Celebrating a 70th birthday should involve considerable planning with special attention paid to the interests of the person celebrating. When dinner is involved, one of the most important things to consider is what that person likes to eat. Spend some time asking questions about the person's favorite foods and memories attached to those foods. This research could give you ideas on how to plan the dinner. When you buy birthday gifts, get items the person enjoys. Most importantly, make it fun.
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Foods of the Era
Since the guest of honor was likely born sometime in the 1940s, choose to prepare a menu of popular foods during the era they were growing up such as the 50s or 60s. People develop a taste for their favorite foods during the teen and early adult years, so find out what they enjoyed eating as a young person and do a little research to re-create that menu.
Perhaps your guest of honor tells a story about how they fondly remember going to a local diner where the waitresses wore roller skates and poodle skirts and they had the best giant hamburgers, onion rings and ice-cold root beer floats. In this scenario, find out about the place by asking others who knew the diner and get details about to the food so you can recreate it. You may even choose to decorate the party venue to look like it. For someone this age, the 50s diner theme could work as a fun trip down memory lane even if the person celebrating the birthday doesn't have such a story.
If grandma's favorite food in the world is Mexican cuisine, then by all means design a Mexican menu for the birthday dinner. International themed dinners can be a lot of fun and can provide the guest of honor with their favorite foods while being a change of pace for all those in attendance.
Make your dinner party into a Mexican fiesta or a Hawaiian luau or maybe a Chinese buffet style dinner for a fun twist on a birthday celebration. Include the most popular foods from the region as well as a color scheme and décor that fit in well with the food being served.
As people get older, distinguishing one birthday celebration from another is difficult; but it is unlikely that your guest will ever forget the "Fiesta Dinner" she had even after many years have passed. Make your guest of honor a dinner that will create permanent memories.
If your guest of honor retains a sense of humor about getting older, you should include some humor in the presentation of your food. Desserts are a simple way to add some humor to the menu. Ice cupcakes in black icing with white writing that says "Over the Hill" or "Geezer" if you are certain the guest of honor would not be offended. If there is a question about how they feel about reaching 70, then it is probably a better idea to steer clear of possibly offending remarks written on the food.