Sunday, December 05, 2010


My wife has added another decade to her years revolving around the sun. She makes any age look great! So we needed to mark the occasion. She had asked for a mystery menu party (search for mystery food dinner on the web and ignore the ones about dinner theatre). Our friends Mari and John introduced us to the format - the diners are given a menu of 20+ cryptic items (usually based on a theme) from which they pick 3. Once all the orders are in the menus disappear and they are served. They then get to try two more times - usually when they figure out which is the wine/beer that gets ordered again. It is a real hoot - but it takes a lot of prep. And my sweetie is gluten free so that makes it a bit more work.

I set up the Pinetrail Apothecary and Fine Dinery. Three intimate tables (4 people at a table) with the birthday girl in the middle. The hardest part was deciding on which friends to invite - I so wish we could have had a few more folks. I blocked off the kitchen with sheets and spent two days preparing all the food! Yeah, it was that much work. I had my oldest daughter and my nephew to help serve - but I ended up plating most of the dishes. It was easier that way but it took a long time. One of our requirements was that people had to show up on time and had to let us know early enough if they were to back out - the party doesn't work as well unless you fill all the seats. Actually we had someone back out and so we got to invite another long time friend of Sharon's - which was great.

I set up our dining-living room with candles. Me and the helpers wore borrowed pharmacist lab coats. I started with a bit of an intro, telling people the format and saying that the pharmacy theme is because Sharon has been everything I want in a drugstore for many years now (we just had our 15th anniversary!). It was so much fun.

Here is the list of items - want to take a crack at what each one turned out to be? One hint, in this format you need to order your cutlery, otherwise you have to get creative with how you eat.

1 Cold Medicine - Yes we have the cure for the common cold.

2 Chemical Solvent - Useful for making problems go away.

3 Laudanum - Are you sure it is just a headache? Try this it ought to help.

4 Mild Amphetamine - A house specialty.

5 Antidepressant - Turn that frown, upside down.

6 General Prescription - Beat your doctor to the punch. Our head pharmacist prescribed this one.

7 Little Blue Pill - We make a killing selling these things.

8 Multivitamin - Our own special blend. You will not be disappointed.

9 Herbal Mixture - Made fresh daily.

10 Melatonin - When you need a little help getting to sleep.

11 Ocular Medicine - A real sight for sore eyes.

12 Pens -This is the write choice for you.

13 Mild Laxative - We don’t really want to see you go. But if we can help, you know we will. Try this.

14 Antioxidant Preparation - Only the best ingredients are part of the healthiest meals.

15 Protein Preparation - It has been ready for you, are you ready for it?

16 Spatulas - We know that you were counting on this item. Can we count on you to order it?

17 Bowl and Pestle - Imagine the possibilities. This is the perfect companion for any pharmacist.

18 Mexican Drug Lord - For a limited time only, shhhhhhh.

19 Fibre and Ointment - This is a regular item on our menu.

20 ADHD Medicine - When you need a little help to stay in your seat, try an order of this.

21 Suspension - One of these days we will take this off the menu. When? Well, we will just have to keep you in suspense.

I'm thinking this would make a great format for a bunch of guys to shower their affection on their wives at Valentines. Any takers? It has been quite a few years since I've done the crazy Valentines meal for my love with a bunch of friend.

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