Last year, on a whim, I decided it would be fun to host a party for the Oscars. I don’t think I’ve ever watched the Oscars before and I’m not really into movies but I do love admiring pretty dresses and throwing a fancy party.
It was a such a success, this year people started asking if I was going to do it again.
Of course! And this year I decided to go all-out and make it bigger and better than last year.
When you’re watching TV you need food that’s easy to eat with your fingers, ideally bitesize but I also wanted to make it super classy and serve the kind of food you might actually get if you went to the Oscars for real. My answer was mini versions of everything, starting with mini cottage pies (which I didn’t get a picture of but will share the recipe for later).
There were quite a few different dietary requirements to cater for so I was trying to avoid using bread in everything. I used curvy lettuce as the base for this lemon & herb buttered wild salmon. In the background you can see mini Caprese salads onna-stick, which I ended up making instead of the Bruschetta I was originally planning on. I’m not sure I would make those again, though. It took quite a bit of fiddling around to get them to actually stand up.
I really wanted to serve Carrot & Coriander Soup because I know a few of my friends were interested in trying it. Obviously full soup bowls and spoons were going to get messy (and involve a lot of washing up for me later!) so I got these small glasses and served the soup in them. I labelled all the food because I knew it might not be obvious what everything was and I wanted an easy way to let my friends with dietary restrictions know what they could eat. These little tents are just folded black cardstock with writing in gold.
My husband did all the drinks. He made up a huge bowl of Champagne punch and then was also making cocktails to order.
My biggest failure of the night were these ‘Eton Sandwiches’. If you don’t know, an Eton Mess is a British dessert made by smooshing meringues with cream and berries. Obviously that didn’t meet my finger-food criteria so I decided to try this sandwich version instead. I carefully made tiny meringues (less than 1 inch across) and then sandwiched 2 together with whipped cream and mushed up fresh raspberries. I knew it was an experiment from the start so I was pleasantly surprised when they stuck together fairly well. Unfortunately, an hour or so later, the liquid from the raspberries and cream had soaked into the meringues, making them soggy. The result was eventually an Eton Mess after all!
When you ask people to dress up (the dress code was “dress as if you were attending the Oscars”) most of them are going to want some photos taking. Last year I quickly put together a backdrop and setup my camera on a tripod for a makeshift photobooth. It worked but it wasn’t wonderful, so this year I improved on it. I bought this black photo backdrop (which I really should also have ironed) and improved on the sign by removing the old letters and painting the new Oscars logo on it. The picture shows how it looked at the end of the night, you can see a few stray feathers from the feather boa which was one of the props I provided.
To make it interesting for everyone, I also printed out the ballot sheets and bingo cards from How About Orange which she puts together every year and always work wonderfully.
It was great fun and I’m already thinking about how I can make it even better next year!