We started a fun tradition last week that could be adapted to fit almost any occasion: A surprise dinner. I made a menu with 22 different items with cryptic names, we set a fancy table and the kids and Scott ordered 4 courses while I made magic in the kitchen. Read on for full details…
We read scripture every night as a family. Our 2 year old repeats a verse, Scott and I read, and our 4 year old joins in on the reading as well. Some nights this is a wonderful time that leads to good discussion. Other nights it’s a struggle.
After more than two years, we completed the Book of Mormon last week.
We talked about how scripture reading should be a daily habit and when we get to the end of a book, we start a new one the next day… like a circle. Then we went to eat doughnuts to celebrate. 🙂
We arrived at Krispy Kreme right as the first doughnuts of the night were finished rising so the girls watched the whole process in awe, noses pressed against the glass. Mackenzie guessed they were “frosted bagels” when we walked in and her first taste of a doughnut (ever, maybe) didn’t disappoint.
Finishing the book was such an achievement, though, I wanted to celebrate in a more memorable way. So a few days later I threw a Book of Mormon party.
Every guest was invited to dress like person referenced in the Book of Mormon.
Mackenzie dressed as Nephi, an ancient prophet who left Jerusalem with his family and sailed to America. She opted for a full-body loincloth using a pillowcase tied around her neck. Too funny.
I was Abish, a servant girl who shared her testimony boldly. I wore a pillowcase over my hair and a sheet as a sort of a toga. Our costumes were far from authentic but they were fun!
Scott dressed as Ammon, a missionary who defended a King’s flocks by cutting off the arms of robbers. Yes, he brought a severed arm to the party, along with a slingshot, an enormous homemade sword.
Caitlyn insisted on being Moroni, a prophet and her favorite person (and word to say) in the world. However, she balked at dressing up at the last minute.
And I put a pen, a menu, and an order form next to each place at the table:
Each diner ordered all 12 of their items at the beginning of dinner, and I prepped a course at a time, announcing the dishes as I served them.
I kept a secret key in the kitchen that listed each item and I tried to lay the food out in advance to make things run more smoothly during dinner. It was still crazy juggling 22 items in our smallish kitchen, but doable.
It was always fun to see the combinations for each course: Garbanzo beans, M&Ms and fish, for instance. The girls were delighted and Scott was a trooper. 🙂
Ideas to consider for next time:
– Only include as many items as people can order so the surprise is just which items arrive with which course. (With little kids it’s hard to understand why everyone else got your favorite food and you missed out. Makes for a less fun party.)
– Include utensils as part of the menu to make things even trickier.
Many thanks to this blog post for the original idea and lots of ways to adapt this to other occasions.