Murder Mystery Parties have become hugely popular in recent years, any excuse for a party ay? And why not? Life has just started getting back to normal. You want to host a themed party, why not pick up a copy of Masters of Mystery’s 1920s themed murder mystery, or one of our other great games? You and your guests will have a lot of fun getting dressed up and drinking cocktails, accusing and questioning each other’s characters and trying to solve a murder. For some fun facts to help you get the most out of your evening you can read about the 1920’s in our Prohibition and speakeasies blog.
You can find some great recipe’s for 1920s themed drinks in our other blog. That’s drinks sorted but what about the food? You want your guests to enjoy the meal as well as the drinks. We’ve compiled a list of great recipes the flappers and mobsters enjoyed back in the 1920s, now you can recreate these amazing dishes yourself and really give your guests an authentic 1920’s experience.
Appetizers and Sides
Many of the Speakeasy’s and jazz bars would serve platters, cnapes and other bitesize treats alongside their drinks. Why not create some speakeasy sides for your guests to enjoy?
Spinach dip was simple and easy to make, not to mention cheap. It was simply made from mixing sour cream, mayonnaise, and spinach together. It was considered more classy than simply having mayonnaise or ketchup.
Ravioli became popular in American speakeasy’s in the 1920s, because many were owned by Italian-American families, popular in Italy as a way to use up the meat scraps. It’s simply pockets of pasta with eggs, milk, seasonings, and breadcrumbs. Serve it as a side dish or top a larger portion with marinara sauce and serve it as a hot main meal.
Devilled eggs was another popular appetizer in the 1920s. Easy to make and easy to transport. This dish turned simple boiled eggs into a classy treat for everyone. All you need to do to make devilled eggs was boil the egg and then remove the yolk, mix it with seasonings and mayonnaise, cook them separately and then place back into the soft white shell.
Stuffed celery was a popular side dish, often served with roast meats. It was simple to make all you do is mix cream cheese and chives and layer it over celery. It’s then often sprinkled with salt, pepper or paprika.
The Era of jazz clubs and Speakeasy’s was all about being classy and lavish, life was good after the war and people had more money to spend. A night out, a dance, drinks and a three-course meal would be excited and fun. Below are some lavish starters you may see at a 1920s dinner party.
Oysters Rockefeller became famous in New Orleans in 1920s it was a luxury to have it. It’s a dish of half-shell oysters with a buttery sauce nixed with parsley, herbs and breadcrumbs. It can be and baked or broiled and garnished with a lemon slice.
Clam chowder was a popular food in the 1920’s. There’s a bit of a debate about where it originated from but lets not go into that, all we know is that it was popular in Manhattan and Rhode Island, although it was a common site across the whole of the USA. It contains clams, tomatoes, pork, onions, and potatoes, and is served with a side of saltine crackers or slices of white bread.
Shrimp Cocktail, no fancy restaurant would be complete without Shrimp Cocktail, it was a staple for many classy joints in the 1920’s. Made by oven-roasting large shrimp, then dipping them in homemade shrimp cocktail sauce. You can read a good recipe for shrimp cocktail here.
Parsnip & Celery Root Bisque, an elegant soup that was popular in 1920s, often served to warm the soul in Winter, made from leeks, parsnips and celery, seasoned with salt, pepper, garlic and chives. Guaranteed to bring a smile to your face on a cold day. For a good Parsnip and Celery Root Bisque follow this recipe.
Travel between countries became much easier after the first world war. There were boats for sea travel and cars and trains for land travel and even, if you were very rich, planes for air travel. It was no wonder that dishes from across the globe started popping up on menus. below are some popular international main courses that you might find at a 1920s dinner party.
Spaghetti and Meatballs, contrary to popular belief, this dish did not originate in Italy. While meatballs and various pastas were a popular meal in Italy when many Italians decided to migrate to America in the early 1900s, spaghetti was much easier to come by than other types of pasta. They decided to combine it with home-cooked meatballs with marinara sauce and spaghetti and meatballs was created and served in many Italian-American restaurants in the 1920s.
Pork chops with mushrooms and wine, was a popular main course in the 1920s. Made with garlic, mushrooms & thyme, then seared and simmered in red wine. To make these you will need Pork chops, mushrooms, red wine, butter, garlic and thyme. To make your own Porkchops with mushrooms and red wine there is a good recipe.
Chicken a la king, became a common sight on menus from 1910 up to 1960. It’s been served in United Kingdom and United States. It’s a rich and creamy dish often served over pasta or rice. Guaranteed to impress your guests. Made from chicken, with mushroom, peas and home-made broth. You can find a good recipe for chicken a la king here.
Cranberry-Orange Roast Ducklings, another popular dish from the 1920s it’s perhaps not as easy to make as some other dishes, but well worth it if you have the time and the energy and really want to give your guests something special. You can find a recipe for Cranberry-Orange Roast Ducklings here.
Desserts became popular in the 1800s, with the Victorians enjoying cakes and scones, as we move into the 1920s, ingredients such as gelatine and of course different ice cream flavours became much more readily available, as more exciting and dramatic desserts became available. Bakers and cooks could challenge themselves to create a variety of exciting dishes. Below are so desserts you can choose from for your own 1920’s murder mystery dinner party.
Pineapple Upside Down Cake. Although baking cakes upside down in iron skillets had been popular since the 1700s, with recipes being handed down through generations the Pineapple upside-down cake itself became famous in 1925 when a Hawaii Pineapple Company held a competition to see different variations. Many people sent in their version and since then it became one of the trendiest foods in the country. You can find a good Pineapple upside down cake recipe here.
Icebox Cakes, were different to most cakes that require an oven, the icebox cake is chilled in a refrigerator. It became popular in the 1920s when pre-made mixes became more readily available, but you could also make them by hand. An icebox cake is made from layers of cookies, wafers or crackers and then a mixture of whipped cream, milk, gelatine, chocolate, fruit or any other ingredient are placed onto the base. You them simply pop it in the fridge and leave it overnight.
Old-World Puff Pancake, a favourite dish of many American’s all through history. Pancakes are cheap and easy to make which meant they were a popular dessert when the depression Era hit in the late 1920s. Made from sugar, butter, milk, flour and any flavours you want to add such as chocolate, berries, honey etc.. Simply place butter in an ovenproof skillet; place in a hot oven until melted (2-3 minutes usually), then either mix by hand or toss into a blender the eggs, milk, flour and sugar to make the pancake mix and then pour it into the skillet. Bake for 16 to 18 minutes and sprinkle with sugar, garnish with lemon or drizzle over some syrup and enjoy.
State Fair Cream Puffs were a sweet treat often served at state fairs all through the early 1900s. Good if you want something sweet and savoury. They’re made using butter, flour, eggs, sugar and cream. You make your own Cream Puffs for your 1920’s party by following this recipe.
We hope we’ve given your taste buds a tingle and inspired you to create your own lavish menu for your own 1920s themed murder mystery party. So go ahead, indulge yourself. Whether you fancy simple finger foods and sumptuous side dishes or whether you prefer a simple menu you can whip up in a few minutes or whether you want to take your time, prepare something a little more challenging and serve up a fabulous three course dinner to your guest we’re sure that you’ll be able to find something to suit your needs in these 1920s Murder Mystery Dinner Party recipes.