Oscar parties in recent years have become as popular as the telecast itself.
People love to get together to cheer on their favorites over a few themed dishes or trash some starlet’s outrageous dress while downing another specialty drink whipped for the occasion.
This year, your chances to show off your creativity have expanded somewhat because there are 10 nominees for best picture.
You can go classy and serve French cheeses to go with “An Education.” Think baked brie or a warm goat cheese salad with a touch of honey and thyme. Or you could go gross and make a thick stew that looks like the dog food in “District 9.”
“The Hurt Locker” is set in Iraq. Though little food is consumed, the setting has inspired us to create a hummus with a fiery kick of red chile in it. Don’t want the heat? The recipe includes a number of suggested variations, so you can make one to your own liking.
Kosher deli meats for a sandwich tray could fit “A Serious Man.” Just leave the cheeses away from that one.
The main character in “Precious: Based on the Novel ‘Push’ by Sapphire” (yes, that’s the complete title of the movie) is pregnant, so why not haul out the dill pickle spears and, maybe, wrap each in a slice of Black Forest ham. Again, this is not something to serve in vicinity of someone who keeps kosher.
Blue food isn’t all that appetizing, despite what Percy Jackson might say in “The Lightning Thief.” So, make a toast to “Avatar” instead, using blue curaçao in a cocktail honoring the film. We offer recipes for an “Avatar”-ini and an “Avatar”-ita to make the evening fly by.
Think of a pasta dish, using those twisted spirals, to go with Brad Pitt’s equally twisted Italian accent in “Inglourious Basterds.”
Those who saw “Up” know that the mythical bird Kevin loves to munch on candy bars. For that, we offer Bird Seed, a special cookie that will please your guests as much as they would Kevin.
I’ve heard “The Blind Side” compared to cinematic comfort food, which could mean anything from meatloaf to apple pie, depending on whether you need a savory or a sweet dish at your party.
If you are really into preparing for an Oscar party, then take a trip to Costco or Sam’s Club and stock up on some pretzels, peanuts and granola bars. Create your own snack packs to go with all the airline travel in “Up in the Air.” You could also serve drinks from a host of mini-bar bottles.
That covers the 10 best picture nominees, but we’re not done yet. We can’t forget one of the best actress nominees, Meryl Streep, who plays Julia Child in the savory comedy “Julie & Julia.” For this, we recommend — what else? – Child’s tempting Boeuf Bourguignon recipe, which was a centerpiece in the film and can be served in small bowls (or large) to your guests.
Finally, we remind you of a few takes we recently offered on popcorn, the perfect food for movies, Oscar parties or just relaxing at home.
The 82nd Academy Awards air at 7 p.m. Sunday.
(Photos: Darren Decker / ©A.M.P.A.S. (top), Courtesy of Summit Entertainment, Mark Fellman/Courtesy of 20th Century-Fox, Courtesy of Walt Disney Studios)