Dinner party disasters - got any good stories for the White Ribbon Alliance?

(54 Posts)
GeraldineMumsnet (MNHQ) Thu 17-Dec-09 12:06:26

In March 2010, The White Ribbon Alliance - the coalition behind the Million Mums campaign - is going to be organising a Global Dinner Party to mark the 100th anniversary of International Women's Day.

Nearer the time we'll be chivvying you all to hold your very own dinner party to mark the day.

For now, though, we're hoping to collect some 'dinner party disasters' stories for the WRA's website. So if you've ever had people round for a meal that hasn't quite gone according to plan, do whack up your stories here. Alternatively, you could betray your friends and tell us about their DPDs... You know it's all for a good cause.

And while you're about it - feel free to sign up to the Million Mums campaign to draw attention to the shocking maternal mortality rates in the developing world. This will tell you more.

SantaClausImWorthIt Thu 17-Dec-09 12:38:51

Went to a Sunday lunch party some years ago. We had to travel from SW London to NE London, so set off at sparrow's fart to get there.

When we arrived, our hosts were still in bed.

Cue frantic rush to get the lunch made.

Open plan kitchen so we're all watching hostess prepare - so no pressure at all - but also realised with a sinking heart that she was no cook.

Starter was supposed to be hard boiled eggs stuffed with smoked salmon (a bit hmm in the first place], but she had no smoked salmon so substituted it with Shippams fish paste.

Main course was roast lamb, but it was so undercooked given the lack of time it was actually rare.

No idea what the pudding was or how we got home because we were so pissed by then, drinking wine on an empty stomach and eating as little of the food as we could get away with!

Iklboodolphtherednosereindeer Thu 17-Dec-09 12:43:47

Not a dinner party but a romantic meal for DH.

I'd made a lovely carrot & ginger soup for starter with homemade croutons & swirled with double cream etc.

Soup was delicious until DH bit down on what he thought was a crunchy crouton & spat it out.

It appears a woodlouse had died in the serving ladle and, being in a rush, I hadn't rinsed it out before use like I usually do.

DH wasn't very hungry after that blush

MrsBadger Thu 17-Dec-09 12:58:52

I have mentioned on MN before (and been duly ridiculed for doing so) that I keep a private visitors' book with who came when and what we fed them

I only started after we went to the same dinner party twice
same hosts
same guests
identical food
identical wine, even to the year

we thought it was hilarious and broke it gently to them afterwards but they were mortified

motherbeyond Thu 17-Dec-09 13:29:10

my snake shat on the dinner table....oh,no sorry ,that was Come Dine with Me,wasn't it!grin

GoodKingWhatFreshHellLookedOut Thu 17-Dec-09 14:12:08

We held a dinner party where we asked one guest to bring the starter, we cooked the main course, and another guest brought the dessert.

When doing this, you should ALWAYS ask the guests what they're bringing.....

We ended up with fried halloumi cheese with a lime salsa for a starter, spinach and ricotta cannelloni for main course, and for dessert? A cheesecake, of course....

Only half way through the dessert did one of the other guests admit that actually, he really didn't like cheese grin He was violently ill later. I blame the wine. wink

TisTheSeasonToBeHully Thu 17-Dec-09 15:12:34

I went to a rather splendid dinner where little individual menus were by each place setting, the candles glowed and lengths of beflowered ribbon were strewn artistically over the table. Feeling a little nervous I drank not wisely but too well and while examining my lovely menu held it too close to a candle where it caught alight. I dropped it and flames raced up and down the ribbons. All the guests threw their drinks over the fires and it was all ever so slightly ruined.

tigerbear Thu 17-Dec-09 15:19:39

Great stories!! grin

JJ Thu 17-Dec-09 15:23:57

Nothing horrible but have had:

- dinner party where guest announces right before meat based dinner that she's vegetarian (she had soup and pudding)

- dinner party with teeny tiny woman who ate more than I've seen anyone eat ever, so I ate a minute portion and quickly made extra food

- not a dinner party, but made a lovely ham for us and a friend and completely forgot to make anything to go with it (starter: ham, main: ham, sides: ham, etc etc)

- that Thanksgiving where the fish for non-meat eaters almost didn't get done. Guests were lovely and gracious about waiting though.

Everyone was understanding and good humoured about it all though. No real disasters (yet), phew!

WhoIsAskingSantaForCake Thu 17-Dec-09 15:40:12

My mum and dad got married in 1970 and the following decade, as I'm sure you'll all agree, was truly the decade of the dinner party. I remember many a Saturday night spent sitting on the stairs listening to the incomparable sounds of Barry Manilow on the record player and smelling the sweet aroma of Boeuf Stroganoff wafting from the kitchen.

One such party stands out in my memory though, for this was the party of disaster.

Mum had lovingly prepared a prawn cocktail as starter, which the cat promptly jumped onto the side and wolfed down. Only to bring back up with a cough and splutter, all over the sheepsking rug in the living room.

Poor mum, worse was yet to come. Her main course passed without incident, and she had remembered to pop back into the kitchen and put the BAKED ALASKA into the oven. This thing was a work of art, swirly meringue, and sponge and ice cream - cooked ice cream? This is amazing! I think she'd even made the sponge from scratch. It was amazing.

She asked my dad to come into the kitchen to help her get the Thing Of Wonder out of the oven. So, she opened the oven door...all was well, Dad stood expectantly waiting to be handed the Dessert To Beat All Desserts. As mum handed it over to him, he remembered that he can't touch hot things and promptly dropped it onto the floor. And as the law of sod dictates, it landed face down.

My poor mother actually cried. She never fully forgave him either, and I'm sure that she still hasn't. Dad has been dead for 5 years and I'm convinced that she berates him about it at the cemetary.

She never touched Baked Alaska again.

TisTheSeasonToBeHully Thu 17-Dec-09 15:40:58

Oh, and at another one hosted by my best friend, we all sat (about ten of us), talking, laughing and drinking, and drinking, and then at midnight said hostess realised she'd forgotten to do the dinner.

morningpaper Thu 17-Dec-09 15:56:23

I always do foolish things at dinner parties

Once I had drunk a little too much and then thought it would be a good idea to play on the host's son's 30-foot rope swing - resulting in massive rope friction burns on my arms and legs

Same house - a year later - too much to drink and thought it would be a good idea to race the host's son down their stairs on our bottoms - resulting in massive carpet friction burns down my legs and buttocks.

My mother was hmm when I returned home from the same house with more third-degree friction burns....

nikki1978 Thu 17-Dec-09 16:14:16

Now THATS a good dinner party Tistheseason grin

SantaClausImWorthIt Thu 17-Dec-09 16:35:00

So what did you really get up to, MP?

Weegle Thu 17-Dec-09 17:34:18

About 10 years ago now, a whole bunch of us were invited to a batchelor friend of ours for dinner. On the menu: Chicken Casserole. All well and good - he was running a little later so we all sat and chatted and drank wine until the buzzer went off. Cue - everyone to the table, dinner to be served... He starts dishing up the casserole, complete with oven gloves, and then the first recipient notices that this really isn't cooked... he had forgotten to turn the oven on grin

TheShowMustGoOn Thu 17-Dec-09 17:42:54

At a friends dinner party - after dessert party popper guns were handed out. We were all so pissed tipsy that we didn't think about the candles on the table. A long stream of party popper set on fire at which point someone threw a glass of absinthe on it and the most ferocious fireball ever erupted.

We all swiftly left as the host sobbed over her late grandmothers linen table cloth that had been burnt to shreds.

TheBrandyButterflyEffect Thu 17-Dec-09 17:46:45

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

TheShowMustGoOn Thu 17-Dec-09 17:51:08

My own worst disaster was when I stepped out of my comfort zone.

It was a dinner party for exH's colleagues (we had to take it in turns to do them - yawn)

I did sushi as a canape which went down well, then calamari with a chilli salad as a starter.

I ate one piece and then sneakily looked around to see all looking like they were chewing on rubber bands (just as I was). It was pretty much inedible.

I then had a kimchi style pot for the main - so gas camping stove in the middle of the table, stock with various spices, chinese cabbage and rice noodles.

The idea was that we could all take chopsticks and dip various bits of meat in the stock until cooked. I spent a fortune on very thinly sliced beef and chicken.

However most couldn't use chopsticks and the stock actually tasted foul. Worse was to come as i could smell gas and realised the camping stove wasn't working properly.

I threw the lot in the bin and plyed them with wine as I made a rissotto instead.

SparkyfartDust Thu 17-Dec-09 18:53:42

friends of my mum's invited guests round for a dinner party with the theme of 'The Food of Love.'

This event was to flout the couple's deep love and passion for one another (enough to put you off your food in the first place I'd have thought).

The grande finale was to be 'Love Pie,' some kind of vegan boiled date affair.

The whole event had to be cancelled as the 'Love Pie' had been left to boil for too long on the hobb (the hosts were apparently otherwise 'engaged') and when entering a kitchen molten and exploding date mixture caused the hosts to suffer nasty burns and scalds.

probono Thu 17-Dec-09 19:20:40

I set the kitchen floor on fire trying to top up a fondue. I took the gas thing out to the kitchen and started to pour in the meths or whatever it is. But I didn't extinguish the flame first so it shot up the stream to the bottle, I sensibly hmm dropped the bottle and all its flaming contents which spread across the lino in an exciting pyrotechnic display.

The fondue was an attempt to use a wedding present, what a surprise. Back in the box where it remains to this day.

onebatmother Thu 17-Dec-09 19:23:19

hahahahahaha Sparky. Oh dear, I really shouldn't laugh at that as much as I do - but it just hits so many comedy keywords grin

SparkyfartDust Thu 17-Dec-09 19:27:16

I have another.

My grandparents invited the high and mighty of the small village where they lived to an evening of food & wine.

She'd prepared a fish dish for the main.

After dinner the guests were being entertained with some polite musical/ poetry recital type thing when grandads dirty old dog who'd obviously been going through the bins ran into the essembled crowd and and a noisy and dramatic show of throwing up up the entrails and skins of the fish they'd enjoyed earlier.

lovely.

hatwoman Thu 17-Dec-09 19:49:25

I have some friends (platonic, male friends) who once spent a summer travelling round France visiting vineyards and building themselves collections of stupidly valuable wine, not easliy replaced by a trip to Threshers. a few months later one of them invited a crowd of us round to Sunday lunch - in part to meet his new girlfriend. we arrived to find new girlfriend cooking lunch (she didn;t even live there) whilst the "host" was out rowing...due back in an hour or so. it kind of set the tone. I can't remember quite how it happened but by about 4 pm the men were in the sitting room, the women were still round the kitchen table - each one of them (except for me) having been in tears, and the wine collection was decimated.

I was driving - hence sober (probably not unrelated to my not joining in with the late-20s-what-are-men-like-tear-fest). dh and I had a huge argument (about directions, of course) on the way home. he told me to stop the car on a one way system so he could get out and walk. I managed to persuade him it wasn;t a good idea.

a most memorable dinner.

hatwoman Thu 17-Dec-09 19:59:04

What ARE you talking about dear, that particular dinner party was an absolute triumph. I vaguely recall that we were still sitting round the table at 10pm having started at midday.

Hat's DH

morningpaper Thu 17-Dec-09 21:03:42

I have a group of Ladies who go out once a month

Once we were dining at a friend's house and we were very worse for wear, and we all started shoving the host's husband's camera down our tops and taking pictures of our breasts

The next morning this seemed like quite poor judgement although I am assured that the boys at Hinkley Point were impressed with the contents of the memory card

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