First off, thank you to everyone who game me suggestions! That was great to get a lot of interesting ideas.
But this one, thanks to Tom Cantwell (@BeskarTom), was the one that really stuck out to me:
@TheScando Sherlock Holmes Consulting Detective with bangers and mash or some other classic British dish is the first thing I think of”
I’m not just going to stick with the board games, but also if you are watching the Benedict Cumberbatch show, the Robert Downey Jr. movies, or are reading the book aloud as part of a book club, or playing Sherlock Holmes Consulting Detective or 221B Baker Street. If it is Sherlock Holmes themed, here’s an idea of what you can do to get into the mood and mindset for the greatest detective of all time.
I had a few different thoughts. What Tom suggests in his tweet, bangers and mash or something like a meat pie would create a classic English feel that you could build off of, but that’s not the direction that I wanted to go. I also thought of molecular gastronomy, but that seemed less accessible than the idea that I landed on, food that isn’t as it seems, food that is the mystery.
Beer and Pop/Soda
So this seems like it would be really normal. You can have beer or pop any night and it doesn’t seem to be Sherlock Holmes themed, but I do have a reason for both of these. For the beer, get a sampler pack and then remove the labels from every single beer. Most beer comes in a darker colored bottle now, so it stays fresher longer,so you’ll have no idea what beer you are picking out of the case. Or will you? Can you through process of elimination, studying the bottle, and anything short of opening the bottle and sniffing, figure out which beer you are getting so you’ll get the one that you want? Same thing for the pop. Get two liter bottles of Coke, Diet Coke, Root Beer, and Dr. Pepper, take off the label, take off the caps and the little ring that goes with the cap, can you determine which soda is which without tasting or smelling it?
Why wontons, they don’t seem too English? They really aren’t, but what sort of fillings will you conceal within your wonton wrappers? Some ideas might be – cream cheese, cream cheese and cranberries, cream cheese and chocolate chips, cream cheese and onion/balsamic jam, pork, and you can really go crazy with this. Make it so that you have a number of different varieties and fry them up so that you as the host, you don’t even know what is what. And again, use your sleuthing skills to try and figure out which one is which. Here’s a real mean trick to play, you can get capsaicin in a bottle, it doesn’t have a ton of color, and could be an interesting surprise for someone. Now, if you control how much you put in there (and test it out yourself mixed in with cream cheese), and people like spice, it would be a fun thing to use.
Chicken Fried Steak
This is less about tricking people. It’s more about creating stuff that will look differently than you’d expect. Mashed Cauliflower can make a nice change of pace from mashed potatoes that people would expect. Chicken Fried Steak would take a food preparation that people are expecting for one sort of protein, but preparing it in another way, and if you break it up well enough, people still might be surprised when it’s beef and not chicken. Finally, you’d want to make a nice dark colored gravy. We’re not talking about a creamy gravy. Go with something that is dark and work on building it up so that it kind of matches a darker BBQ sauce color. Things won’t be exactly what people are expecting, but it’ll be a good meal still.
When I say brownies, I really mean brownies, with a little bit of a twist. When you go to make your brownies, add in a bit of habanero (with seeds) in a couple of the brownies. You probably know what size you normally cut brownies, so make it so it’s stuck in the middle of a brownie and then turn it into a game. People grab a brownie and let’s see who gets the pepper. And if you do get the pepper, maybe see if you can hide it form everyone so they don’t know you’ve gotten it. That way the rest of the brownies, people will be taking a bit of them in dread. Note that keeping the seeds in there is important, I’ve had one with habanero (pretty sure it was that an not jalapeno) and it didn’t have the seeds and it didn’t really taste hot.
What would your idea for theming a Sherlock Holmes meal be? Would you go with something more traditional? If so, what sort of English meal would you create?
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