Monday, January 7, 2013

A Twelve Days of Christmas Dinner Party

I mentioned the other day, on the Catholic Cuisine Facebook page, that I was planningTwelve Days of Christmas Dinner Party on Twelfth Night for my family! I just finished posting a couple recipes here and all the details over at Shower of Roses, but thought I'd include the menu here as well, for next year.  

Inspired by the song The Twelve Days of Christmas, I came up with twelve menu items for our party. Legend has it that each gift represents an aspect of our faith and it has been said that this song was used to help teach catechism to children when religious instruction was prohibited.  Whether or not this is true, I just love all the symbolism and am always looking for ways to teach my children more about our faith.  (Note:  You can find our Twelve Days of Christmas Lap Book here.)  When creating the menu I drew from both the original gifts and the Catholic aspects of our faith which they symbolize.

.: The Menu :.

Eight Maids-a-Milking Eggnog and/or Pure White Punch

Four Calling Birds Chicken Wings or Salad with Grilled Chicken
Five Golden Onion Rings with Dipping Sauce
Six Geese-a-Laying Deviled Eggs or Egg Salad
Seven Swan's a Swimming Bean Dip
Nine Ladies Dancing Fruits of the Holy Spirit Salad
Twelve Drummer's Drumming Chicken Drumsticks
Ten (Lord's a Leaping) Commandment Cookies
Eleven Piper's Pretzel Rod Pipes and/or Chocolate Choir of Angels 

I set the table with a red tablecloth and our Silent Night Table Runner, moved our Twelve Days of Christmas Ornaments from the kitchen to the table as well, and used the lovely new little ornaments from Jesse Tree Treasures to place next to each food item.

.: A Partridge in a Pear Tree :.
Partridge in a Pear Tree = 
1 Beloved Son, Jesus Christ, on the Cross
When I saw the Partridge in a Pear Tree Pie over at Taste of Home, I knew I had to try making it... It was pretty simple and turned out so cute and delicious. I didn't have a partridge cookie cutter so I just hand cut a design with a butter knife. I also added some little leaves and cross shapes as well.  I just posted the recipe here

.: Two Turtle Doves :.
Two Turtle Doves = 2 Testaments (Old & New) 
Turtle Dove Chocolates!  You can find the recipe here

.: Three French Hens :.
Three French Hens = 3 Gifts of the Magi
 and/or 3 Virtues, Faith, Hope & Love
I made our Twelfth Night Rum Cake with three Chocolate Coins hidden inside.  I had a small gift for each person that found a coin in their slice.  (This year it was my husband, Chiquita and Snuggles.)

I also made some Gluten Free Mini Rum Cakes, and used Coconut Sugar for the rum syrup.  You couldn't even tell the difference. (I knew I needed some healthier options for myself or I'd never be able to resist a couple of the treats.  

.: Four Collie Birds :.
Four Collie/Calling Birds = 
4 Gospels: Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John
I planned to pick up four kinds of Chicken Wings/Appetizers for this menu item, but that was the one thing I forget to get at the store.   Grilled Chicken on top of Salad, or even bird shaped sandwiches would have worked as well.  Our meal was made up of mostly appetizers and desserts, but a chicken main dish could be easily incorporated here too.  Instead, I just ended up pulling our our Church Windows game for the kids to play - tying in Matthew, Mark, Luke and John, the 4 Gospel Writers.

.: Five Golden Rings :.
Five Golden Rings = 5 Books of Moses: 
Genesis, Exodus, Leviticus, Numbers, Deuteronomy
Snuggles (by far our pickiest eater) decided to try one of these "Golden Rings" (Onion Rings). After taking a couple bites he asked "What's inside this?" When nobody gave him a direct answer, just asked if he was going to eat the rest, he said, "No... It tastes odd!" lol Next time I think I might opt for dried apple rings!  

.: Six Geese A-Laying :.
Six Geese A-Laying = 6 Days of Creation
Deviled Eggs made a yummy and healthy addition to the party and tied in nicely to the six geese a-laying!

.: Seven Swans A-Swimming :.
Seven Swans A-Swimming = 7 Gifts of the Holy Spirit
Since the seven swans a-swimming represents the seven gifts of the holy spirit, I decided to serve our Pentecost seven layer dip with chips.

.: Eight Maids A-Milking :.
Eight Maid A-Milking = 8 Beatitudes
I already had some eggnog leftover from Christmas.  

.: Nine Ladies Dancing :.
Nine Ladies Dancing = 9 Fruits of the Spirit
A simple fruit salad made from nine fresh fruits: Kiwi, Banana, Apple, Pear, Cantaloupe, Watermelon, Red Grapes, Oranges, and Pineapple. 

.: Ten Lords A-Leeping :.
Ten Lords A-Leeping = 10 Commandments
Pepperidge Milano Cookies with the Roman Numerals written with black sparkle gel.

.: Eleven Pipers Piping :.
Eleven Pipers Piping = 11 Faithful Apostles 
Pretzel Rod Pipes and A Choir of Chocolate Angels to match the beautiful illustrations in our book

.: Twelve Drummers Drumming :.
Twelve Drummers Drumming = 12 Points of the Apostles Creed
Originally I was going to make Chicken Drumsticks, but when I saw these Chicken Drumellas at Trader Joe's I thought they would be perfect quick and easy! 

I hope you all have a very blessed and joy filled Twelve Days of Christmas and Feast of Epiphany!

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  1. Wow. These all look wonderful! Was this just for your immediate family, or did you have others over as well? I'd love to do something like this, but my children are still so young, I'm afraid most of the food would not be able to be finished.

    1. Yes, this was just for my immediate family, but there are 9 of us! :)

      I think it would be really fun to have a couples party sometime over Christmas, assigning each couple an item or two to bring! That would make it really easy to host!

      Or for smaller families, maybe include extended family or other friends?

      Most of the things I made (except for the pie and cake) can be made in either large or small quantities.

  2. Phenomenal! The epitome of creativity. You make me so proud to be Catholic. :)

    You have inspired me to jazz up some of my meals with biblical and Church themes when the Lord blesses me with that kind of time! It's the first thing I'll do.

  3. This is amazing. What a great dinner party idea! Thanks for the plans and recipes. Gotta try it next year.

  4. I am inspired to give this a try next year! Thank you for helping me incorporate my faith into each season a bit better. Blessing for a happy new year!