How to Feed a Lot of People

There are some skills I have, and some skills I don't. I am not the girl you want to make your apple pie, I will get hives. Nor am I the girl to balance your checkbook or clean your windows.

But, I am the girl who can feed a lot of people! Here are some of the highlights of how you can make things easier on yourself when feeding a family, youth group, or other bunch of folks.

Shop ahead of time. If the party is on a Sunday, try to get everything by Friday night. This way Saturday can be devoted to food prep and house prep.

Make life easier. It doesn't make sense to drive across town to save $2 on an item. Your gas and your time are too valuable anyway. Buy it where you are buying everything else.

Make a list of your planned food. I hate saying to people who are full and eating dessert "oh, here are some appetizers..." because I forgot to put something out. In the case of a really big party, work out the timetable of what needs to go in the oven when.

Put everyone to work. If there is anyone standing near the kitchen, they are fair game. You will get food on the table sooner if all the hands contribute to getting the food out!
Serve heavy appetizers. This gets people eating, so they are off your back while you are trying to get the food served. Meatballs, chips/veggies and dip, and maybe even a nice platter of cheese and crackers will keep the hunger pangs at bay. If it is a potluck, it is critical that the appetizer person be prompt and/or give you the food the night before.
Serve buffet style. If you try to plate food for everyone, you will go nuts.

Serve "build your own" things. It would take forever to assemble teriyaki burgers for everyone. Then you'll have someone who doesn't want the pineapple, someone who wants extra onions, etc. Have the ingredients out, and let people build it their own favorite way.

Lower your standards. Don't serve the fussy stuff. That's for a candlelight dinner for two. Serve the crowd-pleasing stuff.

Get the best ingredients you can. Plain food, well done - it will never go wrong. A primo ear of corn fresh from the farm will make anyone happy.

Paper plates, paper napkins, heavy plastic utensils. Need I say why? Unless you want a teenage girl sneering at you while they do two mountains of dishes.

OK, I believe this was a list of ten and I didn't even start out trying to make a list of ten. It was only a happy coincidence.

ETA: if you are looking for a sample menu, you can find one here.

Labels: ,