Flashback Friday: Back to School for the big girls

We took apples to the teachers today (we really did–more on that soon). Tomorrow means Dr.’s appointments and haircuts. We are trying to check everything off of our list for Monday when the kids head back to school. I have been worried about getting ready for school and forgot that many moms are anxiously awaiting this day and a return to structure and a little quiet time at home. If you are celebrating the return of school, you might like to get some like-minded friends together and have a Back to School luncheon (no kids allowed) like this one I threw for my gourmet group a few years back.
Here is the write-up I posted shortly after the luncheon then:
{Sept. 8, 2008}
It was my turn to host our gourmet group this month. Remember this gourmet group dinner, my friend and I did last year. Well, this was totally different. In the spirit of full disclosure, I must tell you that am not really that much of a gourmet. I LOVE eating good food and trying new things, but my forte is planning details, so this meal was full of details! Hopefully the food was good, too, but it was probably slightly less gourmet than they are accustomed to.
Some of you may remember that we were planning a “fabulous fondue feast.” That had to be postponed until next year hopefully, and I threw together this Back to School theme in about 1 month. Here are all of the details:
I made a school schedule, and calendar, with party info replacing actual school info. For example, I listed myself as the teacher and my friend who was helping out (when she didn’t have to) as the substitute teacher. I was going to put on there, something about Dress Code (make them all wear uniforms. Ha!), but perhaps it was fortunate that I forgot. On the calendar, I came up with all kinds of yucky sounding lunches. On the date of our luncheon, I put “the best school lunch you have ever had.” I know…you’ve gotta aim high!
I found a lot of teacher supplies at the dollar store. So I hung an alphabet border on the wall, and suspended die cut school shapes from the banister. I used writing strips for place cards and gave each guest their own box of crayons (with their name in black sharpie) for coloring on the butcher paper table coverings. I used bulletin board borders to frame the tables. I also designed a “composition notebook” to hold all of the recipes from the event.
We went a little backwards and started with an “after school snack.” This consisted of homemade granola bars, and nacho popcorn.
I had initially thought to pack every one’s lunch in their own lunch box, but I found these cafeteria trays instead at Target. So the kitchen was set up as the cafeteria.
As you can see:
The menu
Most of the food on the cafeteria tray (missing the potato chips and drinks).
This may be my favorite idea of the whole luncheon, and it wasn’t even mine. My friend Jennifer, came up with this creative way to serve the cut vegetables. She lined the box with wax paper so they would only look like crayons, not taste like them, too.
This glue, I mean..DIP, was on the tables to eat with the crayon box veggies.
These are homemade potato chips. They were a lot of work, but they were really yummy! (And my friend, Jennifer, nearly lost a finger making them…how’s it healing?)
I wrapped the utensils in colorful napkins. Inside the napkins were school related questions, like “Who was your favorite teacher? What was your most embarrassing school moment? etc.” That we discussed as we ate.
I’m pretty sure I stole this presentation idea directly from The Hostess Blog. We also had chocolate milk as an option. I would have done the mini milk cartons, if I knew where to find them.
I called these “Class Party Cupcakes.” They served as a centerpiece as well as an additional dessert (although, not many people had room for them after the “final exam brownies!” They were apple-cinnamon cupcakes with a honey frosting. The decorating idea came from Martha Stewart’s kids’ food magazine.
As guests were gathering, I had edible art class activities and a pop quiz waiting. For the pop quiz, I just gathered little known information about each of the guests, and had everyone try and figure out which one of us had done which unexpected thing (my favorite: Tripped the gym teacher on purpose). There was a prize for the highest score (I have that for you, Jackie).
Art class consisted of “Peanut Butter Play Dough” which I had in little containers for them to take home as a favor, and art class cookies. Also from the Martha Stewart Kids Food magazine, I had sugar cookie dough cut into rectangular “canvases”, food coloring, and straws. We dropped the food coloring on the dough and blew through the straws to splatter it over the canvas. It was fun, but ours didn’t turn out as cute as Martha’s. (Do they ever?)
Some of these ideas would be fun to do with kids, but of course, it is fun to do stuff without kids, sometimes, too. A HUGE thank you to Alicia and Jennifer, who did tons of work to help me pull this off. Oh, and I guess I’d better thank my dh, who made the homemade bread for the gourmet PB&J, and helped an awful lot in the kitchen (and with the kids).
Does that make you any more excited for school to start? You might think about packing some carrots in a crayon box to put in your child’s lunch on the first day of school. Or maybe have a little back to school bash for your child and their friends to help them be excited about it. Here are some more ideas along those lines. If you like my gourmet group (sadly no longer functioning) :-(, you can read about it here, and see several of our special dinners by looking at the gourmet group archives.
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  1. This is absolutely adorable…and looks delicious too. Love the crayons and glue!!!!!

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