Photo by Taki Soma.
Dark secrets. Oddball humor. Moody music. Creepy dreams. Retro fashions. Terrifying violence. Logs. And, of course, some damn fine coffee and cherry pie. For many fans, David Lynch’s Twin Peaks is more than just a cherished cult television show–it’s a world they want to inhabit, which is why we hosted a Twin Peaks-themed dinner party!
Welcome to our Twin Peaks Dinner Party! Photo by Jewel Mlnarik.
My husband is a huge fan of David Lynch, so when Showtime announced a Twin Peaks revival was coming in 2016, he was ecstatic! However, his good mood was quickly dashed when Lynch later announced that he was leaving the project. So I decided to take matters into my own hands and bring Twin Peaks to us, inviting our friends to dress up as their favorite characters and enjoy Twin Peaks-themed food and decor!
Our Log Lady as owl painting. Artist unknown, photo by Michael Avon Oeming.
If you know me at all, you know I love to throw a party. So I immediately threw myself into my research, watching Season 1 of Twin Peaks (both seasons are available on Netflix streaming) to brainstorm ideas! Here are just a handful of my notes:
- Red and brown
- Animal heads
As you can see, I was off to a rousing start. So here’s what I came up with:
Twin Peaks Menu
Baguette with Brie and Butter
Maple-Glazed Salmon With Roasted Brussels Sprouts
Crash Hot Potatoes
Twin Peaks Cherry Pie
The Laura Palmers were inspired by the classic Arnold Palmer: iced Earl Grey tea with cherry lemonade and vodka. The Baguette with Brie and Butter was taken directly from the mouth of Ben Horne’s brother, Jerry (whose character is constantly talking about food–my kind of guy).
Our Black Lodge-inspired table with our Baguette with Brie and Butter appetizers and a Laura Palmer cocktail! Photo by Taki Soma.
I knew I wanted maple syrup in there somewhere, as an homage to the copious amount of breakfast foods on the show, and salmon was the perfect shout-out to the Pacific Northwest locale. As for the Brussels sprouts: they’re not only weirdly trendy, but I thought they added a little ’50s flavor to the menu.
My fully loaded plate: maple-glazed salmon, roasted Brussels sprouts, “crash” potatoes, and baguette with brie and butter (my favorite part).
On to dessert! Now, I love to bake, and I’m pretty good (I’m really good!) at making many things. But pie is not one of them. So I adapted a recipe I found online, using frozen pie crust (our local Grand Central Bakery offers a superb, all-butter option) and frozen cherries to create a foolproof dessert (and I was just the fool to prove it). I grabbed some fresh-ground gourmet coffee at the grocery store and was good to go!
Pie! Photo by Melissa Moser.
Twin Peaks Decor
Since I didn’t want to spend an arm and a leg on this party, the first thing I did was look around our house and see what I could bring into our dining room/parlor to create the proper Twin Peaks effect, using the Black Lodge and The Great Northern Hotel as my guides.
Faye Purdum, Joëlle Jones, Ryan McCluskey, Michael Avon Oeming, Melissa Moser. Photo by Taki Soma!
I would have loved to try to recreate the Double R Diner, but since we have a 1908 Victorian house and tons of wood furniture, I would’ve had to buy too many things, and still wouldn’t have gotten it right. If you’re lucky enough to have a mid-century modern kitchen with a formica table and chairs, go get yourself a waitress uniform and go to town!
Jewel Mlnarik–Audrey–and Melissa Moser–Shelly. Photo by Liza Blackwell.
Anyway, I was pleasantly surprised to find I had a lot of elements on hand (mostly because I’m married to Scott Allie). I found a mounted jackelope head in Sid’s room, a sweet felt “deer head” in Sarah’s, and a gorgeous oil painting of (the Rocky?) mountains in our room. I also found lots of animal skulls and bones and an actual log with a face carved in it. Because Scott Allie. As a bonus, our parlor walls are already red, and I have artificial evergreen garlands up year round because I have a Christmas Problem.
Taki Soma and Liza Blackwell (Nadine!). Photo by Michael Avon Oeming.
Then Scott brought home the coup de grace from his office: an actual painting of the Log Lady with an owl face that a friend bought him at a Twin Peaks art show years ago. It’s pretty awesome. Here are some of the other elements I used:
Twin Peaks Clothing and Makeup
With the food and decor squared away, I was able to get down to important business: what was I going to wear? Unlike Scott, who has a closet full of plaid, all of my clothes were too modern, too short . . . all wrong for the ’50s-meet-’80s vibe of Twin Peaks. Fortunately, I had the power of Etsy at my fingertips and was able to find a plaid Pendleton wool skirt in my size. A sweep of the local thrift stores garnered me a red wool (locally made) cheerleading top from the ’60s that gave me the perfect Audrey Horne aura. Then I used this video for makeup and hair:
However, I was blown away by the costumes my amazing friends put together. My friend Liza came in full Nadine getup (including bringing some blinds), but then topped herself with a costume change after dinner into a hospital gown with leather manacles she made herself. Another notable costume: my friend Ma’at came as the Giant from Dale Cooper’s dream–and was so committed, that she shaved male pattern baldness into her (already close-cropped) head.
Liza as Nadine after her costume change–she made the manacles herself! Photo by Jewel Mlnarik.
Extra retro points went to my friend Melissa, who found a perfect waitress uniform, but everyone really brought their A-game: even our son Sid donned a plaid shirt for the event.
Scott, me, and Sid! Photo by Taki Soma.
After dinner and dessert, we went downstairs to watch–of course–an episode of Twin Peaks. We selected episode 4, “Rest in Pain,” which had a little bit of everything for the new or veteran Peaks fan: damn fine coffee and pie, some Cooper-Audrey interaction, Laura Palmer’s funeral, and a recap of Cooper’s initial dream.
Michael Smith and Melissa Moser. Photo courtesy of Melissa Moser.
So there you have it: our Twin Peaks Dinner Party, which was so much fun that we’re planning a Twin Peaks Brunch this fall (so we can have more than 14 people, and so I can go to town on waffles and donuts).
Tyler Crook as Dr Jacoby, and Ma’at Crook as the Giant!
What Twin Peaks touches would you add? Post your suggestions below!