My (School) Dinner Down Memory Lane

I have a confession to make.

I’m not the greatest of cooks. I recently burned pasta (no, really) and my attention span when it comes to following recipes is notoriously limited.

Thankfully for my guests, I have decided to create a menu for my Dinner Down Memory Lane inspired by the faux-cuisine food of my childhood. And in doing so I have carefully avoided the dangers of serving anything that requires a saucepan…

My menu

Starters

Cheese and pineapple hedgehogs
Cocktail sausages on sticks
Miniature spring rolls

Every school friend’s birthday party had these treats on offer, and the opportunity to recreate a mixed-plate of beige goodies was just too good to pass up. To make up for the relative ease of preparation, I am hoping to impress my guests by putting an artistic twist on presentation and will forego the weighted-down paper plates in favour for proper, grown-up ones.

Mains

Saveloy and chips
Curry sauce (optional)

A trip to the chip shop was a huge after-school treat and not being a huge cod fan I would normally opt for a saveloy instead. I loved to sit with the warm paper in my lap watching TV with my mum, and the smell alone brings back fond memories of family dinnertime.

Nothing is ever quite like the real thing, so my very lovely partner has agreed to go to our local chippy to get individually wrapped portions for our guests while I entertain them between courses with cocktails and a retro food quiz.

Dessert

Alternative cheeseboard:
Babybel, Primula, Dairylea and Cheesestrings served with Mini Cheddars

I’m a big fan of everything savoury and if there is ever a cheeseboard option in a restaurant, I will take it. This occasion is no different and I’ve taken inspiration from the humble packed lunchbox.

Drinks

Cherryade and Raspberryade cocktails

My biggest weakness at the school tuck shop was a specific brand of fizzy pop with a mildly sinister-looking panda on it. In a bid to put a grown-up twist on the soft drinks of my youth, I’ll be making cocktails made from cherryade and raspberryade, topped off with popping candy around the rim.

Dress code

Finally, no party is complete without a dress code. In a nod to the Nirvana song which played on repeat throughout my moody teenage years, I am asking guests to ‘come as you were’ and recreating classic looks from family photos. I’m not 100% sure how this will turn out, however this is mine: