There are birthday parties and there are birthday parties. I tend to go over board with each but if I have a theme and I want to incorporate food into that theme well, watch out, momma is going to be out of commission for awhile because she is going to be crafting and baking up a storm for a few weeks. And so it was with my oldest and her Hunger Games themed 10th birthday (and promotion, since her birthday fell so close to the end of her school year and now she’ll be off to middle school). Also, this party was going to be big because we would be including friends as well as family.
As per usual, it all begins with a Pinterest board. This allows me to have a place to compile overall party ideas, decoration ideas, game ideas, food ideas. Then I have to decide between what I want to pull off as opposed to what I can pull off. Lists help me accomplish all of this, crossing off and adding and crossing off and adding some more till I get a halfway concise idea of what is going to happen for the party.
So it began that I decided to make the food for the party so as to have it more in the spirit of the book. I figured that I would find some crock pot friendly recipes suited to my needs. I also knew that I would be making TONS of bread so I needed recipes that I could freeze well either before or after baking. I found two great ones! One I adapted a few different ways to make “different” loaves (white whole wheat, white, mixed flours and one with wheat bran sprinkled on top). I’ll post it soon. I make it often but I wanted to get it down and messing with all these variations helped me with that. The other I follow just as directed because it is spectacular and may be a new candidate for Justin’s Sandwich Rolls! I also made these because it came with three variations on the same dough and the dough kept for four days in the refrigerator. I wanted lots of different ones because bread (including various breads from all the districts) features prominently in the book. The make ahead dough and breads really made the whole thing I was going for possible. I served the sliced french bread with goat cheese mixed with basil, goat cheese with sliced apples, and butter for my appetizers. I also put out the different refrigerator rolls.
For dinner, we had shredded beef with rolls and Beef Stew over brown rice or homemade mashed potatoes. We had “Berry Mush” (vanilla berries, recipe soon!) and a green salad as well. Most of the ideas for the food I got from Fictional Food. Some I wanted to make like the goat cheese and apple tarts but I didn’t have time and others I wanted to put out like the hot chocolate and bread for dipping (seriously some Mexican hot chocolate and pan dulce is PERFECT for that, right?) but it was a very hot day. I did make some Mellark’s Bakery Cookies but added some spice to them because in my mind the overall ingredients in District 12 would be subpar but a little bit of spice would hide it. I would have included the recipe in this post but of course I forgot to take pictures of them. I changed the whole wheat flour to 2 cups and the all purpose to 1 1/2 cups. Then I added 1/2 teaspoon of cinnamon and 3/4 teaspoon of pumpkin pie spice (mostly just because I couldn’t find my nutmeg, otherwise I’d have blended a mix of my own). I really liked them. They came out like a lightly spiced version of a spice cookie.
Now, the cake. My daughter was VERY specific about the cake she wanted. I never really knew she was a fan of my whipped cream frosted cakes but recently we had one with banana in the filling as opposed to strawberries. I guess she liked it because, even knowing her theme and realizing that her poor momma would have to try and “tie it in” to everything she picked a whipped cream cake with strawberries and bananas in the filling. So what I came up with was to try and use banana and strawberry garnish to evoke fire or flames in some sort of way to tie it all together. I even added a few buttercream “flames” that I used on the cupcakes I made. Those were inspired by Erica’s Sweet Tooth Hunger Games cupcakes.
Onto the games, well we didn’t exactly have a reaping. It was more of a raffle with their name entered once for being there and once for every game played. I hung a small hula hoop that they tried to throw foam “spears” into and later slingshot some water smoosh balls into. We also did a water balloon toss since it was so hot. The games I sort of winged it on because I was mainly focused on the food. I just bought a bunch of stuff I thought I’d be able to use and it worked out pretty well. The winner of the “reaping” won two prizes that were left over and one of two bow and arrow sets. The next winner was my daughter who won the other set. I had also bought six silly string cans and gave three to the runners up of the other games and then picked three more names for the other silly string cans. The kids liked those parts the best I think, when we let them loose with the silly string and the rest of the water balloons.
One site suggested a Capitol Makeup table. I went one step further and set up Capitol Fashions. I used every useable (and takeable) piece of dressup paraphenalia that we had and also bought a few more masks, funky glassses, some mustaches, hats and new dollar store makeup and let the kids go to town. Another site had a Sponsor Gift table idea that I liked as a favor table and I just put out simple cheap stuff that might be usable in the games like band-aids, tissue, braid-holders, trail mix, compass rings, and some homemade bookmarks along with the Mellark bakery cookies. Both tables were near each other and that was helpful since I wanted our guests to take home gifts from both.
As for GeekyLinks, I am all linked out. I’ve spent two weeks in a Hunger Games birthday party haze and I need a rest. However, if you have any questions about anything I made for the party that I didn’t directly link to, please ask. Most of it should be on the Pinterest board though.