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Old 05-01-2015, 11:09 AM   #1
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Clan Gathering - Planning assistance please

Next weekend I'll be having a LOT of people around. I have 2 arriving on Thursday night, then 9 arriving Friday and 3 more on Saturday. I need a little help planning please.

I suspect that even though many of these folks will be staying in a hotel, they will be at my house much of the time and we will need food and drink.

Thursday night I think I'll have a ham dinner (scalloped potatoes etc) and depending on when they arrive they can either sit down with us or they can heat up leftovers. That one is easy.

Friday, do I prep the firepit and have a giant wienie roast and s'mores or do I have a ginormous pot of clam chowder ready? (Red not white) Clam chowder is the traditional welcome dish for our family gatherings, but there are at least 4 people whose food tastes I'm not sure of. Everyone else will chow down without a problem. I'll have a couple loaves of french bread to go with the chowder if I go that route.

Saturday is the Memorial service, so I'll need to prep breakfast and lunch stuff but the late afternoon and dinner are looked after. We've got the usual sandwich trays and nibblies for the formal part of the evening and then we're having Chinese for a late dinner for everyone.

Sunday everyone leaves early so I really need to just provide travel food and breakfasts.

So, the help required is:

Breakfast food? Can I just put out cereal, toast, muffins etc or should I go hard and get the bacon and eggs etc?

Travel food? Cold cuts, finger veggies, juice boxes and chips? Need more?

Supper on Friday. Which way do I go?

I need to shop, and I work from today til Thursday. If I have a plan in my head I can let it go and be a whirlwind on Thursday before everyone arrives, but otherwise I'll be fussing and not focussing on things I need to do in the other parts of my life. Help please?

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Old 05-01-2015, 12:30 PM   #2
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That's quite a crowd

Friday dinner depends on the weather, right? If it's cold and/or raining, you can't do a cookout. I think a big pot of chowder with salad and bread would be great.

For breakfast, I'd do the cereal-toast-muffins and you could prepare a breakfast casserole in advance and bake it in the morning. A casserole is much easier than cooking bacon and eggs to order. Maybe have yogurt and fruit available, too.

For travel food, cold cuts should be refrigerated. I'd go with fruit and cheese instead; the rest is good. I think it's really nice of you to provide that. I wouldn't have thought of it
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Old 05-01-2015, 01:42 PM   #3
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I'm getting tired just reading what all you have to do.

How about a breakfast buffet? Cheeses, cold cuts, bread, the muffins, cereal, fruit, and maybe hard boiled eggs and/or breakfast casserole.

For travel food, we use karnatzel, a cured, dry sausage that's easy to take a bite out of. The Karnatzel -- Mouth Watering Goodness With a Dose of Culture | Kettleman's Bagel Co. We cut it into smaller, more manageable pieces.

Since the government requires the stores to keep it refrigerated, it usually isn't properly dry when we buy it, so we buy it a few days before we want to eat it Then we hang it up in the kitchen.



Something similar might be a good travel snack.
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Old 05-01-2015, 02:04 PM   #4
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Wow, Alix, you have a busy weekend in front of you with workdays leading up to it.

Just a thought, why not order in pizza one night so you don't run yourself into the ground and so you can enjoy your guests. You're dealing with 14 guests plus your family.
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Old 05-01-2015, 02:26 PM   #5
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Good idea Andy.
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Old 05-01-2015, 02:30 PM   #6
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My SIL has ordered in pizza when she's had a big gathering. Big stress saver.
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Old 05-01-2015, 03:30 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Alix View Post
Next weekend I'll be having a LOT of people aroundThursday night I think I'll have a ham dinner (scalloped potatoes etc) and depending on when they arrive they can either sit down with us or they can heat up leftovers. That one is easy.

Friday, do I prep the firepit and have a giant wienie roast and s'mores or do I have a ginormous pot of clam chowder ready?

Saturday is the Memorial service, so I'll need to prep breakfast and lunch stuff but the late afternoon and dinner are looked after. We've got the usual sandwich trays and nibblies for the formal part of the evening and then we're having Chinese for a late dinner for everyone.

Sunday everyone leaves early so I really need to just provide travel food and breakfasts.

Travel food? Cold cuts, finger veggies, juice boxes and chips? Need more?

Supper on Friday. Which way do I go?...Help please?
Boy Alix, you hardly come around anymore, and then you show up asking for help? Just kidding! Glad to see you.

Thursday, ham is fine, but with your schedule maybe you want to go the "pizza" route like Andy suggested? You could maybe make a quick salad to go-with in case people want something "healthy". Then again, if you make a huge ham you can re-purpose the leftovers into a breakfast casserole for Saturday or Sunday.

Another vote for the Chowder, unless the weather"man" is guaranteeing a nice Friday night. Wienie roast would probably be a lot less work for you.

Saturday's breakfast could be a selection of casseroles: ham/potato/egg, French toast, maybe a big fruit bowl?

For Sunday get-away, I'd put out a big selection of muffins, scones, fresh fruits (whole, so they can take-with). If you feel ambitious, you could make egg/ham or bacon/cheese sandwiches, or maybe scrambled eggs + a meat or veggie, stuffed into flour or corn tortilla bread (or a half of a pita, but that tends to break apart easier), add cheese, and nuke at half-power until warm.

Sunday afternoon, you need a glass of wine, maybe a foot massage, and a relaxing book. Good luck, but enjoy your company too.
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Old 05-01-2015, 05:23 PM   #8
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I vote for the clam chowder for Friday. Maybe a reasonable sized pot of chowder with an ordered in pizza?
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Old 05-01-2015, 05:32 PM   #9
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I think the pizza is a great idea. I would go with homemade dough made a couple of days ahead or purchased dough. All of the toppings can be prepped ahead and stored in zip lock bags. Add a couple bags of salad and a choice of dressings.

For Saturdays lunch I would go with a tray of oven fried chicken drumsticks, cold sliced ham, potato or macaroni salad, rolls, chips, pickles, etc...

For breakfasts I would go with a simple cold breakfast buffet and pull out the stops on Sunday morning with a hot breakfast to fortify them for the trip home.

For travel food I would send them home with a picnic lunch made up of the leftover chicken, salads, ham sandwiches etc...

Make a large tray or lemon squares and they won't remember the rest of the food!

Good luck!

I had another thought on this. If the folks are coming in from out of the area they may want a free night to go out or meet with old friends. Maybe a babysitter, rented movie and some snack food for the kids so the adults can venture out on their own.
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Old 05-01-2015, 08:43 PM   #10
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Alix, if you have the time, pulled pork with bbq sauce and several packages of Kings Hawaiian rolls can be lifesavers.

They could even be travel food, as long as they're packaged cool and are eaten within a few hours. It's very thoughtful of you to consider ways to send your guests off with travel goodies once they leave your home.
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