Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Supper Club 600: B-Movie BBQ at the Drive-In!

I am so happy to be writing this blog entry.  You have no idea.  I've been preparing for it for weeks!

Every so often, my Adventure Wednesday post is extra-special to me, because the adventure of the week is a gathering of friends and loved ones for a celebration of my journey.  A celebration of food and health and joy... which IS POSSIBLE.  You can combine food and health and joy.  And that is why we started Supper Club 600, a dinner party series where we teach - by example -  that you can eat healthfully and still take great delight in being a foodie.  Each SC600 meal clocks in at less than 600 calories. And each time, it's themed for maximum party pleasure.

This time it was a barbecue.  At a drive-in.  With B movies.  And it was a blast.

Tom and I have been perfecting the menu over time, starting with the jackfruit itself.  I've already shared the recipe, but for those of you who missed it, the short story of jackfruit is: it's canned, it's unripened, it shreds like pulled pork, and it's delicious.  We first served it at another SC600 BBQ gathering, but I managed not to take a single photo of that party, so we decided to throw another one!

This time, we knew we needed to make everything simple so that we could prepare it in advance and deliver it to the Mission Tiki Drive-In, where we gathered for the occasion.  Here's our menu for the evening:

I lifted the illustration from an old B-movie poster I found while gathering inspiration for the party.

I stumbled upon the theme idea after Googling "movie fabric," on the hunt for some sort of textiles I could use to decorate.  I happened upon some amazing monster movie fabric by Robert Kaufman, and I thought... of course!  B-movies are notorious at Drive-In theaters, and it was just the perfect element to tie everything together.  Kaufman's fabric had gone out of print, but I was lucky to snag just enough on eBay, so my crafty mother-in-law Jean whipped it into table runners.  And a theme was born.

Here's the Kaufman fabric runner, plus one of our centerpieces - white hydrangea "popcorn."


It was the THEME THAT WOULD NOT DIE.  I ended up making personalized bags for the movie snack sampler, using an array of B-movie posters I'd found online.

Mmm.  Black Lagoonlicious!
Photo courtesy of Rochelle

We even used thematic serving forks - as modeled by our new friend David.
I got these beauties at Target during Halloween season two years ago.
Photo by Rochelle

Enough with the theme.  Let's get to the party!

We set up our table before the Drive-In opened for the night - and once other guests
arrived, there was much staring.  We could read their minds. "What the hell?"


Our dinner spread.
Photo by Rochelle

We offered chilled zero-calorie beverages, including still water, "fuzzy" water (as it's known in my circles)
and a selection of diet sodas from the awesome Rocket Fizz in Burbank.
Photo by Rochelle

Among them, Jones Zilch Pomegranate... plus Old Philadelphia Creme Soda,
Avery's Orange, Virgil's Black Cherry, Root Beer, Cola and Dr. Better.
Man, I love that "Children of the Damned" poster.
Photo by Rochelle
Every single one of our lovely guests arrived early
to help set up, and soon we were ready to dig in.
Photo OF Rochelle! (And David.)

Possibly our proudest moment was hearing raves about the jackfruit from a friend of ours who is a firm non-vegetarian.

The awesome Patty is about to try jackfruit for the first time!


A bird's eye view of dinner.
Photo by Rochelle

Time flew past, and suddenly the sun was setting on the beautiful Southern California evening.

But at a Drive-In, that means the party's just starting.  Our gang grabbed their treat bags and split off into three different movie doubleheaders: B-movie horror (Fright Night & Final Destination), B-movie remakes (Conan & Planet of the Apes) and comedy (30 Minutes or Less & The Change-Up.) 

Regardless of movie quality, everyone seemed to really enjoy their Drive-In adventure.  Goodness knows I did.  Thanks, from the bottom of my heart, to Frank and the team at Mission Tiki, who made this possible; to Tom, who keeps me grounded and pops excellent popcorn; to our amazing guests.  No amount of cooking or planning really makes a party great.  It's the guests who do that.

Hungry for more about the Drive-In?  You're in luck! I'll be back tomorrow with RETURN OF THE DRIVE-IN... a close-up on the recipes from this edition of Supper Club 600, and a peek inside those little treat bags.  And if that's not enough... come back for Fashion Friday: IT CAME... FROM THE DRIVE-IN! That's right, it's a B-Movie BBQ trilogy.

'Til then, I'm working hard on taking care of me.  And I hope you'll take care of you, too.


  1. I never heard of jackfruit! I will have to look it up. I live in the homeland of pork barbeque, so I'm not sure it it would live up to the standards set by all the restaurants around here. I'm willing to try, though. How cool to have a party at a drive-in!

  2. Wanna know what's funny? I tried the jackfruit (delicious) at the BBQ, and the very next night, on Great Food Truck Race on Food Network, the vegan food truck competitors had pulled jackfruit and served it on their menu! They TOTALLY copied you. You should sue for damages.

    And, despite the look of indifference in that photo of me with Patty, I had a GREAT time. It was a FUN night!

  3. And that first bite of BBQ jackfruit was AWESOME! As was the second, third, fourth... LOL! Thanks for including us. We had so much fun and I look forward to the next one. I think the drive in B-movie theme should be repeated, at least annually. ;)

  4. So sad I missed this. I'm still looking forward to the day I get to try this ever-elusive BBQ Jackfruit!

  5. Heidi, I want to be your friend!!! You are amazing. I love the themed party, I love the way you executed it and all of the details that you included. I love that you take so much joy out of life and help your readers see how to incorporate that concept into their daily lives.

    My city has one of the 2 remaining drive-ins in the Bay Area, so I think I'm inspired to try something like this soon, too.

  6. Amazing, amazing, night. Thank you for putting it together and sharing your hearth within a drive-in parking lot. Fun, fun, fun. And, yes, Erik, loves the fruit burger. :)

  7. Oh my goodness -this seriously looks AMAZING!!!!!!!
    The popcorn hydrangea idea is incredible. That combines two of my very favorite things... popcorn and hydrangea! Kudos to you - I am so impressed by this! And definitely going to try jackfruit soon. Looking forward to meeting you tomorrow night!!!!

  8. What a great idea!!