For my wife's 30th birthday bash we wanted to do an unconventional themed party —something fun, eclectic, yet personal. Her love of books and food is what inspired our Wordy Thirty dinner party. Read on for details on this novel-themed party about food, drink, and great conversation.
As with all successful dinner parties it starts with the menu. We wanted everything served that night to have a connection to a famous narrative, so we pooled together ideas, using memories from our childhood to recent reads, to come up with a good mix of savory and sweet for our menu. The project also gave us an opportunity to create some fun and interesting items that we previously could only imagine tasting, like Turkish Delights from The Lion, The Witch, and The Wardrobe.
The decor also needed to tie things together. We picked up a large hardcover book from a thrift store that was loaded with weathered pages. We ripped out the pages individually (my wife may have shed a tear) and used them to create several decorative elements - a "Happy Birthday" marquee, a sash of book "leaves," paper flowers, and more. Favorite books from our bookshelf also served as risers for serving platters and trays. We then took out some of our favorite word games such as Scrabble and Boggle, and scattered letters across the table spread. Finally, menu cards of each item were printed — with a picture of the book or author that inspired the fare along with a quote or description.
Everything came together beautifully, tasted great, and made for a fun whimsical night with friends that we won't forget. Recipes from the food that made this party a success are listed below.
- Pizza Napoletana (Eat, Pray, Love)
- Fried Green Tomatoes (Fried Green Tomatoes)
- French Bread (Les Miserables)
- Turkish Delights (The Lion, The Witch and The Wardrobe)
- Marmalade Sandwiches (Paddington Bear)
- "Eat Me" Cakes (Alice's Adventures in Wonderland)
- Plum Cake (Through the Looking Glass)
- Mint Julep (William Faulkner)
- Papa Doble (Earnest Hemingway)
- The Vesper (Casino Royale)
(Images: Chris Perez)