How to Set Up a Mystery Dinner

Jane Maddin
1st Orleans Pathfinders
Orleans, Ontario
Canada


Exact directions. Well, let's see. Make your menu, you will need either 15 things for a three course meal, or 20 things for a 4 course, including your napkin, knife, fork and spoon as part of the menu.

Pick a theme, and then rename all of your menu with names that revolve around that theme.

Then write out your list of imaginary names and give everyone who is attending the dinner, their 'menu' with a table for them to write in the names of the five things that they would like for their appetizer, the five things for their entree and then the five things for their dessert. (I think we did a three course meal.)

They must fill this out and return it to you before the evening of the dinner. Everyone will get everything on the list, just not in the right order, necessarily.

So now I'll try to set one up.

1. Soup
2. Spoon
3. Bun
4. Salad
5. Dressing
-------------
6. Rice
7. Ham
8. Pineapple Sauce
9. Carrot sticks
10. Fork
11. Knife
12. Peas
------------
13. Pie wedge
14. Ice cream
15. Napkin
16. Dessert fork

Okay, it didn't work out quite as described above. Okay, so you have a form that says, appetizer, pick 5, entree pick 7 and dessert pick 4.

Appetizer
1.
2.
3.
4.
5.
Entree
1.
2.
3.
4.
5.
6.
7.
Dessert
1.
2.
3.
4.

And they would fill this form out from the list of food above, all renamed according to your theme.

So let's do a Hawaiian theme, since taken a compilation off of the net for that and I should be able to garner (read, steal) some ideas if I need to!

So:
1. Soup...............................Morning Dew
2. Spoon.............................Boat
3. Bun................................Pillow Lava
4. Salad..............................Rain Forest
5. Dressing.........................Boiling Lava
-------------
6. Rice................................Jungle Lice
7. Ham................................Haunch of Wild Boar
8. Pineapple Sauce..............Golden Sunrise
9. Carrot sticks....................Bamboo shoots
10. Fork..............................Grass skirt
11. Knife.............................Hunting Spear
12. Peas.............................Tiny globes of wonder
------------
13. Pie wedge....................Volcano's peak
14. Ice cream......................Steaming Maui
15. Napkin..........................Sailing ship's sheet
16. Dessert fork..................Whaling harpoon

You keep your master list - you'll need it!!! Then you collect all the sheets before the dinner.

After each course ALL the things are taken away. The trick is to make sure that someone can sort of eat each thing without any silverware if they have to. So people will get things all mixed up. If you are concerned that ham without pineapple sauce (or whatever your menu includes) won't be enjoyed, then combine them into one item and name them something appropriate. Whatever you use, could you send me your names and things! I'd love to put them on the Guide Zone. Sometimes, people just need an idea to get them going, and sometimes they need to see the whole thing the first time that they try it.

I hope that you enjoy this activity as much as we did the first time that we had it done to us!!


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