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Old 07-31-2006, 05:05 AM   #1
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What is the next event you are planning?

Tomorrow I'm going over to a freind's house to start the preliminaries. My next event is going to be a reception for her father's WWII reunion at my house. My husband is a history buff, and we both like her dad (he lives in Colorado, we all live in Illinois). We'll be inviting a few local friends as well to keep conversation flowing. Have NO IDEA how many of the old codgers will show up. As he says (and he's 84) -- "Hey most of us are dead ... You'll mostly be entertaining our handlers." He's unabashedly tickled pink that we want to do this. My freinds who live here will all be expected to bring something to help out (they all actually wanted to throw parties themselves!) Anyway, this is the next party i'm throwing, and I need all the help I can get. Men that age either can't drink any more, or they drink one drink, period. Everyone that age has some kind of dietary restriction. I'm not going there, I'm just making sure there is enough of what we called in Hawaii, "heavy pupus". They get to worry about what they should or should not eat. I suspect their (as he put it) "handlers" (which will be people our age) will be fussier.

I'm thinking for the bar a big bottle each of vodka, scotch, canadian, and rum. One each of red and white jug wines. a case of lite beer, and a huge selection of diet pop and a half-gallon each of oj and cranberry juice.

For food I'm going to buy a lot of things you can pop in the oven. I'll have a cheese platter, and veggies & dip. As I said, there will be a half dozen or so friends who live here and will also contribute. My failing is always desert, and my fall-back position is a trifle.

Whew! Any of you have any ideas?

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Old 07-31-2006, 08:07 AM   #2
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Hi Claire how about a warm pie for dessert. You don't have to make the pie crust you can buy it at Jewel (the frozen kind). Make your own filling - I like Apple and Peach and bake and serve with some freshly whipped cream or vanilla icecream.

I also like tiramisu because you can make it ahead of time and it actually gets better ater a day or two. You don't have to make the version with coffee. I like to make a tropical version with pineapple. I dip the ladyfingers in pineapple juice, the cream (made with ricotta and heavy cream) is mixed with crushed pineapple and it's finished with some sliced almonds. It's really good with a cup of coffee.

All the best for your event, it sounds like fun. I have invited 47 people to my house end of August and it is a lot of work. My menu is going to be primarily Indian food since this is an Indian crowd. I am going to make kababs and patties (chicken, veggies and potatoes) and shrimps for appetizers. I will be making roti, chicken makhani, chickpea curry , egg rolls and biryani (it's a rich dish made with lamb and rice) for dinner. I will make lassi for 47 people and some raita too.

Dessert is still a mystery to me as well . I may make something Indian like carrot halva or skip and go for store bought. Given there are so many people I don't want to be overwhelmed and want to enjoy myself as well. It will all be served buffett style.
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Old 07-31-2006, 09:17 AM   #3
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Yikes Yakuta! The most I've entertained was 10 people and THAT stressed me out! 47 pax? I'M overwhelmed for you. My hat's off to you.

So for 47 people, how do you plan how much of each dish to cook? When I cooked for the 10 pax, we had a lot of food left over. This despite them saying how good the food was... so please believe that it's because I cooked too much food :-P
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Old 08-01-2006, 05:45 AM   #4
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Oh, I think Indian food is ideally suited for large parties. Hmmmm .... maybe I'll escape my party and go to yours! (seriously, I threw an Indian party last winter and it was a hit, and a lot easier than this will be. The various curry-type dishes were easy to make in advance. One friend is Pakistani, and his wife brought anything individual and difficult. I still have a package of pappadams around here somewhere, which I will fry up and serve wit...... oh, well, I'm boring you. The hardest part for the upcoming party is going to be that the guests will be in their 80s, and my house is NOT handicapped-accessible. That is one reason I'm inviting a lot of younger people ... to help get the half-dozen or so people into the house and back to their cars! Anyway, any ideas for appetizers I can make in advance are appreciated.
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Old 08-01-2006, 12:00 PM   #5
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Yakuta, when I threw my Indian party, my freind brought something that looked rather like a funnell cake, very sweet. I don't remember if she got it from Whole Foods or an Asian grocery (she lives in Oak Park). Most people loved it, but of course, they were eating Indian food for the first time! i'm sure your friends are more discerning. It was extremely sweet -- my cavities hurt just thinking about it -- but everyone else loved it. In this case, I'll either make a trifle or assign desert to a friend. I have an unopened package of lady fingers around here somewhere and think a layered desert of some sort .....

One thing about this party is having no idea how many will show up and what their physical capabilities will be. I've entertained 40 or so people many times, and am a big believer in "do-aheads" AND letting my guests help. In this case, the people I invite from around here are around my age (40-60) will actually sort of be cohosts. I have a standing policy of always inviting anyone who could possibly be inconvenienced by a party (noise, parking).
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Old 08-01-2006, 03:58 PM   #6
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We're just thinking of having another cookout like we did on the 4th of July only this time we'd supply and cook the meat and ask everyone else to bring a side dish. We're wanting to have a last get together for the summer before the kids go back to school. We'll decide by next week......kind of depends on what the weather forecast has in store. I'm not sitting outside in this type of heat.
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Old 08-01-2006, 05:01 PM   #7
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Hey Chopsticks yes it is overwhelming to say the least. I can take the easy way out and cater (that's what my husband wants) but I like to cook and nothing can compare to home made food.

As Claire stated Indian food caters well to ahead of time prep. I have already made three appetizers (130 or so a peice). I will buy pre-cooked shrimps and then rinse them and coat them in some light dressing and then serve them on skewers (that will be my version of semi-home made ).

I have also made atleast 50 roti breads and frozen them as well. I have to make 50 more. The rest I will cook the day before the party and only one dish, lassi (yogurt drink), punch and salad the day of the party.

Thank God for the large freezer and a seperate 36 inch refrigerator I have that I can take some stress off of entertaining.

Claire, the sweet you refer to is called Jalebi. I can't stand it, it's so sweet. Not all Indian desserts are like that. I may also be making a raspberry trifle with ladyfingers for my dessert. The other one will be bought at SAMS

My appetizer suggestion to you would be stuffed mushrooms. They are easy to make and you can stuff them with anything you like. I also like to make traingles stuffed with cheese, veggies and chicken using Pepperidge Farm puff pastry sheets. I cut the sheets in to squares, stuff them with whatever my heart desires. Fold them into traingles and freeze them. You can then place them in the oven and you have a nice and hot appetizer in no time.

You can also use the pre-cooked shrimps as I am planning on to make an appetizer. I will most likely make a sauce - with dark soy, brown sugar, red chilli paste and garlic. I will make it nice and thick and finish it with cilantro and green onions and then just dump the shrimps in it to coat (so I don't over cook it). I will insert a toothpick in each of them and viola done.
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Old 08-01-2006, 05:11 PM   #8
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Claire and Yakuta: both bashes sound like great fun. I know the two of you are well up to any challenges that might arise.

The only suggestion I have is for Claire - make sure you have plenty of Glen Miller, Tommy Dorsey, and Andrews Sisters music to lay on.
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Old 08-01-2006, 08:12 PM   #9
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My next event is a sit-down dinner for 6 people. I'm planning:

Arugula Salad with pears, gorgonzola, glazed walnuts in balsamic vinaigrette
Pan-fried fish filet with 2 sauces (lemon capers and Hazelnut butter cream)
Ox tail Menudo Sulipena (a Spanish recipe)
Spaghettini in olive oil, garlic and parmegiano
Creamed Spinach with mushroom in white wine
Dessert: Stacked Profiteroles with whipped cream and chocolate syrup

(One of our guests is a graduate of the Culinary Institute of America. Talk about pressure!)
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Old 08-01-2006, 08:15 PM   #10
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Yakuta, would you care to share your sweet lassi recipe? Thanks! That's the drink I always order at Indian restaurants.
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