How to create a 90s themed Boxing Day buffet
Once the big day is over, there’s no need to feel glum. The pressure’s off in the kitchen and it can be a time to let your hair down and relax.
Nostalgic Buffet Food from the 1990's
Boxing Day should be a time for relaxing a little, where you don’t need to stress about how many pigs in blankets to cook and what veg everyone likes. There’s no need to slave away in the kitchen – with a little preparation, you can create an awesome 90s themed Boxing Day buffet that everyone will love.
Remember the classic parties that your parents used to throw? As a kid they were dull, with grown-ups standing around chatting about boring stuff. But that was until the buffet food appeared (if you know, you know)!
Keep the tradition alive and throw your own 90s themed Boxing Day bash and give your kids an insight into what party food was like in the good old days.
If you’re thinking of having a Boxing Day gathering this year, we’ve got the lowdown on 15 items you need for a fab 90s themed buffet, so you can get the food sorted ahead of time and concentrate on prepping the turkey for Christmas Day.
1. Cheese & pineapple hedgehog
It was the centrepiece of any good buffet table back in the day.
You can make the body of your hedgehog out of any large piece of round fruit – like a melon or grapefruit – by cutting it in half and wrapping it in tin foil.
For the spikes, take a cocktail stick and add a cube of cheese (cheddar is ideal) and a chunk of pineapple (fresh or tinned) to it. Then simply stick that in the body of your hedgehog.
You can get creative in what you put on your spikes. Cheese and pickled onions also work well. Or you could do a sweet version with strawberries and grapes, for instance.
Meaning “windblown” in French, these small, hollow puff pastry cases were super-fashionable in the 80s and early 90s, but they’ve made a revival in recent years.
You can, of course, make your own puff pastry cases. But you can also buy ready-made vol-au-vent cases that you just need to cook and then stuff with the filling of your choice.
Classic fillings include prawn mayo, garlic mushrooms, tuna mayo, egg mayo or smoked salmon and cream cheese. But you could jazz your vol-au-vents up with whatever fillings you like. You could even do a sweet version with strawberries and cream.
3. Mini pretzel cracker mix
Forget the bowls of ready salted crisps. If you wanted to impress at a 90s buffet, you needed a tray of mixed mini pretzels and crackers – much posher.
Before humus became popular, taramasalata was the dip of choice at parties – especially for those who wanted to impress with an exotic twist! You can make your own taramasalata or find it in any good supermarket. Serve with crispbreads or warm pitta breads.
5. Salmon with cucumber scales
An impressive centrepiece that’s sure to wow your guests. It looks great and is easy to make. Simply poach a salmon and add thin slices of cucumber to look like scales.
6. Cheese Balls (also known as cheese puffs)
These were considered a posh snack reserved only for special occasions because they came in a tin rather than a packet. These days you can buy packets of these round, cheesy snacks quite easily.
Love them or hate them, twiglets were on virtually every buffet table in the 90s. They’re certainly an acquired taste thanks to their yeast extract coating. But like cheese balls, they also come in tins for an added sense of luxury.
8. Nik Naks
Remember Nik Naks? Often found behind the bar in the local pub, Nik Naks came in three flavours – Nice ‘n’ Spicy, Ribs ‘n’ Saucy, Scampi ‘n’ Lemon – which were your favourite? They’re hard to get hold of these days, but not impossible. You can order a box of your favourite flavour from a variety of retailers..
A quiche always goes down well at a buffet, and there are different varieties to suit everyone’s tastes. If you don’t fancy making one at home, they’re readily available to pick up at the supermarket.
10. Coronation chicken
Created in 1953 to celebrate Queen Elizabeth II’s coronation, this dish is traditionally made with leftover chicken mixed with mayo and curry powder, but you could add a slight twist by making it with your leftover turkey. You can use it as a filling for your vol-au-vents, make some coronation chicken sandwiches, or simply serve up a bowl of it for people to get stuck in.
11. Devilled eggs
A different take on egg mayo, these hardboiled eggs are sliced in half lengthways and filled with a mixture of egg yolk, mayo, mustard, and a dash of tobacco if you’re feeling adventurous.
12. Sausage rolls
Sausage rolls have had many makeovers over the years – they’ve been ‘poshed up’ with various types of sausage, and made giant, mini and even vegan. If you’re looking for a traditional 90s version, head to the frozen section of the supermarket and pick up a giant bag of mini sausage rolls you can simply bung in the oven.
13. Ritz crackers with cream cheese
One of the easiest canapes to make, a Ritz cracker topped with cream cheese (and a bit of ham or a cherry tomato if you really wanted to impress) was often a popular plate at a 90s buffet. In fact, they’re still just as popular now, especially with the fancy varieties of Philadelphia you can get today!
14. Angel Delight
Who’d have thought such a delicious dessert could be made from mixing a sachet of powder with some milk? Whether you were a fan of the strawberry, the butterscotch or the chocolate, a little bowl of this for your guests will go down a treat at your Boxing Day buffet!
A classic dessert usually compiled of sponge fingers, jelly, fruit, custard and cream, it often rounded off a party in the 80s and 90s. But don’t right the humble trifle off too soon – it recently saw a revival thanks to an alternative version called the Platinum Pudding created for The Queen’s Jubilee.
So that’s the food sorted for your 90s themed Boxing Day buffet. Don’t forget the doylies and 90s themed music.
And if you fancy creating some festive cocktails that all the family can enjoy, get the lowdown on brilliant non-alcoholic drinks.