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Having a party. Your thoughts please. Games?

Posted by westsider40 (My Page) on
Fri, Oct 26, 12 at 6:20

My dil is turning 50 in 16 days and I just connected with my son to talk about a party. Altho I don't think the food or the menu or the serving will be problematical, the cleaning and 'continuous serving' may present issues as I am not feeling well. In other words, once the food is out, it's downhill from there. My good hearted son has 6 left feet, he has wonderful other qualities. Martha Stewart he ain't.

Ease of serving and keeping the food flowing and exchanging clean dishes and drinks, clearing old courses etc.. I need kitchen helpers, cleaners, just don't need anyone til after the food is served. I can get helpers to dump the food into a serving dish but no one to do the work after that. It's a small house so it's necessary to keep clearing.

Here's the tentative first draft of a menu. Salmon gefilte fish plated individually with lettuce, horseradish, a small roll. Mini hot dogs in blankets, nuts.

Shrimp in 2 sauces (from our terrific hunan restaurant. Spinach salad with candied nuts, dried cranberries, crumbly white cheese. Curried meat balls. A couple other kid friendly Chinese dishes. My homemade challah which they love. And Desserts

I don't want to cook much-as I can't. I'll do the gefilte fish, hotdogs, salad is preassembled, meat balls, challah and desserts. Knives will not be necessary.

The birthday girl is a love-hard working and elegant. She loves and lives the good life. 5 star hotels, workouts at her club, yada. Not a snob. She doesn't like paper plates but she will understand, maybe. Oy, what am I getting into. I need help! Your thoughts. please. About 20 friends w kids. Family is additional 14 ppl. It just occurred to me that we can do friends only


Follow-Up Postings:

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RE: Having a party. Your thoughts please. Games?

Kudos to you for taking on a celebration when you are not feeling well. I do understand nott liking paper plates, but there are some disposable plates on the market that are not "cheesy". Take a look at the link below.

Your menu is eclectic, but sounds like it will work well. Interesting flavor combinations to be sure - curried meatballs and gefilte fish? Wow! Sounds crazy but good!

I would place trash containers at easily accessible locations and recruit your son to do frequent emptying of them. And can you ask a few of the friends to pick up glasses (or again, use disposable) to help you?

Best of luck and I hope all goes smoothly for yo and you are not overwhelmed.

Alexa

Here is a link that might be useful: pretty disposable plates


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RE: Having a party. Your thoughts please. Games?

Kudos to you for taking on a celebration when you are not feeling well. I do understand nott liking paper plates, but there are some disposable plates on the market that are not "cheesy". Take a look at the link below.

Your menu is eclectic, but sounds like it will work well. Interesting flavor combinations to be sure - curried meatballs and gefilte fish? Wow! Sounds crazy but good!

I would place trash containers at easily accessible locations and recruit your son to do frequent emptying of them. And can you ask a few of the friends to pick up glasses (or again, use disposable) to help you?

Best of luck and I hope all goes smoothly for yo and you are not overwhelmed.

Alexa

Here is a link that might be useful: pretty disposable plates


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RE: Having a party. Your thoughts please. Games?

Is it possible to recruit one or two of the young kids to help, or, even better, a teen from your neighborhood? They can keep up with emptying trash, refilling stacks of paper goods, clearing tables. Then your left-footed son can help with serving the food and handling hot dishes.

This weekend we had a bbq in our back yard with 21 adults and 9 kids, the oldest my 9 yo gdtr. A week before the party I called her and asked her if she would be my "assistant in charge of replenishment." She seemed skeptical. When she arrived she was still skeptical, but I told her just what I needed her to do and she did it wonderfully well, with very little additional input from me once the party was under way. She kept the garbage under control, made sure the condiments were plentiful, ran back and forth into the house for things, cleared plates, kept the cooler full of ice and pop. I even heard her ask a guest, "Can I get you anything?"

She was very proud to help me and still had plenty of time to play with her cousins and the other kids while "keeping an eye on things." I realize you need more sophisticated help with the cleanup afterwards, but a kid can be very valuable before and during the party. Maybe a few people will pitch in at the end for cleanup. Let them. And remember...tomorrow is another day!


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RE: Having a party. Your thoughts please. Games?

No paper plates!!!....if you must stack dirty dishes in the garage for another day...but please don't put your elegant food on disposable plates....and serve it with plastic utensils!
Surely you have a friend who knows someone who would be a kitchen witch....a dish washer.
At one time I knew of a place that would rent dishes and glassware, that you returned without washing. I never used them because when I found out what they charged, I vowed I would own enough china, silver and stemmed glasses to serve any party I might have....and I do.

Sounds like a beautiful menu and a great occasion....but if possible I urge you to find some clean up help and to use real china or glass plates.
Linda c


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RE: Having a party. Your thoughts please. Games?

I made and served dinner to a large group a few years ago for a friend. I purchased simple white plates at the dollar store. I didn't want paper plates, either. There also seems to be an assortment of glassware, though I haven't examined it. Renting is also an option. I have done that and had flatware, plates, and napkins delivered and picked up.

Eileen


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RE: Having a party. Your thoughts please. Games?

Games...? No games.

Kids - if the weather is good, outside for games, bubbles, balls, cornhole, badminton, croquet, etc. Inside - videos. And suggest the parents bring suitable entertainment for their kids.


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RE: Having a party. Your thoughts please. Games?

My job as a fundraiser puts me in event planning mode frequently. I respectfully disagree with Linda and think that DISPOSABLE Plates are FINE. I am not speaking about the typical paper plates and as Alexa indicated with her link, there are lovely disposables to be had. Your DIL will be tickled that despite your not feeling in the pink, you're still willing to go the extra mile to give her a lovely party. You're a mensch!


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RE: Having a party. Your thoughts please. Games?

I am sure disposable plates are fine at a fundraiser....at least at some fundraisers. ( I have been to a lot of fund raisers with crystal, china, fine wines etc)
But this is a birthday party for her daughter in law....and admittedly a person who loves things nicely done.
It's not really very much more trouble to do it right....and simple white china plates can be very very inexpensive and can be used time and again.


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RE: Having a party. Your thoughts please. Games?

There is a party supply store nearby here, a very big one. You can find really nice paper plates and napkins.

I just don't like plastic knives, forks and spoons. I bought on eBay flatware for 150 people, I think I paid $30.00.

They are not fancy but much better than plastic. It feels good to cut with a metal knife.

Cleaning is easy. Throw them in a big bucket, soak with dishwasher detergent and blast clean with a garden hose.

dcarch


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RE: Having a party. Your thoughts please. Games?

Oh, I am so touched by all of your lovely, caring responses. I have lots of nice dishes and our now everyday all white Corelle, which are just fine. I am a dishaholic. You are all correct, disposables are quite fine, and haven't bothered me in a long time. Linda makes a good point which does resonate and that is that dil likes nice things and somehow I think dil and ds have come to expect this old lady to get the dishes out. Yes, I think I will do that. I think ds and dgs will certainly help with that.

I just checked my email and ds sent me the guest list-29 ppl, only friends,- parents, bf and kids, mostly teens.

Yikes, I have to confirm with dh that we are having a party. He is NOT a party animal or person, but that's another story.

Another menu option is getting good pizzas (Lou Malnati's) as an appetizer and have that same wonderful Chicago style pizza-er/caterer also do a pasta and/or lasagne, and a chicken dish and a caesar salad. That would be lots easier, a crowd pleaser and much cheaper, even tho it's catered. I could still do the spinach salad, which is a bagged TJ salad. I could do a caesar with bagged romaine from GFS. I could also do the pasta with jarred sauce doctored up. I'm leaning toward Malnati's.

The idea of all those ppl in my small house and all that foodstuff and dishes(not only the washing, just the stuffness/existence) freaks me out. In my younger days, I would have loved it.

My son seems excited. And dil will like it, too. That makes it worthwhile. Except, what about my nice family, not being invited? Oh, we'll see.


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RE: Having a party. Your thoughts please. Games?

westsider, I also think that disposables are fine but if you are up to it and the DIL prefers and would appreciate "real" dishes, that's a decision that only you can make. As for flatware, I got bundles of them at Sam's Club, I think a dozen knives/forks/spoons were something like $3.50. At that price I wouldn't hesitate to toss them in a bucket and not worry about what happened to them, clean them if you wish. Plus you don't worry if they get thrown away. I don't mind eating on the better disposable plates (not those flimsy paper things that tear, leak, fold, etc) but plastic flatware never holds up, I don't like the stuff at all. Even children are constantly asking me for a new fork/spoon because their broke.

I'd definitely go for the Lou Malnati's, since youa re not feeling well. Under normal circumstances I know you'd love to make the meal and would enjoy it, but you have to give yourself a break this time. The original menu sounds very nice, but Chicago has wonderful food widely available in nearly all price ranges and to suit all tastes. I'd utilize your resources in this instance.

Oh, have a very good time, and happy birthday to your DIL.

Annie


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RE: Having a party. Your thoughts please. Games?

Cater the party and make the birthday cake. :)

E


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RE: Having a party. Your thoughts please. Games?

If you know Lou Malnatti, you must be in the Chicago area....If you are in or near the northwest suburbs, email me. I may be able to get a couple of names of people my DIL has used for helping at a dinner party. It's a great luxury to be finishing up Thanksgiving dinner for 24 and have Roderick in the kitchen cleaning up!

And Lou Malnatti makes some great salads!.....and the kids would love it!!


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RE: Having a party. Your thoughts please. Games?

Get some teens to help. Honestly they will love it. Or a neighbor. There are some that turn their noses up at helping and planning things, others blossom with the opportunity. Find the bloomers! I work with teens all the time, when you find a good one they are a joy. As for games, my crowd likes trivial pursuit, Scrabble, scategories, cranium and the like. Don't buy these, ask the kids/families to bring the ones they like along. Parties where everyone feels like they have a part of the community are the most fun for me.

Ditto the paper plates, I love them because there are so many quality ones with groovy patterns and colors. But no plasticware, it just breaks and isn't fun to eat with, bad mouth feel IMHO. I put out a dishpan and folks just droop the flatware in it at the end, squirt some dishsoap in it and add hot water and the whole shebang is cleaned up right quick.


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RE: Having a party. Your thoughts please. Games?

My husband and my daughters' just threw me a 50th surprise party. It was wonderful!!!! I am a "foodie" and usually set on china and flatware for all our parties. But for the life of me I don't remember the food, plates, or flatware. I was so happy to see the people that came to the party that I did not notice anything else. That said -- make your life easy and spend as much time as you can with family. Buffet or cocktail party. Hire someone to replenish and clean up. Good paper plates, napkins & plastic flatware are OK. In fact some thought the plastic flatware was real and put it in the dishwasher.


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RE: Having a party. Your thoughts please. Games?

Here's the status. Party is in 3 days and I am nervous. It's morphed into a surprise party. Karaoke or games or what? Up in the air.

Costco-will roast tenderloin, perhaps on the grill, slice and refrigerate. Flowers from Costco. Caesar salads from Costco.

Bought 4 meat and 1 veggie lasagnas from Gordon Food Service. I would like to doctor them up with meat sauce and gobs of extra cheese (which I bought).

Dessert. Ordered a pretty and delicious cake from Dairy Queen. Hopefully it will be enjoyed by all. I made one tray of lemon squares and will make another tray in the morning. A sweet cousin my make some cookie bars. I'll get a traveler coffee from Starbucks-easy.

Pick up wine, juice, water, sodas. Still need to hang and rehang lots of pictures, long story, and polish flatware and ice bucket. Thirty dinner plates are washed. Cleaned the front door area and leaves are gone. Need possible paper goods.

Very tired! Thanks for all your help.

Likely I will make either flourless choc cake or nut torte.

Have 3 kinds of cheeses, crackers and pretzels and mixed nuts for nibbles while we all wait. Prolly will add more stuff.

I'd rather fuss with flowers, decor, baskets and fabric liners, etc. I think dil will like it.


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RE: Having a party. Your thoughts please. Games?

I once got a local teen who was studying hospitality or food services to help with an event . I never would have thought of it - but someone else had hired her for a party and recommended her. She was so sweet and helpful - it made my day flow much better. Hope your party is wonderful and you are feeling better soon.


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RE: Having a party. Your thoughts please. Games?

Sounds lovely....do you have enough glasses?


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RE: Having a party. Your thoughts please. Games?

Thanks. Yeah, I fractured my back, lumbar 1, in early August. I had an interesting sounding 'procedure' where, under local anesthesia, the interventional radiologist injects a small amount of cement into the vertebra and it relieves the pain and heals it faster. I had it done about 10 days ago and it seems much better.

I know, I know, buying coffee? Egads, and I used to think ppl who bought Subway sandwiches were a bit light in the upstairs.

Guests who migrate to the living room will be trapped in their space forever. Never to move!

For some odd reason, our family is not crazy about birthday cakes. But if we had Annie's fabulous and delicious looking cakes, that might be different. We don't eat a lot of candy either. All 3 of my kids used to have their Halloween candy for the whole year and their friends would eat it. We do love ice cream, tho.


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RE: Having a party. Your thoughts please. Games?

westsider, I'm glad your back is feeling better, but don't overdo. As for the coffee, if you like it, buy it. (shrug) Especially for that many people, if you don't have one of those big urns, it seems like a pot of coffee doesn't last long and you make pot after pot after pot....

If I were closer, I'd bake the cake for you! However, I have to tell you that my son in law loves Dairy Queen cakes and Amanda buys him one ever year. I'd bake him any kind he wants and I do, usually lemon, but he loves that Dairy Queen cake better than anything I could make.

Have fun, and take help where ever you can. I think given your recent health issues it's a miracle you're doing anything.

Happy Birthday to the birthday girl, it'll be amazing. I've often said that food is secondary to the company, and your family will love it. It'll be a perfect day.

Annie


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RE: Having a party. Your thoughts please. Games?

I asked my DD and SIL for game recommendations. They are serious gamers and they suggested a few games which would be suitable for a party situation where the purpose is to promote social interaction. These games are easy to learn, fast moving and entertaining.

Apples to Apples
Bonanza
Bixit
Telestrations
King's Breakfast

I think your guests would have fun with any of these.

Jim


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RE: Having a party. Your thoughts please. Games?

Thank you everyone for your kind thoughts. Linda, I did buy paper goods today, including plastic cups. But we will use real stemware for wine-I can handle wine glasses! They don't read as clutter to me, I wonder why.

Annie, thanks for your good cake wishes. It's not about sweet b/c ice cream is pretty sweet. And we love DQ cakes-and I don't wanna know about any carp in them!

Jim, thanks for your recommendations re games. We have Apples to apples, as youngest dd is 21. I love games but dh doesn't. I will seriously look into the other games. I know a lot of ppl who think of themselves as 'players", whatever the full connotation means! I play cards once a week with enthusiastic women.


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RE: Having a party. Your thoughts please. Games?

For big parties, I always make coffee days in advance, regular and decafe. Store in the refrigerator and reheat on the stove or microwave.

I make them extra strong and add water to minimize storage space.

Have fun.

dcarch


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RE: Having a party. Your thoughts please. Games?

Your starbucks never ending coffee pot will be preferable to the coffee that comes out of those 55 cup perc pots....with the indicator tube on the side....that has no way to clean it.

The best party starter game I have ever seen is the "no game"....my DIL is a master of that and parties often start with it. She has an armload of cheap plastic Mardi Gras beads and hands 3 to each person. The rules can vary....but sometimes it goes that when ever you say "no" to someone you have to give them 1 string of your beads.....another version says that when ever you say "no" you have to give the person who asked you the question all your beads. that leads to many eager to talk to the person with the most beads! Prize is usually a b ottle of good booze of some sort....either A nice wine or a high end whiskey. It works because it doesn't interrupt the normal flow of conversation....and it promotes lots of laughs.

Have fun! I am sure it will be lovely!!


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