Holiday Help – Prep

Dinner parties and family gatherings are such an important part of the American Tradition.  These events give us a reason to bring family and friends together around the table to enjoy a great meal and share in conversation.  Over the next few days BurbsFoodie will bring to you a detailed plan that you can use to get ready for the next event you host at your home.  With the holidays right around the corner, this is a great opportunity for you to put a plan to paper and create an event your family (or guests) will not forget.  

Planning is one of the most important parts of getting your dinner or holiday party right.  If you don’t take the time to discuss items such as the guest list, the menu, the decor and the gear, you will add unnecessary stress to the day of the event.  Today we will go through the three vital stages of planning in order for you to have a successful party.

Guest List 

In order to throw a successful party you have to have an idea on who is going to be attending.  The people on your guest list will determine how much food you have to prepare, what type of food you will prepare, how many place settings you will need and how much space you will need in order to comfortably host.  Consider sit down meals for smaller parties and a heavy appetizer or buffet style dining experience for larger groups.  Once you have chosen your guest list, it is time to discuss how to feed them.

Menu 

Since this is a blog about food, one could imagine that this is a pretty important part of the planning.  The menu is the reason that many of the people are at the party anyway, so you have to make sure you take into consideration your guests.  Dietary needs are one thing that many people do not consider when hosting, especially if you are hosting more than just your immediate family.  Make sure that you are asking your guests if they have allergies or intolerance to any specific item(s) before you add any ingredients into your anticipated meal.  This also applies to guests you have bring food into your home (i.e. potluck style).  If you are hosting the event, you should be responsible for make sure your guests know of all dietary needs.

Timing

Timing is everything.  When you are cooking a meal for a group of people, big or small, you need to consider how long each dish takes to prepare and work backward.  More often than not, you run out of oven space when you are preparing for a large group, thus it is important to find alternative methods to get food prepared.  A grill can be used as an oven (cooking with indirect heat), a slow cooker can be used as a warmer and many items can be prepared hours if not days in advance with little to no sacrifice to quality.  When planning your menu, take a look at how long those items take to cook as it will have an effect on your outcome and may influence your decisions on what to make.  Also, when you decided to host a party it is important that you have the right serving ware to display all of your hard work.  I have become a fan of white as it goes with anything.

Tomorrow we will be providing in depth examples of menu templates and shopping lists to save you time in the next phase of your party planning.  By the end of this week you will have all the tools necessary to host a great holiday party.

See you back tomorrow!
BurbsFoodie 

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