Late summer is the perfect time for French-inspired eating. Gather friends for a shared appetizers-as-dinner get-together. A perfect excuse is a celebration of Julia Child's birthday, August 15. You can watch the movie Julie & Julia or enjoy some trivia games. There will be plenty of laughter—life's best medicine—and good food!
Plan and Work Ahead
- Issue French- or cooking-inspired online invites with a link to the recipe each guest will prepare.
- Or, gather friends for coffee or over lunch at work. Divide the recipes among you.
- Find more French-inspired appetizers and other recipes giving you entertaining inspiration no matter the season.
- Remind guests bringing appetizers to have preparation completed as much possible before they arrive. Note ahead if refrigerator, oven or counter space will be needed.
Serve Buffet Style
- Mix-and-match neutral dinnerware and linens since people are bringing appetizers or desserts on their own serving plates. An arrangement of pots of herbs like rosemary, sage and thyme makes a fun neutral centerpiece. Or use sunflowers just like in a Claude Monet painting!
- For a buffet, all the food is set out in one place and guests take a plate and help themselves.
- Set up a drinks table outside the kitchen. Keep it simple.
Party Fun & Games
- Watch the recent movie Julie & Julia or selections of the original TV series The French Chef with Julia Child, now on DVD, with your friends.
- Everybody likes trivia. Search the Internet using search words ‘Julia Child’ and ‘trivia’ for plenty of help putting your own game together.
- Who of your friends can do the best Julia Child impersonation à la Dan Aykroyd? Who can tell the most entertaining story of their own experience preparing one of Julia’s recipes? Award prizes of a cooking gadget like a whisk.
- Use this appetizer menu when your book group reads one or both of the books that inspired the movie: Julie Powell’s Julie & Julia or Julia Child’s My Life in France written with her nephew Alex Prud'homme.
- Or, once ‘Julia fever’ has calmed down, treat your friends to an all-things-French gathering while discussing books like Irène Némirovsky’s Suite Française or Sara Houghteling’s Pictures at an Exhibition.
- Watch a movie together, like one based on a book by the French writer Colette, such as the recent Chéri or the classic Gigi.