Curiouser and Curiouser graphic set clip art from Lettering Delights. Pacifico font.
There are plenty of opportunities to capture the magic of Disney food in the parks, but I have to admit that my favorite Disney food memories have all been made in my own home. Even though I didn't grow up in a Disney-loving household (gasp!), my Mom did buy me the Walt Disney's Mickey Mouse Cookbook in the late 1970s and I spent countless hours browsing through the pages, dreaming of making Lady & the Tramp's spaghetti, or Chip and Dale's snowballs. It is one of the few books I've held on to my entire life and it still sits on my bookshelf today. It certainly is worn around the edges, but for a book that is more than 35 years old, it's really in pretty good shape!
Because of my fond memories about this cookbook, I've rarely turned down an opportunity to buy a Disney cookbook – especially if it's one my kids will enjoy. There's something magical about planning and dreaming up Disney food to eat at home. Even though we don't go to the parks all that often, we do watch Disney movies and love the Disney characters. We've had several Disney-themed birthday parties, family parties, dinners, snacks, and movie nights where we've found an excuse to whip up a related recipe and enjoy some special memories. One of our longtime favorite cookbooks has been Cooking with Mickey and Friends. I bought this one in 1998 when my kids were only 2 and 5 years old. Cinderella's pumpkin waffles, and Tramp's pasta quickly became family favorites in our house and my children were always so excited when I made anything from this book.
Here's a picture of my husband back in 1999 holding a fishbowl dessert that we made for a Disney themed dinner. We even had a cat named Figaro at the time so we thought it would be extra fun to make the gelatin recipe from the cookbook and pretend like it was for Figaro. My kids loved it!
You might think now that my kids are teenagers that we wouldn't be creating Disney food memories at home still, but I have to say that it's even more fun to do now that they are older. In February of 2011, right before we took a trip to Disneyland, we decided to have a dinner based on our favorite Disney characters. We each had to pick a character and come up with a dish related to them. It was really just an excuse to use the Disney dishes I bought at Target, but it was still a bunch of fun!
I chose Dug the dog from the movie Up and made breadsticks shaped like bones.
My son loves Burt from Mary Poppins so we made Burt's mashers (mashed potatoes) since that seemed fairly British and also happens to be one of my son's favorite things to eat. My daughter loves the movie Tangled so she picked licorice ropes (for Rapunzel's hair) and made little chameleon's out of fruit roll-ups. My husband decided to be silly and he picked Gepetto as his favorite character. He figured we couldn't think of any food to go with Gepetto, but we proved him wrong. We went with cooked chicken with carrots and tomatoes and called the dish “Gepetto's Giblets”. We all thought it was pretty funny!
Here are some other ways we've enjoyed Disney food memories at home:
- We watched Flubber as a family and had green snacks for the movie; green jelly bellys, green frosted cookies, and green m&ms
- Made Disney recipe treats and watched the Disney Channel together
- Had Disney-themed cakes for many birthdays. My favorite memory is when my son was 3 years old and my husband took him to pick out his cake since I had just come home from the hospital after having my daughter. To my husband's dismay, our little boy INSISTED on getting an Esmerelda (from the Hunchback) cake. He decided to go with a happy son and let him have the cake with the dancing Esmerelda on it. lol!
- Collecting Disney cookbooks and reading through them together.
- Made recipes from several different Disney cookbooks. The Disney food blog is also a great resource.
- Looked up Disney food ideas on Family Fun's website and made them.
- Used Disney themed dishes and glasses.
I bet you will be surprised at how easy it is to incorporate some Disney fun into your meals and snacks. Just watch your favorite movies and see what kinds of foods are featured in them. How about honey on bread for Winnie the Pooh? A grand feast like Belle eats during her first night in Beast's castle? Or make up your own like we did with Gepetto. There are no rules! It's all about making and capturing your own magic – even while you are at home!
Katie is an avid memory keeper and blogger at scrapbookladypages.com. She is also the co-host of The Digi Show, a writer & team member at The Daily Digi, and a digital scrapbook template designer. She is passionate about capturing the magic of everyday life!