Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Cooking for a Crowd

Y’all probably think I’m ignoring you, but I’m honestly not being mean. I’m just trying to get ready for our monster crowd on Saturday. Posting my progress reassures me all is in order.

How do you feed 100 people at a party? It’s a question I ponder each year when deciding on my menu plan for our annual pool party. Here’s our offering for this year.

  • Pico de Gallo and tortilla chips
  • Vegetable trays
  • Fruit kebobs
  • Salad
  • Chicken fajitas
  • Panamanian rice
  • Guacamole
  • Cake
Many people show up with food offerings such as chips, dips, side dishes, desserts, and so on. Eva, one of our neighbors, is from Panama and insists on making the rice which I think is very generous. We always have too much food and no one ever leaves our house hungry.

The trick to getting things done on a large scale is to break each component down into manageable tasks. I make a work plan and do one task per day in the weeks preceding the actual party. Prepare as much ahead of time as possible.

© June Scroggin, All Rights Reserved

I made croutons for the salad by baking loaves of homemade bread over the past few weeks. Cut the loaves into small cubes, drizzle a bit of olive oil, add garlic, and bake in the oven. Let them cool and then bag and store in the freezer. The salad itself will be assembled right before time to eat.

© June Scroggin, All Rights Reserved

All the onions as well as the green and red bell peppers needed for the fajitas have been prepared. Bags and bags of them are waiting in the freezer along with a few hundred flour tortillas. My husband will cut the chicken Friday night and marinate it all overnight. Then he’ll make his Pico de Gallo (which I’ve probably spelled wrong) recipe and that will be ticked off the list. It’s a type of salsa that goes with tortilla chips.

© June Scroggin, All Rights Reserved

I’ve baked 4 huge cakes. Each has been carefully wrapped and put in the freezer. I’ll thaw them on Friday as a couple of friends are coming over that night to help me decorate them. They don’t look like much now, but wait until you see what we’re going to create out of them.

After decorating the cakes, I’ll work on the fruit kebobs. Dipping the fruit in lemon juice will keep them just fine until I put the whole shebang together Saturday about an hour before the party. You’ll have to see what I do with them next week, too.

Today I’m going through all our party supplies and assembling the flatware, plates, serving dishes, decorations, ice chests for drinks, and so on. We have giant party flags on long bamboo poles that we stick in the ground around the front and back yards which I’ll get out today, too.

The cloth napkins I worked on yesterday are done, the food plan is in place, and tomorrow I’ll clean the back porch and do yard work after my morning flute lesson. My husband will take care of the pool business. This isn’t so bad and all will work out just fine.


grendelskin said...

Looks like you Have a Plan - your are a braver woman than I! Your napkins are gorgeous, BTW - I keep thinking they'd be fabulous in a pinwheel or whirlygig quilt.

karen said...

Ha - isn't that funny. I was just going to leave a comment about making a quilt with them too!! On the Purl blog a bride made napkins for her wedding and used the fabric to make a lovely quilt afterwards.

Gee I was hoping to tidy the house today - but this party plan has been inspiring so I will work on upping my effort.

Pat @ Mille Fiori Favoriti said...

Hi June!
You have everything planned so well and it sounds wonderful! Have a wonderful time and enjoy it!

We have a very busy time this weekend too -- my grandson will be here -- we can't wait!

Hugs, Pat

Thimbleanna said...

The excitement is building Junie! You're so well organized. I Can't. Wait. to see those cakes!!!

Anonymous said...

I just found you blog and i have to tell you how much I enjoy it! You have such crafty and efficient ideas! You are really an inspiration, I can't wait to read more!

Zarah said...

100 PEOPLE!?!?! Wow that is a big party, but it sounds like you have everything under control. Good idea recruiting some friends to help. I always try to do things myself and end up exhausted before the guests arrive.

a pink-bee said...

I'll get up with you after your party :)
It all sounds SOOooo nice ~ thanks for the tips :) Still loving that napkin idea :)
Have a happy day :)

Sue said...

It sounds like a lovely party, but I'm exhausted just reading about the preparation! I can't wait to see pics of actual party.

shenry said...

Yikes. 100 people? I freak out when I entertain more than 4 people.

Storybook Woods said...

Yes, when I catered, planning, doing as much ahead as possible is the key. I am never to make lists and plan but when I catered I lived for my lists xoxo Clarice

sassypriscilla said...

How do I score an invite to this party? You put so much thought and effort into it! Thanks for sharing how you do it. I hope it goes great!

Anonymous said...

i love reading about how people handle big crowds. the menu sounds fantastic, and the napkins are such a great touch!