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Author Topic: 50s murder mystery party food ideas  (Read 742 times)

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Another Sarah

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50s murder mystery party food ideas
« on: July 29, 2015, 10:00:13 AM »
So this weekend I'm hosting a murder mystery party for 7 people - the theme is 50s Hollywood and the nature of the game means the dinner will be a sit-down dinner with three courses.
Anyone got any ideas for courses? One of the group is veggie and one is vegan but the rest are meat-eaters, so I was planning to do both meat and veggie dishes
I was thinking blinis/bruschettas with different toppings for the first course (bruschettas for the vegan as I'm not sure I can get vegan blinis) but I'm really stuck for an in-theme main course for everyone.

magicdomino

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Re: 50s murder mystery party food ideas
« Reply #1 on: July 29, 2015, 10:12:41 AM »
Hm, the vegetarian and vegan are a bit of a problem for the 1950s as they weren't really "accepted" then.  There wasn't a lot of "foreign" food either, so there wouldn't have been much Indian/Asian/Middle Eastern food, the usual choices for vegan dishes.

Shrimp cocktail was the classic appetizer for high-faluting places.  Beef Wellington would have been recommended by my mother's Betty Crocker cookbook, but you could probably get away with Welsh rarebit.  Except for the vegan.  Darn. 

Baked Alaska was the ultimate in fancy desserts.  Unfortunately, that still leaves out the vegan.  You could substitute coconut milk ice cream, but I don't know how to do merengue without egg whites.

I'll look at the Betty Crocker cookbook tonight and see if anything sounds good.

DavidH

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Re: 50s murder mystery party food ideas
« Reply #2 on: July 29, 2015, 10:38:56 AM »
The 50s was the era of prepared foods.  Think canned vegetables, jello salads, bottled salad dressing, etc.  It's also basic American food with hints of other cultures.  Chinese food, was  egg rolls and chicken chow mien, Italian food was spaghetti, Indian food was unheard of.  Vegan was also unheard of, vegetarian highly unusual. 

For a very fancy dinner you might have shrimp cocktail followed by roast beef with mashed potatoes and canned green beans with almond slices added, with baked Alaska for dessert.  Other appetizers could be celery stuffed with bleu cheese dressing, olives (canned green stuffed with pimento) and cheese (American or cheddar) on crackers, or maybe a basic green salad with green goddess or ranch dressing. 

Main courses would be things like steak, roast beef, or beef wellington, served with potatoes and a green vegetable like peas with pearl onions, or green bean casserole.  Alternatives would be chicken a la king served over rice or Polynesian chicken served over coconut rice.  Polynesian chicken would involve a white sauce, pineapple, maraschino cherries, and maybe coconut. 

The best I can come up with that could be vegetarian or maybe vegan is baked spaghetti with tomato sauce, meat balls, and garlic bread.  The meat balls can be cooked and served separately.

Desserts could be ice cream, some multi layered jello concoction, chocolate cake, coconut cream pie, etc. 

Bruschetta would be unheard of and blinis, if served, would be with caviar for only the most sophisticated people.

magicdomino

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Re: 50s murder mystery party food ideas
« Reply #3 on: July 29, 2015, 12:51:36 PM »
I took the liberty of asking about vegan merengue on the Washington Post Food discussion today, and asked about a possible entrée while I was at it. (I would have asked you first, but it is only one hour, once a week and was starting soon.)    There is a vegan merengue made from flaxseed goo, sugar and xanthium gum.  Not sure if you want to go there.  Would your vegan guest be offended if you served a separate serving without the toasted merengue?

For an entrée, they suggested a vegan meatloaf.  Meatloaf is very 50s, and might have made it to a Hollywood table if it was gussied up with a pineapple ring and a sprig of parsley.

The chat transcript:  http://live.washingtonpost.com/free-range-7-29-2015.html


Thipu1

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Re: 50s murder mystery party food ideas
« Reply #4 on: July 29, 2015, 01:23:33 PM »
I would like to know a bit more about the mystery night theme.  '1950s Hollywood' is a bit vague. 

At that time, stars often went to Mexico for a weekend.  A menu of that style might work well.  It could provide vegan and vegetarian options without depriving the carnivores of their carne asada or pollo. 


magicdomino

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Re: 50s murder mystery party food ideas
« Reply #5 on: July 29, 2015, 02:27:33 PM »
I've got it:  Veggie meatloaf with tomato sauce glaze, garnished with pineapple rings with maraschino cherries in the centers.  You can call it Polynesian meatloaf -- very Trader Vic's.  Technically, it probably should be a sweet and sour sauce for the glaze, but I'm not sure how that would taste.

Bobbie

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Re: 50s murder mystery party food ideas
« Reply #6 on: July 29, 2015, 02:47:10 PM »
http://www.foodtimeline.org/fooddecades.html#1950s

This site has some sample menus too and breaks it down by years

« Last Edit: July 29, 2015, 02:48:41 PM by Bobbie »

magicdomino

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Re: 50s murder mystery party food ideas
« Reply #7 on: July 29, 2015, 03:09:31 PM »
http://www.foodtimeline.org/fooddecades.html#1950s

This site has some sample menus too and breaks it down by years

Interesting site.  I've bookmarked it for later, and I don't even have dinner parties.   :D

doodlemor

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Re: 50s murder mystery party food ideas
« Reply #8 on: July 29, 2015, 04:05:36 PM »
Here are some recipes from the late, great Peg Bracken who wrote the I Hate to Cook Book.

http://www.nytimes.com/2007/12/30/magazine/30food-t.html?pagewanted=2&n=Top/Reference/Times Topics/Subjects/R/Recipes&_r=0

The article calls the Hootenholler thing quick bread, whereas Peg called it Hootenholler Whiskey Cake.  Her directions were to make some of them up, store them in  the freezer, and refresh the whiskey periodically.  Then one would always have something ready for guests or a potluck.

Another Sarah

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Re: 50s murder mystery party food ideas
« Reply #9 on: July 29, 2015, 04:46:51 PM »
I would like to know a bit more about the mystery night theme.  '1950s Hollywood' is a bit vague. 

At that time, stars often went to Mexico for a weekend.  A menu of that style might work well.  It could provide vegan and vegetarian options without depriving the carnivores of their carne asada or pollo.
That is pretty much all I know about the setting for the game unfortunately- the character names are all rip offs of Hollywood stars from around that time-Marylin Mansfield, Rock Houston, Princess Kelly, etc but the main portion of the setup is on the dvd-which I can't play in advance!
The game planner just talks about 50s glitz and glamour which is also pretty vague.

These ideas and links are great though thanks everyone! Keep em coming!

Another Sarah

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Re: 50s murder mystery party food ideas
« Reply #10 on: July 29, 2015, 04:54:44 PM »
I took the liberty of asking about vegan merengue on the Washington Post Food discussion today, and asked about a possible entrée while I was at it. (I would have asked you first, but it is only one hour, once a week and was starting soon.)    There is a vegan merengue made from flaxseed goo, sugar and xanthium gum.  Not sure if you want to go there.  Would your vegan guest be offended if you served a separate serving without the toasted merengue?

For an entrée, they suggested a vegan meatloaf.  Meatloaf is very 50s, and might have made it to a Hollywood table if it was gussied up with a pineapple ring and a sprig of parsley.

The chat transcript:  http://live.washingtonpost.com/free-range-7-29-2015.html
Thanks so much magicdomino! I've bookmarked that food section for future use as well but I think I might go down the meatloaf route, the recipe sounds great

YummyMummy66

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Re: 50s murder mystery party food ideas
« Reply #11 on: July 29, 2015, 08:38:49 PM »
To me, when I think of the 50s, I think of Happy Days.  A burger joint.  Poodle skirts, etc.

I think your idea might be a little bit too fancy, although, when you have the stars listed, maybe not so much.

But, I think of records, hamburgers, fries, milkshakes, etc.   

We did a murder mystery, (new Orleans) and it gave us basic sample menu ideas.  Yours does not do this?

It was fun, but I wish I would have researched it a bit more.   I think one person has to be in the know, which will make he process go much easier and better.   I did not read things before hand and even though we had a good time, I think it could have gone better.  Just my humble opinion.   We have another one, a bbq mystery, I have to look into and plan.  They are fun.

Another Sarah

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Re: 50s murder mystery party food ideas
« Reply #12 on: July 30, 2015, 04:17:53 AM »
To me, when I think of the 50s, I think of Happy Days.  A burger joint.  Poodle skirts, etc.

I think your idea might be a little bit too fancy, although, when you have the stars listed, maybe not so much.

But, I think of records, hamburgers, fries, milkshakes, etc.   

We did a murder mystery, (new Orleans) and it gave us basic sample menu ideas.  Yours does not do this?

It was fun, but I wish I would have researched it a bit more.   I think one person has to be in the know, which will make he process go much easier and better.   I did not read things before hand and even though we had a good time, I think it could have gone better.  Just my humble opinion.   We have another one, a bbq mystery, I have to look into and plan.  They are fun.
I did an Agatha Christie one a while ago - that was much easier to plan the food for, but the running of the game went a little awry.  I think the opposite is true of this one - I know what to expect when running the game this time, but the food is harder! The menu suggestion was pork chops, which I don't eat anyway, I did think about doing sliders, but was worried I was overcomplicating things. I could do normal-size burgers though.

Hmmmmm

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Re: 50s murder mystery party food ideas
« Reply #13 on: July 30, 2015, 07:49:06 AM »
Since it's Hllywood theme I'm thinking you want something more upscale.i love the blinis for apps and stuffed mushrooms were popular then and easy to do a veg version of that.

For mains, I think of crown roasts, chicken Kiev, Swedish meatballs or stroganoff. I can't come up with a good veg option. Dessert for me would be baked Alaska, pineapple upside down cake, or a trifle of some type, I think bannanas foster was also popular then. Maybe you can do that with a vegan ice cream option.

Or you could do a Polynesian theme since those parties were the rage back then.

Thipu1

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Re: 50s murder mystery party food ideas
« Reply #14 on: July 31, 2015, 10:17:22 AM »
Unless the DVD is of the 'Mission Impossible' style that will self-destruct, I would strongly suggest viewing at least part of the show before the party.  You may have to bow out of the actual play but it really does help to have someone who knows what's going on beforehand.  Trying to play and get dinner on the table at the same time would have me dithering in a corner. 

It's getting late to do this but, it might be a good idea to visit a stationery shop and buy small note pads and writing implements for your guests.  People will probably want to take notes during the party  and the little gifts make nice souvenirs. 

I've never hosted a home murder mystery but I was involved in the writing, producing and crowd management of about eight of the things during the late 1980s and early 1990s.  These were find-raiders for a local club and involved between 80 and 100 guests per event. 

Believe me, even for a small gathering, efficient organization goes a long way towards making an event like this a success. 

I hope your party is a great success and look forward to hearing about how things went.