Creating a dinner menu for a 65th birthday party can be quite stressful, especially if you are trying to feed many guests. However, creating the menu can be a way to express yourself and recognise your guest of honour at the same time.
Ask your guest of honour what her all-time favourite meal is. Try to prepare this for her, and if it is not too difficult, have it on the menu for all of your guests. You may select one or two of her favourite dishes for the guests to choose from.
Quiz your guest on favourite foods he enjoyed as a child. Perhaps in the 1950s, he enjoyed peanut butter and jelly sandwiches or other dishes like macaroni and cheese or spaghetti. Recreate two or three of these dishes and have the children at the party choose from them. Consider offering Tang as a beverage for the kids, as this was a popular baby boomer treat, which was touted as a "Space Age drink."
Food from Different Decades
If you're really feeling adventurous, serve dishes that are hallmarks of food from different periods of time. Retrofoodrecipes.com has many dishes that were well known during those periods. Pick a recipe your guest of honour likes and serve it to everyone. You can also offer different retro options for guests to choose from. For example, if your guest of honour grew up in the 1960s, she might enjoy a Boil Treacle cake for dessert. You can also consider fondue as either a main meal or a dessert, as it was widely popular during the 1970s. Foodtimeline.org also provides a wonderful resource for popular foods by decade as well as a wide array of recommended recipe books. Whether you're planning a 60s-style backyard barbecue, a 60s cocktail party or a 70s fondue, you're sure to find exactly what you are looking for.
If you want something different from a traditional cake, bake cupcakes and write the number "65" on top with icing. Ask your guest of honour what her favourite cupcake is and make it accordingly. Serve to each of your guests.
Food from Different Regions
Where did your guest of honour grow up? If she grew up in another country or region of the United States, pick some foods that the region is known for. For example, if he is from New England, you could serve up some clam chowder. If she is from the South, you can serve fried chicken and mashed potatoes. If your guest of honour is from another country, explore recipes the country is famous for, like Spanish tapas or a French dish like Steak Frites. If you want to go all-out, find a recipe book from the region your guest of honour is from and serve your meal from appetizers to desserts in the same fashion.
While keeping a theme can be important, don't get too bogged down with it. It is perfectly appropriate to serve different styles of food throughout the meal. Also, if you're having a large gathering, it is appropriate to have two or three entr�es or appetizers for the guests to choose from as well as a red and a white wine. You may, however, want to serve seasonal desserts such as strawberry pie or shortcake for the summer or apple pie or apple tarts for the fall.