When I asked my friend Seth if he wanted a theme for his birthday dinner, I did not anticipate his response: the solar system. While at first stumped, a chat with my brilliantly nerdy friend David and a trip to the library revealed fun facts about each planet, as well as plenty of mythological references. These findings inspired a ten course menu with each course themed around the sun and nine planets. For appetizers--the introduction to the meal--I thought back to children's introduction to the solar system (e.g. Goodnight Moon and wishing upon stars) for inspiration. Along the way I remained mindful of Seth's favorite foods and flavors. Amy's decor started with a hanging mobile of the solar system and stayed in theme with plenty of star and planet motifs. With a blue and white color palette, Amy did graphic floral arrangements and iron-on napkins with an explanation of the planets. At each place setting, we gave guests their horoscope and astrological character description. And, of course, all guests went home with neapolitan astronaut ice cream; what would a space party be without it!?
a child's introduction to space
"The Big Dipper"
always better with dip
herb salad rolls with peanut hoison dip & spicy vietnamese dip
"When You Wish Upon A Star"
open faced thanksgiving sandwiches
"The Big Bear"
inspired by what a bear eats...
1/5 star anise
a cow becomes...
air cured beef wrapped around asian pear, manchego, fig jam & mint
technically a dwarf planet...potatoes grow underground...amuse bouche
mini baked potato with melted cheddar, rosemary & creme fraiche
the red planet...hot versus cold
earth's evil sister...because the birthday boy has two least favorite foods
fish swim in liquid
life...mother and child...vegetation
cold smoked chicken, slow poached egg, steamed rice & pickled cucumbers
colors of the sunset...too hot to handle
inedibly spicy yellow curry with red peppers, carrots & corn
pomegranate glazed quail on a bed of wild arugula & pomegranate seeds
"MERCURY: Messenger of the Gods"
made of iron...full of craters
grilled rib-eyes with crater lake blue cheese
"JUPITER: King of the Gods"
the largest planet...90% hydrogen...carbohydrates are mainly hydrogen...stormy
seven flavors of cake doughnuts: cinnamon spice, citrus, maple, milk chocolate, old fashioned, sugar with rainbow sprinkles, dark chocolate with chocolate jimmies