hosting a club meeting luncheon

sallyomalleyApril 27, 2006

I would like to host a club meeting for 30-35 people. Previous meetings have started with drinks and hors dÂoeuvres, followed by a luncheon buffet, business meeting and dessert. I would provide the drinks, appetizers and entrée with club members bringing sides, salads and desserts. I have a U-shaped kitchen with peninsula between my family room and breakfast nook. I also have a dining room that can seat 8, with an adjoining small living room. I have an office that could hold a table if need be. Do I have the space to pull this off? What would be a good entrée? Where would you set up the bar and the buffet? Also, creative ideas for seating that many folks would be helpful. Thanks!

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I wouldn't try to pull off table seating for all those people. If you set up that many tables, you probably won't have room for the meeting. Choose an entree that can easily be eaten with one utensil by a person sitting on a sofa or chair balancing a plate in his/her lap or holding it in one hand -- like sandwiches, a salad Nicoise, or a not-too-drippy casserole or something, as opposed to lasagna or chicken breasts, which you have to cut. You can't control what the others will bring, but it's usually only the entree that would have to be cut.

I'd put the buffet on the peninsula. You may not have room for the bar on the same place if a lot of people bring dishes (and remember, you need space for plates, napkins, and flatware). Also, you may affirmatively choose to put it elsewhere for traffic flow reasons.

For your entree, aside from the logistical concerns, do you want to choose something that somehow relates to your club, or the theme of that meeting? Or is that too cutesy?

It sounds great! Have fun.

    Bookmark   April 27, 2006 at 4:17PM
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I agree don't even think of sit down, it won't work but you do have the space to host this event.

Use the island or the dining room for the appetizers and bar, whichever works best for mingling. Use the opposite for the buffet and desserts.

Make sure that everything is fork cutting! I recently hosted a rehersal party for 40+ and I have similiar constraints. I worked out a Greek theme and it was a huge hit! Greek salad, greek meatballs, rice, roasted veggies, forget what else. Spanikopita, tzatziki, hummus, red peper dip with pita traingles for worked out very well.

By the way , can I join your club? Any club that starts with drinks and appetizers before LUNCH is my kinda club! LOL

    Bookmark   April 28, 2006 at 1:20PM
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Sharon! She meant iced tea!! Get your mind out of the bar!!!
Unless you want to frantically be taking down tables and moving chairs around...I would do buffet.
And remember, things like meatloaf is very "fork friendly" as are things like a rolled souffle ( and very nice for a ladies luncheon) and artichoke fritatta.
Just remember to have the rolls of muffins split and buttered on the serving table!
Linda C

    Bookmark   April 30, 2006 at 1:56PM
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Thank you for your advice. Actually, we do start with cocktails!! Any other menu ideas would be greatly appreciated!

    Bookmark   April 30, 2006 at 2:56PM
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Ok how about a soup party?

I just hosted one of those for a 50th and it was wonderful! I made 4 different types of soup and provided lots of toppings and crunchies to go with. Things like chopped onion, goldfish, breadsticks etc. I also bought 30 oversized coffee mugs at the 1$ store, it was easy for everyone to select a soup, top it and eat it without sitting down. I also gave thenm the mugs as takeaways so I didn't even have to wash them!

The soup party was probably the most successful casual indoor party I've hosted.

    Bookmark   April 30, 2006 at 6:31PM
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Sharon, how did that work as an "in your lap" party? I know you used big mugs....but how did you handle the breads and salad etc?
Did it work at a totally walking around party? or did people need to find a place to perch and a lap to eat from?
Linda C

    Bookmark   April 30, 2006 at 9:45PM
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Linda it was a totally stand up affair. Some found seats on couches etc but it was truly a mingler.

I served mini chipolte and cheddar biscuits, one bite size and no salad. There were tons of toppers for the soups, cheddar cheese, creme fraich, a selection of little bread sticks for "stirrers", oyster crackers, cilantro, as well as some colourful dries veggies chips, etc. The biscuits were placed around the rooms so you could just pop one!

No plates or knives required. Worked like a charm.

By the way I served

Roasted Red Pepper Soup
Cream of Leek and Stilton
Mexican Cheese and Chicken Chowder
Manhattan Clam Chowder
My SIL made a beef broth based Italian soup.

    Bookmark   May 1, 2006 at 8:09AM
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