November 8, 2008

Drumroll Please: Saturday's Post! (On Saturday!)

Since the past few weeks have been a little busy, I have not been playing around with new recipes, a luxury for those with both mental and physical energy. ;) So, I thought I would share something I have been slowly learning this year. We have an open door night. Which, is a lot of fun, but it is also difficult to plan for, as the crowd may or may not know ahead of time if they will be showing up. A large chunk of them are guys.

How do you make a meal for a crowd of unknown size? A few early attempts left me eating the same food for the rest of the week. Some other attempts left the guys hitting McDonalds after I had gone to bed. Here are a few tips that I have been learning:
  • Make a lot of food. You would think that's a given. But just before Lucy was born, I failed this one, regularly. If you keep popcorn on hand, you can make some up for munchies later. (Or I usually have stuff for a crisp on hand, too.)
  • Choose a food that you can freeze whatever is leftover (soup, spaghetti, chili, chicken curry.)
  • Didn't make enough? Throw in a few sides. Some green beans from the freezer. A quick biscuit or roll. A salad. A fruit salad. Some rice. Side dishes can fill in a lot of holes. I think my mother-in-law uses this trick to use less meat at dinner to feed her family. She is a very clever lady. This is a trick to get a flank steak to stretch a little further, allowing for a nice meal without going broke on a steak for a lot of people.
Obviously, meals that don't revolve around meat as the main course help. Soup, stirfry, taco or grilled chicken salad. Use your imagination. I know I still have a lot to learn when it comes to hospitality for a lot, any tips to share?

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