Party Menu - Creating a menu at your party
Simplifying Party Menu Planning
A party menu can be simple or complicated. Therefore, deciding what you want to serve can determine if you want to hire a caterer or do it yourself.
· Catering or preparing it yourself? There are several things to consider before deciding how food will be prepared including your ability to cook and bake. Also, the time that must be spent must be considered as it may be better spent entertaining guests. A caterer can relieve you of the stress connected with trying to do two things at once.
· Take it easy! There is nothing worse than someone trying to cook something with which they are unfamiliar. If the decision is made to prepare the food yourself then choose a very simple menu that is easy and quickly prepared. By using only the best ingredients the results will be appreciated as much as if they came from an exclusive restaurant.
· Budget limits. What is prepared should be tasty and appealing to the eye. This is possible even with the tightest of budgets if good ingredients are selected and carefully prepared. How many guests you are entertaining will depend on how much is purchased.
· Time vs Food. If there are a large number of guests there will not be time to serve them a complete dinner that must be served individually. By the time the first ones are finishing the last ones are just being served which can cause awkward moments. Food that can be quickly and easily served is the best way to go.
· Variety of Dishes. Having an attractive arrangement of dishes, as well as a variety of textures and flavours will appeal to all of your guests. Some will appeal more than others, but everyone will find something that is pleasing to them. It's important to remember, however, that some may have dietary constraints that need to be taken into consideration prior to menu selection.
· Caterer's sample. Requesting a sample menu from the caterer will allow you to see what he or she has to offer. Does it taste good? Does it look good? These are important issues when considering serving food to someone else. Also, be sure the caterer can present the style you want for your party which reflects the theme and formality of the occasion.
· Seasonal Foods. When planning an event that involves food you should stick with the food that is in season. This makes sense as it is not only less expensive, but tastes better because it is fresh. Guests would not expect fresh fruit in January, but would probably expect it during a summer party.
· Food variety. People like different foods and it is not going to be possible to satisfy everyone. However, if there is an attractive presentation they will find something they like. Having a variety of colors, textures, and flavors will enhance the enjoyment for all who partake.
· Food and clothes. If one is having a barbeque or a formal dinner, the food and clothing would be different. Whatever the occasion it is important to dress and serve food that reflects the ambience of the setting as well as the affair.
· Food ease. How many times have you been at a gathering and food was served which guests to balance plates and drinks while standing? This is not only awkward, but takes away from the pleasure of good food. The food your guests are to eat, depending on the occasion, should be easy to eat in a convenient spot. Be sure there are plenty of places to sit and lots of wipe up's if there are children present.
· Getting Supplies. When you have determined how many guests will be at the party it is time to count the tables, chairs, plates, napkins and other necessary items to determine if more are needed. The smaller things, such as napkins and table covers can be picked up at a party store, however the bigger things will have to be rented or borrowed. All should be in good, clean condition, including any kitchen equipment, crystal, silverware, plates, and glasses that are to be used.
· Pre-Dinner snacks. It is fine to have a few things sitting about for guests to nibble on when they arrive. Unfortunately if the dinner is late, over an hour is too long, they will fill up on them and miss the great meal you have prepared. Be prompt in serving dinner and this problem will be avoided.
· Drinks selection. What is served at the party depends on what it is and who it is for. If it is an adult party then it is appropriate to serve alcoholic and non-alcoholic beverages. However, a mixed drink should be limited to one or two options; otherwise you will find yourself serving as a bartender during the entire party. For children's parties, on the other hand alcohol should be avoided as inquisitive minds can get into trouble easily.