A couple weeks ago my sister and soon to be brother-in-law came over for a Mad Men finale dinner party. Some of us have been big fans of the show for a while now, and Andy’s always down for good food and good company ;)
I thought it would be fun to have a retro dinner party featuring food and drinks from the 60’s, the decade in which most of the show was set.
Ellen and Kevin brought the drinks (Gin & Tonics and Old Fashioneds) and garnishes (hence the perfectly coordinated fruit in the picture above) and I supplied the meal.
We started with shrimp cocktail served up in style :)
After enjoying cocktails and appetizers while listening to actual vinyl records, we headed into the dining room for the main course.
It was fun to set the table with fancy linens and our wedding china. Every time I pull all that stuff out I think about how I should do it more often!
I used this tutorial to quickly learn how to fold the cloth napkins into the crowns you see on each plate. So easy and such a fun touch!
I chose these dishes based on food featured on the show…Betty orders those sides at a restaurant in episode 2 of the first season and Beef Wellington was featured as a part of room service to Joan and Roger a few episodes later.
I wasn’t sure what to expect from foods so different than our usual repertoire, but OMG everything was so delicious!!!
I found it interesting that the potatoes didn’t call for any cheese, only crème fraîche and heavy cream which more than made up for the cheese that’s typical in so many modern potato recipes.
The Beef Wellington called for pâté , and that is hardly a common ingredient, but I know it contributed to the rich savory flavors of the beef wrapped in the light and flakey puffed pastry.
Creamed spinach may sound like some kind of torture you’d be dished up by a grumpy lunch lady, but holy yum was it good! That stuff could turn me into Popeye any day!
We hung out after dinner and let our stomachs rest while we listened to more records and got the kiddies off to bed. Shortly before the last.ever.episode of the show aired, I popped into the kitchen to whip up the topping for the Baked Alaska I’d prepped earlier in the day.
I used this recipe and was so proud of myself for pulling off a dessert that involved BAKING ICE CREAM!
I may have gone on and on about it during every commercial break. LOL
It was such a unique and delicious dessert! I know I’ll be making it again.
I thought the series finale of the show was perfect. It tied up some story lines, but still left much to the imagination. It didn’t “finish” the characters off, rather it gave us a peek into the directions they were heading.
Mad Men was such an artful drama. For me it was just as much about the costumes and design as it was about the story line. The series felt like an honest look into the past and how life was then. It was also a real display of human nature. How flawed and cyclical our lives are. People are complex and dysfunctional and contradictory and beautiful and messed up. They were then and they are now.
Netflix currently has season 1 through the first half of season 7 available to stream. I don’t have the time to re-watch the whole series, but I have gone back to watch the first few episodes again, and it’s so interesting to see how everyone started off.
We had fun talking about our favorite moments in the show and anticipating the ending. TV can often seem like a time waster, but I think when you enjoy it with people you love, it can be a cool way to bring everyone together.
I’m so glad we decided to have our little viewing party to watch the finale. It was a sweet evening that I’ll remember for years to come.
Thanks Netflix for getting me hooked on the show in the first place! Allowing me to binge watch great shows like this one commercial-free is the bomb dot com.
Disclosure: I am a member of the Netflix Stream Team and will be sharing monthly tips and stories about how my family uses Netflix on a regular basis. As a member of the Stream Team I was provided with welcome kit including a voucher to apply towards my Netflix account. I was not otherwise compensated for this post. All opinions are my own.