Monday, January 25, 2010

Romancing the Potato Dinner Party

I had a dinner party on Saturday for some friends.
The theme was potatoes.
In the spirit of Antoine-Augustin Parmentier I held a dinner party with potatoes in every course - even dessert!
I'm not posting all the recipes in this post, but to see the recipes and more pictures of each dish, click on the name of the course below.


A bit more about Parmentier.
In the 1700's the French believed that potatoes were poisonous.
Parmentier was a prisoner of war in Germany, were potatoes were eaten. In fact, the king of Germany threatened to cut off the noses of peasants if they didn't plant potatoes.
When Parmentier returned to France he tried to encourage potato eating. He used publicity stunts such as hosting dinner parties where potatoes featured prominently. He also planted potatoes and then posted guards around the garden to protect the "valuable jewels" aka potatoes. Then he instructed the guards to accept all bribes and leave the garden unattended at night, so the populace could steal the potatoes.

I made place mats to protect my silk tablecloth.
I was saving this tablecloth for a very special occasion and the place mats really did their job!
There wasn't a spot on the tablecloth after dinner.
To make them I used thick card stock, each piece was 12inX12in.
I used a paper punch to add a decorative border.

My Dad helped me pull the table legs out.
Then he fell asleep underneath the table!

Me waiting for the charon sauce to cook down.
It took forever.

The start of my flower arrangement.

Almost done.

Completed flower arrangement.
Can you see all the butterflies?
I used flame less candles underneath tulle.

Completed set table.
I put a card with facts about potatoes at each place with the menu.
Facts like: The average American eats 137.9 potatoes every year.

This is my awesome friend Esmeralda.
She helped me serve - I could NOT have done it without her!
Thank you soooo much Esme!

My friends on one side of the table.

And my friends on the other side of the table.
(Including my Mom and Dad!)

The table all together.
(Sorry Dad, you got stuck in the middle!)

Me being silly with the salad.

Chocolate bird's nests with mint ice cream.

Leaning tower salad.

Soup and potato cut outs.

Rosemary foccacia.

Sweet potato gnocchi.

Crab cakes.

Charon sauce.

Bianca pizza.
Confessions and notes:
The only thing I forgot to serve were the limes wedges I cut up to serve with the crab cakes. The weather did NOT cooperate with me. We had unseasonably high temps (30F), slush, rain, snow and ice. I was happy almost everyone was able to come to the party. I shouldn't have put so much chocolate on the bird's nests - they were a *little* hard.
I could not have done it without the help of my Mom (who kept calling herself John - see here to understand the joke). Thank you so much for letting me use your house for the party!
And for putting up with me!
Also, Thank You to Esmeralda for your super, super help! You were great!
I had a ton of fun and would love to do it again.
It was stressful (tiny bit) and time consuming, but if my friends had a nice time then, it was totally one-hundred percent worth it!


  1. I love the idea of a themed dinner like this. Hmmm! *ideas*

  2. You Rock Girl!
    Cool dinner party... I've never given a fancy dinner party and more than likely never will, lol. But yours is BEAUTIFUL... lucky friends!

  3. you do this for fun?? you should be getting paid!!

  4. Elle Ross - LOL It was super fun, but I don't think anyone could pay me enough to do it! *tiny* bit STRESSFUL!