Get together for large family....

akamomto7November 15, 2006

We have a large family of about 50 people....all ages from babies to 70 somethings. My husband and I want to host

something..... probably on Dec. 23rd (Saturday) either day or evening, but day would probably be better. I am not all that spry anymore and tire rather easily. In the past I have had large dinners and I think my family expects that to continue. Surprising them this year with something much simpler! Any ideas on what kind of event to have and what to serve? I can purchase some of the food but would like to prepare some myself. We will be exchanging gifts at that time, as well. (I have new carpet and dread thinking of all the disasters.) Not all will be able to sit down, and certainly not at tables. Hope to hear some great ideas!!! Thanks, Pat

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I would have a cocktail party.....whether you serve cocktails or not is not the point....just put out a table with hors d'ouvers and stacks of plates and fill with food. Things like meatballs, little smokies in BBQ sauce, a whole poached salmon, deviled eggs, sliced ham and silver dollar sized buns, a cheese platter, veggies of course, finger veggies, kid friendly carrots and things like jucama and turnip strips....a platter of grapes and apples and pears to take and cut if need be, chicken salad sandwiches....and chicken nuggets for the little ones...potatoes on skewers that have been oven browned, treyaki chicken on a skewer from the oven, rumaki..
I would pick some things that you feel you would like to make for old time's sake....and hire the rest done!
Linda C

    Bookmark   November 15, 2006 at 7:47PM
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Wow! You may have just solved my problem! I had been looking at websites and becoming more and more confused. It sounds like I could handle most of that......much could be fixed ahead or at least, the shopping ahead. I'm feeling much relieved now. They're all things that my family will like.
Thanks ever so much!

    Bookmark   November 16, 2006 at 12:53AM
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If you're talking about a buffet, where there will be a lot of folks, and not enough seating, and especially if there will be lots of kids--I'd try to stear clear of anything too messy to eat (meatballs/hotdogs in sauces are a definite no-no in my book). Even chaffing dishes of roast beef and gravy can be messy. They're just to hard to eat standing up, talking--someone is going to get distracted, tip their plate, and a meatball is going to go rolling across the room. Or gravy is going to be dripping onto your carpet.

I'd go with small, self-contained appetizers--mini quiches, mini egg rolls, devilled eggs, tea sandwiches, veg and dip (get little containers from the bar supply store so people can spoon their dip into one). You can probably buy a lot of those foods, and just make the things you enjoy doing the most.

Another huge help? Hire a couple of high school girls to help with the serving and clean-up. It won't cost you much, and you'll enjoy your party way more, without having to worry so much about all those little chores. Contact the home ec teacher, if you don't know someone yourself--they can probably tell you who might be good, and could use the money.

    Bookmark   November 16, 2006 at 7:39AM
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I'm loving these ideas! I did have visions of meatballs, etc., rolling across my new light carpet. I think I can come up with enough goodies w/o too much messiness. Doubt if I can get through the afternoon with no mishaps but that's ok........I won't make a big deal of it. What gets me is the little cups toddlers drag around that are supposedly leak proof..........NOT. There are 3 toddlers under 2 1/2 years. The high school girls for helpers is a fantastic idea. I have a couple of granddaughters that might want to help. You are all giving me wonderful ideas.......keep 'em coming!
Thank you.

    Bookmark   November 16, 2006 at 10:47AM
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My MIL was so calm with more than 30 family members of all ages like you are expecting. She made a fish chowder and minestrone soup the day before. She ordered a huge mixed salad from a restaurant and had wonderful breads from the bakery. She sat near the FP and ladled the soup into inexpensive white soup plates. She served wine and beer with nuts and pretzels with the meal and before dinner. We had cheesecake for dessert. Somehow we all found a place to sit. TV tray tables were popular then. She ordered pizza for the children and got them fed before serving the others. Their drinks were the parents job. Paper plates is all you need for pizza. You can be very informal with family. Food takes a rear seat to the grandparents, aunts, uncles and cousins. What I remember most is seeing Nana rocking each grandbaby on her lap facing her and thought she had the magic touch as she memorized their faces.

    Bookmark   November 17, 2006 at 9:29PM
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I too would go with a buffet of finger foods. Everything bite size and finger friendly, no forks or knives required.

Cheese and fruit

Some sort of meat ring , cut in pieces, like a kielbassa or do some pickled bologna ring.

Stuffed sandwiches , simple tortilla roll ups (think lettuce, ham, mustard or smoked salmon, lettuce , cream cheese) cut up in 1/2 inch slices.

A baguette sliced, hollowed out and then stuffed with deviled, ham or chicken salad. Put the top of the baguette back on, wrap in saran wrap. When ready to serve cut is small slices.

Cold cuts on mini buns, mini bagels or mini biscuits.

Tuna, egg, chicken egg salad stuffed into little puff shells (from the frozen section).

Mini tarts, use the frozen tart shells for mini quiche, or mini meat pies like a Tourtierre filling.

Frozen egg rolls, sausage rolls cut into bite size pieces or buy the mini ones.

From the frozen section, chicken nuggets, poppers, spanikopita ( I have a great recipe if you want to go to the trouble yourself)

    Bookmark   November 18, 2006 at 9:13AM
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I don't really have any ideas on the whole dinner thing - (I was here looking for ideas myself) - but I noticed that you were worried about the toddlers that are going to be there and thier cups leaking on your new rug. I have 3 kids, 4 and under so I am the queen of leaky cups. How about having some cups there for the kids to use that you know won't leak? The first years makes a cup that does not leak at all. You won't have to worry about anything leaking (provided the lid is on correct). It is a spill proof sippy cup with a yellow flip top lid that covers the drinking spout. Even when the lid is open, nothing leaks out so you can relax when a little one is running around with a cup in hand. I know, not related to the original post, but it could be just one less thing to worry about.

    Bookmark   November 18, 2006 at 10:09PM
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Thanks to all who responded. I love the "grandma by the fireplace" sounds lovely. The finger food ideas are definitely going into play. Thanks so much for the leakproof cups idea........they will make good presents for the little one's parents who, I'm sure, don't want milk, etc, on their carpets either! I'm definitely putting a few of those in my cupboard with names on them. You all have been wonderful with your ideas and thoughts. I love this forum. What's a good time for an open house? 1PM? 4PM?
Pat to 7, grandma to 17, great grandma to 6 (Folsom, California)

    Bookmark   November 21, 2006 at 2:25AM
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I have found that the easiest (and cheapest) party for a crowd is brunch. You said you prefer day to evening; is a brunch too early?
Another advantage is that there are so many evening parties and events in December; with a brunch, you are less likely to run into people with conflicting invitations, especially on a weekend -- including yourself.

    Bookmark   November 21, 2006 at 10:49AM
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Thanks, Gellchom.........can't do brunch but decided to have the open house from 1-4. They can finish shopping before or after. Kind thanks for your reply. Really appreciate all the input.

    Bookmark   November 23, 2006 at 3:29PM
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