SEARCH THIS SITE IN THE BOX BELOW!
Feeding a Crowd...Things to Think About!
I didn't know I'd need that much,
it's a good thing I got some help!
Feeding a large number of
people presents some logistics problems
you may not have thought about.
1. Check the kitchen that you will be using if it's
not your own, see what
supplies come with it, how much oven space (check
for racks), fridge space,
counter space, serving dishes, salt & pepper,
serving spoons etc. and knives for
slicing, chopping and carving even check
for soap and dish towels, oven mitts.
You may have to supply yourself with
some of these items.
The oven racks are really important if you plan to heat several
items at once.
If you don't have more than one rack available, you
might be able to utilize cake
racks, placing directly on top of a foil
covered casserole to stack another casserole dish.
Likewise check the burners on top of the stove and pots
available. Does the kitchen have steam tables etc.,
will you need to rent special equipment?
2. Plan your menu so that it works around the space that
you have available.
In other words, don't have too many items that require
oven space, make sure
they require the same temperature too. Figure out
your required fridge and
freezer space too. Counter top space is important
if you need to 'plate' things.
For example if you have to ladle dinner onto plates, or plan to serve a variety
of bars and small tarts
for dessert, do you have enough space to put all these
items out and then
transfer them to serving plates. Would dessert be made
if it was in 3 or 4 , 9 x 13 pans just requiring lifting out onto plates,
or put out cut into portions 'serve yourself' style.
3. The amount of food you will need will
depend upon the age, time of day and
activities of the people you will be serving. Obviously a seniors lunch will not
require nearly as much food as a dinner
for your son's football team.
The presentation would also be different,
one a lot fancier than the other.
Beware of serving 'light snacks' over a regular meal time, people will be
hungry and eat lots.
4. Let the menu match the function. What ever you are doing, you have taken on
a challenge not only
to do your best, but to channel your ideas and energy into
'best' type of menu for the function. If you are limited
in space or
resources, choose a type of function that will fit the
best. Maybe a brunch,
lunch, tea, cocktail party, dessert party,
buffet, or sit down meal, potluck, soup
& make your own sandwich buffet,
picnic or BBQ. Remember gourmet
might not fit all types of people, "kiss" (keep it simple stupid)
is often the
safest way to go.
5. Don't be afraid to get help. Things take time on
a large scale and what you
are able to do for a small group at home, becomes
impossible to handle in a fast
time frame, when multiplied by a much bigger
volume of food and time required
just to handle it. If for example
you are doing a wedding, either your own or
your daughters, GET HELP (hire
some if necessary), give them instructions
and you enjoy the wedding and
take the bows for the great food. If it's a club,
ask for help from others.
6. Food Safety is a necessity, hot food must be hot, 140 deg. and above.
food must be kept cold 40 deg. and below. Have you ever wondered
caterer won't leave the food out longer and let people nibble all
FOOD POISONING ..that's why! Use a mild bleach solution to wipe down
counter, do dishes etc. to prevent cross contamination from raw meats and
germs in general.
7. Insurance....if you are doing this for a club, are they
covered in the event of
food poisoning ..or could you be sued?
Some health regulations in some
states/provinces, require that food must
be prepared in the kitchen on the
premises or provided by a caterer, rather
than pot luck, check it out.
8. Check out party rental places, they have LOTS of really
neat items, big
chaffing dishes like the caterers use, big bowls and lots
of exciting things to
make your party really special, even a portable salad bar. If you don't
the equipment you can rent things very reasonably, even tables and
9. Volume logistics. For example it's easy to cook
a pot of spaghetti or boil a
dozen cobs of corn at home for your family.
Multiply that by ten and you are in
for a big surprise. The water
for the corn will take 'forever' to boil, and will not
come back up to
the boil quickly. The same with the pasta and the water will
all starchy and have to be changed frequently. If you are doing something
like this check with others that may have organized a similar event and
their advice (see spaghetti
dinner for pasta help) Will you have enough
refrigeration and oven space?
10. Plan ahead, have a time and sequence list made out for
anyone helping in
the kitchen. That way things will get done efficiently
and nothing will be
forgotten. Even something like cutting up the
dessert takes lots of time if there
is a large amount of it. Allow extra time to do everything and designate
11. Please make some notes, and share them here afterwards!!
Have fun, I'd
love to know how things went, and others would appreciate
the benefit of your information.
If you have any questions or would like to contribute some information, please e-mail Daylelinks4you@hotmail.com
to NOTES TIPS & TRICKS Index here
to GROWLIES Index here
Food Ideas for
Number of Visitors to this page is