If 1969 was the Summer of Love, 2012 was the Summer of … Dominant-Submissive Erotica? Thirty million souls and counting have succumbed to the lure of the Fifty Shades of Grey series, a literary phenomenon which was, um, conceived as Twilight fan fiction and now has a movie version coming out. E.L. James (real identity: Erika Leonard) churned out a quick trilogy about a college student who enters into a sex contract with a billionaire, because that happens often in real life and so it’s super relatable. But who needs plot when you have thousands of pages of soft-core paperback porn?
Since everyone’s got Grey on the brain, we thought we’d dish up suggestions for a “Fifty Shades of Great Entertaining” dinner party.
All that hot-blooded page turning can make a girl (or a boy) hungry.
Of course the entrepreneur Christian Grey is into fine red wine, and enjoys swirling it around in a glass opposite his new sexual conquest, Anastasia Steele. Now, you can splurge on the good stuff, or you can buy boxed wine, hit your guests in the mouth with a riding crop, and tell them, “You’ll drink what you’re TOLD to.”
Christian and Ana enjoy the bubbly of ballers, mentioned by name as “Bolly.” Bolly, you see, is how rich people refer to Bollinger, which is an actual Champagne made in the Champagne region of France, unlike that crappy sparkling wine all of us non-billionaire masochists drink.
Twinings English Breakfast
On their first date at a cafe, Ana frets that as an unsophisticated 21-year-old simpleton, she doesn’t drink coffee! So she orders Twinings English Breakfast tea, then she freaks out and gets nervous and falls on her face in a crosswalk and begs Christian (with her eyes) to kiss her, but he tells her (with HIS eyes), “No way, lady. I am trouble and you should stay away from me because I want to take you to a dungeon and flog you!” or something like that. The point is, Ana drinks a ton of Twinings tea in this book, and if that was product placement, E.L. James probably has a Lambo with the license plate “TEA TIME.” (Note: “Lambo” is how rich people say Lamborghini.)
Serve your guests cheap blended margaritas in honor of the part in the book where Ana drinks a bunch of them on graduation night then barfs on herself outside a nightclub. Hey, if she hadn’t done that, should wouldn’t have drunk-dialed Christian Grey, who would never have tracked her cellphone, shown up like a phantom and whisked her off to his high-rise mansion to wash the vomit off her before taking her virginity. Margaritas all around, y’all!
Food. Right. So, at one point Christian and Ana eat oysters and because Ana has not experienced capital-L “Life,” she’s never had an oyster. But they taste sexual to her so of course she eats a bunch of them while maintaining smoldering eye contact with Mr. Grey.
Serve some bratwurst. They’re not in the book, but it’ll set the tone visually.
Again, not in the book, but come on. Tacos. Wink wink. (Make a bratwurst taco and watch people start sweating with lust!)
Christian invites Ana to meet his mother and she eats an entree she refers to as “Beef Wellington, I think.” Hey, she’s a 21-year-old college student; don’t expect her to identify fine international cuisine.
If you can’t get your hands on a taco or a bratwurst, or beef Wellington mystifies you because you’re a sheltered virgin, just make some pancakes. Ana eats a veritable F-ton of pancakes in this book. At one point, the two paramours even go to IHOP because simple girls enjoy the same foods that 8-year-olds do, and that’s charming to sadistic billionaires.
Ana says that she gets “Jell-O legs” around her crush, so it seems fitting to serve a Jell-O mold for dessert. Since this is a novel about power, sophistication and wealth, you get bonus points if you add fruit or crumpled-up $100 bills to it. Or better yet, just add booze. Let us show you how.
Christian tells Ana that he never has vanilla sex with anyone, and by this he means non-whipping-bondagey stuff. So for dessert, go for a vanilla theme. We suggest vanilla ice cream, vanilla creme brulee, or just drink shots of vanilla extract, since it’s usually 35 percent alcohol.
Christian has a “playroom” that he calls the Red Room of Pain, so for decor, go monochromatic and stick to red! Red tablecloths, red plates, cups, silverware, um … ropes? We have a great suggestion for napkin rings, but we’re going to let you guess what that is.
Before your guests leave — dizzied from deep conversation about how Ana is a great female role model because she’s willing to be treated like a sex slave — wrap leftovers in aluminum foil. Then look your guests square in the eye and say “I’ve got a FOIL PACKET for you.” They’ll know what it means.
If we missed any culinary mentions, let us know! To be honest, we just skimmed this smut looking for food references but got distracted a few times by the “I want to gag and bind you and lock you in a crate” passages. WTF, guys? Best-seller.
Alie & Georgia