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.