A way to get together and continue the tradition of playing the first football game of the year, their Toilet Bowl Game. :ROFLMAO: This year's host spent many days practicing and perfecting the menu. The party was to start shortly before midnight...so the menu would be munchies, so to speak. Miniature versions of a list of items. Some that I remember were the tiny stuffed baby potato skins, single bite cherry cheesecakes and a teeny, tiny Eggs Benedict. I remember the practice sessions for those Eggs Bene! In the end, he went with an eye dropper to place the "proper" amount of egg yolk in each. And, sadly, it rained just before midnight, turning the street into a sheet of ice. The Toilet Bowl had to be called before someone got seriously injured!

Anyway, our host put so much time and effort into making everything hisownself. Bless his heart. I don't think he got any time to catch up with his Brothers! We came from all over the U.S.! So...I hope you will not make things so complicated that you miss out on enjoying this precious time with your friends.
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