Sunday, October 20, 2013

The Great Gatsby Party: Food

Food is one of the most important parts of a party. Whether you are doing a dinner party where food is the main focus of the night, or you are doing a cocktail party where only hors d'oeuvres will be served, food is essential to making sure that the night goes smoothly. I get crazy about food. Eating is one of my favorite things in the whole world, and if I get hungry I get really cranky. This is true for many people, so if you want happy guests, make sure they are not hungry. Also, if a party has good food I will usually consider it a good party, so it is a good idea to make sure your guests are full of good food.

The ideal situation when hosting your Great Gatsby Party would be to have your affair catered. Not only is this how Jay Gatsby hosted his parties, but it will allow you to focus on other aspects of the party and ensures you won't be stuck in the kitchen while all your friends are drinking and dancing the night away. But, I completely understand that not all of us have the funds for catering as Mr. Gatsby did. So I scoured the internet to find a few dishes and menus that perfectly fit the theme, and are sure to leave happy, full bellies.

"On buffet tables, garnished with glistening hors-d’oeuvre, spiced baked hams crowded against salads of harlequin designs and pastry pigs and turkeys bewitched to a dark gold."

-The Great Gatsby, F. Scott Fitzgerald came up with a whole menu that is based off of the Great Gatsby theme as well as this specific passage in the book. The menu includes drinks, hors d'oeuvre recipes, as well as recipes for two dinners (one for earlier in the evening and another for later), and a recipe for cold fried chicken for the early morning. The recipes are a little more involved (e.g. Pigs in Sleeping Bags using handmade sausage rather than cocktail wieners), but the extra effort is sure to be well received by your guests.

You could also choose to do sides such as a Waldorf Salad or a Ceaser Salad (both wildly popular during the 1920's), Scalloped or Mashed Potatoes (these rich dishes were popular among the elite of the time), or any kind of salad in which something is encased in jello (also very popular during Gatsby's time).

Bryontaylor from also came up with a list of a few possible hors d'ouevres that could be used when hosting your party. These foods are:
Oysters Rockefeller
Deviled Eggs
Stuffed Mushrooms
Crudites with dip
Salmon Mousse on sliced bread
Roasted Nuts

The 20's were a time that were huge for desserts. Because of the prohibition, desserts were used in place of cocktails and drinks during parties (if they weren't hosted by a bootlegger, that is). Again, the desserts should be "hors d'ouevres" style, and by that I mean that they should be individually portioned and it is best if they are a finger food. 

The lemon curd cake is specifically mentioned in The Great Gatsby book, so it only seems right to have it as a dessert at your party. This is a recipe for a whole cake, but this can easily be cut into small, finger-food sized bites and arranged on a platter. has a couple more options for desserts. Red velvet was first created in the 1920's at the Waldorf Astoria Hotel, and cream cheese frosting was extremely popular during this time, therefore the perfect desserts are Red Velvet Cupcakes! Also, Pineapple Upside-down Cake was a very popular dessert because the canning process made fruits like pineapple readily available.

And of course, one of the most important desserts (and really the only food shown in the movie) are French Macarons. During the 20's anything French was seen as being "in the moment", and macarons were the epitome of French desserts. Martha Stewart has a recipe for French Macarons and various fillings.

All of the food should be displayed luxuriously using trays, platters, and stands preferably in the theme colors of black, white, gold, and silver. It would also be nice to include some arrangements on your food table, like the picture below does.

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