Sunday, May 29, 2011

Dinner for Eighteen

So how do you give a dinner for eighteen people (with a long list of dietary restrictions) on a holiday weekend when you don't have an outside barbecue? With careful planning and a lot of advance preparation.
Twelve years ago I cut this article out of the Boston Globe. (You can click the photo to enlarge, and then click it again for all the details and the recipes.) Every item on this menu serves 20 people, and is designed to be prepared in advance. I knew it would be perfect... except for one thing... I don't have an outside grill. What to do? I bought five rotisserie chickens from the grocery store, and then continued with the recipe as written.

I also made a big checklist, so I wouldn't get overtired getting ready for this big party. I did a little bit every day. One big decision: turn the dinner into a buffet, since I do not have enough room to seat 18 people around my dining room table.
I organized all my serving dishes, so I knew what was going to be used for what. It made party day a lot easier, since I could work out in advance the flow of how guests would move around the table serving themselves.
On Thursday night, I arranged all the ingredients and tools for the desserts before I went to bed (no, I didn't leave the egg out overnight.) Friday morning I got up, baked the brownies, "blondies" and the onion squares before the day got too hot.
Although paper plates and napkins aren't very "green", I knew cleanup would be a lot easier with them.
At party time, I put everything on the table, and the guests helped themselves.

The party was a great success, the food was delicious, cleanup was a breeze, and we all had a grand time. Especially me, because I wasn't stuck in the kitchen.

7 comments:

Terri said...

Way to go! Wish I was that organized!

Sara said...

Good for you ... you did well...

sewmeow said...

Awesome ideas.....looks like a great party, with great food for everyone! Pat yourself on the back for this one.

Quiltdivajulie said...

Fail to plan ... plan to fail (those were wise words taught during our BSA years ... even the kids figured it out).

GOOD FOR YOU!

Derby, Ducky said...

Great job, what a party should be. Good food, fun, good people and no one stuck in the kitchen.

Mary Lou Weidman said...

Boy that food looked fabulous...wish I had been there this weekend........

3anklebiters said...

congo bars are my all-time favorite version of blondies and i haven't enjoyed them since my granny left us a decade ago. thanks for sharing that article and recipes!