A few weeks ago, I had a stroke of genius. I always plan a weekly menu. This particular Friday night we had planned to make hamburgers and hot dogs. There was about a half a foot of snow on the ground, so grilling out wasn’t an option. That’s when it hit me. Why not do something really fun for dinner? We were planning on basically diner food, so why not invite the kids to Luke’s Diner from Gilmore Girls?
I've always been a fan of the show and now my kids like to watch it with me on Netflix. They especially like the scenes in Luke's -his grouchy service, the yummy looking food, and how everyone knows everyone else.
Since our menu was already set, all I needed to do was actually make a menu. Using the air fryer, I was able to make a few choices for side items. I added a few salads (because of Nicole) and picked up some ice cream for dessert. I did an image search for Luke’s logo and had a printed menu in about 15 minutes.
Here's a printable menu for Luke's Diner.
Ryan put on a plaid shirt and backward baseball cap and the kids took their seats. He was gruff and lovable and the kids put on one of their favorite Gilmore Girls episodes to watch while the food was cooking. They agreed to let "the restaurant employees" join them once dinner was ready and we had a wonderful, memorable time. The funny thing was, it didn’t take a lot of effort. And we turned a regular Friday night into a special one. Also, it was much cheaper than actually going out to dinner.
Theme dinners aren’t only for Gilmore Girls fans. Think of your family’s favorite show or movie and get creative. Pinterest is helpful too. If it’s a movie night, go all out. If you’re watching Tangled, why not make really long pasta or braided bread? Have kabobs and pitas for Aladdin. Try your hand at gumbo and beignets for The Princess and the Frog or a Hawaiian luau for Moana.
Other theme dinners could be fun too. What about everything on a stick? Or the classic breakfast for dinner (we do that a lot). Frozen? Not necessarily the movie, but just everything has to be from the freezer. It’s okay to be random and just make a game of it.
Throwback dinners could be fun. You could do TV dinners for the 60’s, a fondu party for the 70’s, or something gross like those stuffed green peppers my mom always made for the 80’s. Maybe don’t do the peppers. Decade dinners should include music from that era and maybe even a few decorations.
As we’re nearing the one year mark of…let’s call it “making memories at home” because “prisoners in our homes” sounds harsh, we are running out of ideas. And although I want a theme dinner called, “Let’s burn our masks” or “Please just go to school”, I also really want to make the most of our family time.
I’ve seen people on social media doing themed dinners. If you have other ideas, please share them in comments. I’d love to hear what you’ve done.
I’m feeling optimistic about the way things are heading for the virus, but for now it’s best to stay home when we can. A few fun ideas a little prep can make this time at home something special instead of something to get through.