by Jennifer Scheffel
Dreaming up a strawberry theme party, I'm reminded of the summer days I used to spend with my best friend Robyn. Robyn and I would dance barefooted through her parents' strawberry patch in the heat of July, picking strawberries and eating them straight from the vine.
Wash them first? No way! We were eight. Our tastes were simple. Muddy feet and berry stained lips held the secret to a sweet afternoon in the sun.
Today, strawberries bring back the memories, but a few of my tastes have changed. Strawberries still taste great straight from the vine. But they're extraordinary when served with a little panache. That's where a strawberry party theme comes to mind: a celebration of the noble strawberry.
When the summer months hit, you can pick strawberries from local farms or purchase them inexpensively from farmers' markets and grocery stores. Everyone I know has their favorite way to enjoy this amazing fruit. A block party full of strawberry party ideas is a great way for everyone to share their very best.
Send invitations well in advance so guests can plan to bring their favorite strawberry dish.
Strawberry Theme Party Ideas
Every year, my neighborhood has a summer time cook off. Some years it's chili; others it's the best hamburgers. One year, it was fried jalapenos! These cook-offs are so popular that participants (including myself) name their recipes with over-the-top titles and decorate their serving platters as if they were competing on The Food Networks Top Chefs program.
For a strawberry themed party, a strawberry shortcake cook-off is in order. After all strawberry shortcake is probably everyone's favorite summertime dessert. Loose interpretations of strawberry shortcake should be encouraged. That way everyone gets to try something new and exciting.
For instance, strawberry shortcake mini cupcakes or strawberry shortcake cookies are a great way to spice up the competition. No doubt, some people in your group will even try to come up with a recipe for strawberry shortcake chicken … you'll have to decide if that's acceptable! I say get adventurous!
The host would provide strawberry inspired drinks, strawberry decorations, plan party games, and supervise the strawberry shortcake cook-off.
To host the strawberry shortcake cook-off, have each participant bring his or her shortcake. You'll need plenty of small plates and forks for the cakes. Set them at various spots on the table to make it convenient for guests.
Tables set with red and white checked tablecloths would be perfect for the theme. Place a number by each cake. After guests have a chance to try all the entries, pass out blank strips of paper and have each guest write down the number of the entry they liked best. Everyone should be allowed to vote. The more the merrier!
The host tallies the votes and the recipe with the most votes wins. You could select a second and third place winner as well. Strawberry themed prizes, like a strawberry apron or strawberry serving dish would make great gifts for the winners.
Trophies can also be very fun. In my neighborhood cook-off, we use the same trophies every year. The winner simply brings the trophy back and passes it on to the next winner. Our trophies have evolved through the years. They started off as abandoned football trophies. Winners removed the footballs and hot glued plastic jalapenos to the football players' hands. Each year new tokens are hot glued to the trophies, making them creative reminders of years of neighbor block parties.
Strawberry Theme Party Tea
So what does the host of a strawberry theme party serve? Strawberry-basil tea. As I mentioned earlier, my taste has evolved a bit as the years have past. I still love strawberries. And when they're paired with fresh basil from my garden, a heavenly flavor emerges.
The amount of sugar you add is a matter of personal taste. I feel this strawberry tea doesn't need a lot of sugar because the strawberries and basil are sweet. Too much sugar might over power the fresh flavor of the berries for some.
Strawberry-Basil Ice Tea Recipe
5 sprigs of fresh sweet basil (20 leaves)
1 cup of sliced strawberries
5 to 6 tea bags
2 quarts of water
1/4 to 1/2 cup organic sugar
Muddle a bunch (about 5 sprigs or so) of basil in the bottom of serving pitcher and add strawberries. Create a strongly brewed tea. Boil 2 quarts of water on the stovetop. Turn off the heat and allow the tea bags to steep according to package directions (about 2 or 3 minutes).
Add the sugar while the tea is hot. Stir until it's dissolved. Allow the tea to cool and pour it over the strawberries and basil. Place the tea in refrigerator until it's well chilled. Serve over ice.
This article and recipe for strawberry-basil iced tea was created by Jennifer Scheffel of www.Themed-Party-Ideas.com. At www.themed-party-ideas.com you'll find more fun party recipes, party ideas and party themes.