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Posted on 10.31.2014 / by Cedar Door
Themed parties aren’t a recent invention, but they’ve certainly become more popular over the last decade or two. The basic idea is simple — pick a theme, then host a party with foods, decorations and perhaps even your guests’ clothing all tied to the theme. The reason for the party may be tied to a specific event, such as a holiday, but you can also let the theme itself be your motivation. Your theme can be anything you want, so it’s a good opportunity to let your creative juices flow.
When planning the menu for your themed party, you will need to consider the ages of your guests as well as any special dietary needs. You’ll also need to work within your own budget. Therefore, instead of a scanty list of foods to prepare for different themed parties, the goal here is to give you a few examples to spark your imagination. It’s your party — have fun with it!
“Color” Themed Parties
A color-themed party is planned around a specific color. For example, you could have a “black and white” party and ask your guests to wear clothing that is either black or white. Decorations could include old black-and-white photographs, or you could display a few interesting newspaper clippings. Table linens should follow the same color scheme. As for the menu, serve dishes that are black, white or a combination of the two. You might choose black-bean soup for an appetizer, followed by sliced turkey breast and white rice. For dessert, vanilla ice cream topped with licorice sprinkles would follow the theme. Naturally, your own menu feature completely different foods, but you probably have a firm grasp of the concept.
“Event” Themed Parties
Event-themed parties are tied to a specific occasion, such as an upcoming wedding, graduation, birth or retirement. For this type of party, the decorations and menu should relate to the specific event. A retirement party, for example, could use leisure or recreational activities as its theme. Crackers in the shape of fish, a cake decorated to resemble a golf course or canapés sporting toothpicks decorated to look like fishing poles are just a few ideas. Decorations could include a hammock to hold guests’ coats or gifts for the retiree, a broken clock to indicate that the honoree can keep his or her own hours or photographs of exotic locations that he or she now (hopefully) has the time to visit.
A baby shower could celebrate the upcoming birth with foods that are “stuffed,” such as crab puffs, cabbage rolls, stuffed bell peppers, creampuffs, popovers or stuffed Cornish game hens. Another approach would be to make everything “baby-themed.” Carve a watermelon to resemble a baby carriage, then arrange fruit inside in the form of a baby — use an orange for the head, grapes or raisins for eyes and use berries and grapes to make the “blanket.” You can make wheels for the carriage by slicing oranges or grapefruits in half, then affixing cherries to each center with toothpicks for the hub.
“Pure” Themed Parties
A pure themed party is just one for which you pick a particular motif, such as pirates, vampires, winter, baseball, travel and so on. The theme can be the reason for the party, but you could also apply the theme to an occasion or holiday. For example, you could throw a child’s birthday party with a pirate theme, celebrate Halloween with a vampire-themed party or mark a retirement with a travel-themed party.
Like all themed parties, the menu and decorations should relate to the theme. For example, if you are hosting a vampire-themed party, you could bake a one-layer cake, cut it in the shape of a coffin and then use frosting to add hinges or texture. Serve a red punch for your beverage, use wooden toothpicks to “stake” appetizers or press hamburger meat into the shape of bats before cooking.
“Holiday” Themed Parties
Holiday-themed parties are perhaps the easiest to plan. For example, for a Fourth of July party, serve foods that are red, white or blue. Turn hot links into appetizers, serve vanilla ice cream topped with blueberries or strawberries, offer guests a shrimp cocktail or fill candy dishes with cinnamon candy.
A Halloween party could use some of the same ideas as a vampire-themed party, but you will likely want to include ghosts, pumpkins, black cats or other traditional “spooky” elements. Cover the outside of your punchbowl with black paper or cloth to resemble a witch’s cauldron, then serve black-cherry punch with ice cubes in which you have frozen plastic “horrors” such as flies, spiders or eyeballs. Make a coffin-shaped meat loaf and top it with catsup or tomato soup. If you’d like, you could make finger sandwiches that add a new dimension to the name — just cut the assembled sandwiches into fingers, using half of a black olive for the nails.
Planning Your Menu
As you have seen, the possibilities are virtually without limit. You can apply a specific theme to just about any event, holiday or occasion you want. For example, you could have a pink color-themed party to celebrate Easter or a unicorn-themed party to celebrate a girl’s fifth birthday. Just let your imagination run wild when you are planning your menu.
If you’re stumped for ideas, pressed for time or lack the recipe library to pull off what your imagination has created, we can help. Just give us a call or drop us an email.