From the ages of 5 to 11 many of us, if not all, have stood in line with a plastic tray and selected a school dinner. Once we move on to ‘big school’ we forget about the many favourite foods we rush to get in line for. Smiley faces, turkey twizzlers and chocolate artic roll to name a few, were my typical lunch time picks. These forgotten favourites resurfaced recently in a conversation with a friend as we reminisced about our school years. It was during this chat with the odd flashback of nostalgia that I decided that I’d throw a…drum roll…School Dinners Themed Dinner Party!
A cheesy idea to some but what fun it brought myself and friends. Usually when I meet up with friends it includes a restaurant and the usual chit chat. Topics we normally talk about are anything from recently watched Netflix shows, boring work life, how the holiday away was, future plans and of course the odd gossip. I thought throwing this dinner party would be a fun change and something to look forward to. We all need that something fun to look forward to after all!
• School Dinner Trays
• Plastic Cups
• Turkey Twizzlers
• Smiley Faces
• Turkey Dinosaurs
• Potato Croquettes
• Fish Fingers
• Artic Roll
• Choc Ices
• Angel Delight
• Sponge Cake
• Custard Creams
• Bourbon Biscuits
• Vodka (for the year 6’s)
Instead of the normal chat the topic of conversation during my school dinners themed dinner party was a little more special. We reflected on our school years and as none of us went to school together we learnt a little bit more about each other.
Of course, those years aren’t just about learning the times tables, making paper fortune tellers, finding out who the meanest teacher is and playing duck-duck-goose in the playground. A big portion of the night was spent talking about when ‘the magic’ was taken away from each of us. A bit depressing but funny at the same time.
First time of really growing up is when we find out or are told that Santa, the Tooth Fairy and the Easter Bunny aren’t really R.E.A.L! A story I especially liked from one friend was about letters she had written to her parents expressing huge disappointment that they had been lying about the tooth fairy. I remember one Christmas having doubts about Santa and leaving a letter and my stamp pad ink under the Christmas tree. Written on the letter were instructions asking him for a thumb print and a hoof print of Rudolph to verify themselves. Then next morning I was impressed to find Santa did what I asked. I checked my Dad and Mum’s hands for ink marks just to be safe. My belief continued for another year or two. When the news finally came out so did the genius of my Dad using his big toe for Santa’s thumb print. Mortified is the word!
I really enjoyed this dinner party and wanted to share the idea. I think it’s a great, cheaper and cosier suggestion to a night hanging out with friends. The only thing I was missing was a lunch bell! Oh and the turkey twizzlers came out great for anyone wondering. I think I’d make them again, they were surprisingly good and healthier than our school ones so I don’t feel the disappointed glare that Jaime Oliver would give!
For table decoration, we made paper fortune tellers. I did have to google image search instructions as it had been a while since I last made one. My friend got creative and diverted away from the usual colour and number layout. We also had a mini connect four and hangman, which reminded us of wet play times.
For drinks, I had a selection of Orange juice, Vimto and Water. As some friends were driving I separated Year 6’s (orange and vodka) drinks away from the other years.
The sponge cake was baked by a friend and I helped with measuring the ingredients. A simple sponge recipe with icing and lots of sprinkles. The recipe we used is linked here.
The Turkey Twizzlers recipe you can find here. It was relatively easy and doesn’t include too many ingredients. Everything else pictured I bought at my local supermarket.
Finally, the plastic cups and trays! I found a great website called Crosbys that sell restaurant and catering equipment. They had the perfect school dinners equipment but the price and postage cost put me off. Surprisingly finding plastic cups anywhere else was difficult. I ended up picking mine up from B&Ms summer picnic themed sale for a couple pounds. For the trays, I got rather lucky looking on eBay and found £1 camping trays.
So there you have it, a fabulous idea of a night in with friends, full of junk food and nostalgia. I’ve already been brain storming the next themed night in. I should get as much use out of these plastic trays after all!
If you liked the school dinners themed dinner party idea and end up hosting your own, be sure to use the hashtag #scheduledecape. I’d love to see your pictures.
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