Oh, Gilmore girls friends– it’s been far too long! Thanksgiving, really? For shame! This Friday Night Dinner may be a little awkward as I get back into the swing of things. First, I have to address the elephant in the room, and one of the reasons why it’s been so long since I’ve done a Friday Night Dinner. *whispersI didn’t like the Netflix revival of Gilmore girls. There, I said it. Please don’t hate me! I didn’t hate it. There were a lot of things that I liked about it, but overall I was disappointed, and I let it steal a little bit of joy out of my life. No more of that! I’m an OG fan and will be one forever. The original shows haven’t lost any of their charm and I’ll continue my journey to recreate all of the Friday Night Dinners, starting now!

The Bracebridge Dinner. Wow– this is a cornerstone episode, I think. It’s a fan and cast favorite alike, and no wonder! The perfect setting: a snowed-in little town (a magical town– not like Stephen King’s snowed-in towns); an old English feast with live entertainment and music; a cancelled client who has already paid. What to do? Invite all of our friends, of course, and have the most epic slumber party ever!

Thank the good Lord that this blog isn’t about recreating Sookie’s meals because this one would do me in. Want to see why? Here’s a list of all the food they mention at this “authentic 19th century meal”:

  • mushrooms (don’t know in what dish, but Sookie orders a variety from Jackson)
  • Butternut squash soup
  • Trout
  • Peacock pie
  • Baron of beef (?)
  • Salad
  • Wassail
  • Plum pudding
  • Prune tarts
  • Pumpkins
  • some sort of bird
  • beer
  • grog

Um, yeah– no. If anyone wants to recreate that meal, let me know and I’ll make you a featured guest author! Here’s an excerpt from a poem that you need to read:

“Now all our neighbours’ chimneys smoke,
And Christmas blocks are burning;
Their ovens they with baked meats choke,
And all their spits are turning.
Without the door let sorrow lie,
And if for cold it hap to die,
We’ll bury’t in a Christmas pie,
And evermore be merry.”
from A Christmas Carol by George Wither, 1588-1667

I was so happy to find this reference! Do you get it??? Comment below when you do!

A Literary Feast -- Bracebridge Dinner

In lieu of the lavish Bracebridge Dinner, I’m recreating the real Friday Night Dinner of the episode. Contrasting the poem above, we enter a frigid Gilmore home. Richard is barely speaking… to anyone… and Emily is at her wits’ ends. This poem is perfect in more ways than one because it’s a perfect analogy of the plot-line throughout the episode. Richard and Emily join the Bracebridge Dinner party (more on that in Part 2), and Richard’s sorrows are apparently left to lie “without the door.” They are not, however, “evermore merry,” but where would our story be then?

As is too often the case, it is difficult to determine what they are eating at this Friday Night Dinner. It’s a short scene with little dialogue, and no references to the food. It looks like turkey breast to me, so I decided to make turkey breast. Looks festive, right? Like something that would be served at an old English feast, even? Not as intimidating as it looks, remarkably. I used this recipe, and my Instant Pot, but I’m sure you could easily adapt it to roasting it in the oven. The prep was kind of fun because I got to use my meat tenderizer. Such a good stress reliever! Could someone tell me, why do they call it butterflying the meat? I see a flounder, ha ha! There are always rolls on the Gilmore table, and, yes, that is a good ‘ol Hawaiian sweet roll on mine, bless them.

A Literary Feast -- stuffed turkey breast

Pound it, sear it, pressure it, serve it up!

Boy, did I need that stress relief, too. This dinner prep and photo shoot was fraught with challenges. My husband was at work. The baby was supposed to be in bed, but he is currently in the throes of separation anxiety, and it took me no fewer than five times into his room trying to calm him to sleep. S1 had fallen asleep on the couch, but woke up in a confused, foul mood that woke the baby again. Sheesh. See that wine there? It’s not just a prop, ha ha. I do this because I love it, friends, and I hope you do, too.

Thanks for sticking with me. I have some exciting plans in the weeks ahead and I hope you come along for the ride. BTW, have you read my recap of the first Gilmore Girls Fan Fest? I’m planning to be there again this year, yay! Any of you going? Let’s talk! I’ve heard from an excellent source that it’s going to be even bigger and better than last year… which was amazing.

Well, that’s a wrap! Here’s one more pic of my faux old English meal. Cheerio!

A Literary Feast -- Bracebridge Dinner