Our Family Dinner Book Club selection for the month of April is Charlie and the Chocolate Factory by Roald Dahl. Here you’ll find a menu that can be prepared with the help of your children, and will hopefully be a fun and interactive activity for the whole family. Head over to Growing Book by Book for some talking points to get the conversation started. Then visit Enchanted Homeschooling Mom for a fun craft to decorate your dinner table. We invite you to share a picture from your dinner with us anytime during the month on our Family Dinner Book Club Facebook page. Click the menu below for a free printable version!
“The one thing he longed for more than anything else was… Chocolate.” Considering this one quote alone, it comes as no surprise that this book resonated with me in such a way that I consumed copious amounts of chocolate during my recent reading. Really, how can one read all about the magnificence of Willy Wonka and his wonderful confections without a constant craving?
Our hero, Charlie Bucket, lives in a small wooden house with his two parents and four grandparents. They are very poor and so they eat the same meals day in and day out. “…bread and margarine for breakfast, boiled potatoes and cabbage for lunch, and cabbage soup for supper.” Charlie only got chocolate once a year, on his birthday, and he made that chocolate bar last for more than a month by taking only the tiniest nibble each day.
Charlie and the Chocolate Factory Menu from ChefSarahElizabeth.com
Mr. Wonka’s chocolate factory is wondrous and delightful, so I pulled out my prettiest and most colorful tablecloths, placemats, napkins, plates and cutlery to adorn our dinner table. Actually, I told the girls to take anything out of the kitchen they loved and wanted to use.
As homage to Charlie, I thought I would begin our dinner with a humble cabbage soup, but you are allowed a second helping, as this is a special occasion. To enjoy alongside our meal, we have Honey-Wonder Candied Carrots and Naturally Delectable Sweet Fruits because you can’t possibly dine in Wonka’s factory without some sweet things to nosh.
The main course is inspired by Mr. Wonka’s Chewing Gum Dinner which Violet Beauregarde was the first to sample. This is something similar to an English pasty with all the flair and flavor of a Willy Wonka creation. Tomato soup, roast beef, buttery potatoes, and blueberry pie. Don’t worry, this dinner will not turn you into a gigantic blueberry. What we have here is finely chopped roast beef with buttery mashed potatoes and sun-dried tomatoes enrobed in a savory blueberry balsamic sauce all wrapped up in a flaky pie crust. Serve extra blueberry sauce and/or tomato soup for dipping. Of course, you can serve all these elements as their own dish: Creamy Tomato Soup, Sliced Roast Beef with Potatoes, and a Blueberry Pie for dessert, but where is the fun in that?
We have Fizzy Lifting Drinks created by Willy Wonka himself. Just don’t forget to “do a great big long rude burp, and up comes the gas and down comes you!” Of course, our table is set with a river of “hot melted chocolate of the finest quality” to enjoy sipping throughout dinner. Don’t drink it all at once! Save a few sips to enjoy with Charlie and Grandpa Joe’s favorite Wonka Bar: Whipple-Scrumptious Fudge-mallow Delight.
Charlie and the Chocolate Factory menu -free printable, created by Elyse Anne Maria.
Now take a short trip down the Chocolate River to visit Growing Book by Book for some fun conversation starters, and Enchanted Homeschooling Mom for a few table crafts!
- 3 ounces (about 1 cup when chopped) cooked roast beef
- 1 potato, cooked and mashed (about 1/2 cup)
- 1/2 ounce (about 2 tablespoons) minced sun dried tomatoes
- 1/4 cup blueberry balsamic reduction, recipe below
- 1 double crust pie dough
- 6 ounces (about 1 cup) fresh or defrosted blueberries
- 1/2 cup balsamic vinegar
- 1/2 ounce (2 tablespoons) butter, softened
- 1/2 ounce (about 2 tablespoons) flour
- 2 ounces (1/4 cup) beef or chicken stock
- Preheat oven to 350F.
- Finely chop the roast beef and mix together in a bowl with the mashed potatoes, sun dried tomatoes, and blueberry balsamic reduction.
- Roll out the pie crust to 1/4 inch thick and cut into 4 inch circles.
- Place about 1 teaspoon of the filling in the center of each pastry circle.
- Fold in half and crimp the edges of the dough together.
- Use a fork to poke holes in the tops of the dough pockets.
- If desired, for a darker golden-brown color, brush the tops of the dough with heavy cream or an egg whisked with a touch of water.
- Bake until the pie dough is golden brown, about 20-25 minutes.
- Place the blueberries and vinegar in a small, non-reactive, pot over medium heat.
- Mash the blueberries until they are in small pieces, and bring to a boil. Cook until the mixture is reduced by half, about 20 minutes.
- While the mixture is cooking, stir together the butter and flour until it is smooth.
- Whisk the beef stock into the blueberry mixture, then whisk in the butter mixture and continue to whisk until it is very smooth and combined.