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Old 03-02-2015, 10:51 AM   #1
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Easter cooking Dilemma

I have no idea how many I will be serving for Easter. May be as few as three or as many as eight. Probably won't even know the total till we sit down for dinner. I do not want a lot of leftovers. Your menu suggestions please.

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Old 03-02-2015, 11:00 AM   #2
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Quote:
Originally Posted by joesfolk View Post
I have no idea how many I will be serving for Easter. May be as few as three or as many as eight. Probably won't even know the total till we sit down for dinner. I do not want a lot of leftovers. Your menu suggestions please.
Sounds like you have an unsolvable problem. You can prepare for eight and deal with leftovers if three show up. Or you can plan for a "most likely" number and lock the doors as soon as they arrive.

Seriously, if you truly "...won't even know the total till we sit down for dinner" you cannot be prepared to feed everyone unless you accept leftovers as the cost of accommodation. I recommend you choose your menu based on what you would most like to have leftover and go from there.

Baked ham is a traditional Easter meal and leftovers freeze well for later use in a variety of recipes and sandwiches. Roast turkey or beef also fill the bill.
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Old 03-02-2015, 11:07 AM   #3
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Ham is fairly traditional for Easter, and it saves well if there are leftovers. I don't really see any choice - you can't plan for 3 and have 8 show up. You plan for 8 and then freeze any leftovers in smaller sized portions for reuse in sandwiches, or other dishes. Ham is pretty easy to deal with that way, and leftovers can be served either hot or cold.
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Old 03-02-2015, 11:10 AM   #4
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Maybe get a bunch of disposable containers and send everyone home with leftovers. My cousin does this every year for Thanksgiving.
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Old 03-02-2015, 11:19 AM   #5
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Andy is right.

Do you take your lunch to work? If so, think of what you would like to take from your leftovers. If your work has a microwave. prepare yourself a plate of what foods you like from the leftovers, and take them to work for your lunch. Too many leftover foods from desserts? Take them to work and I promise you they will be gone by the time everyone has their first cup of coffee at their desk. Have your guests take home a plate of food when they leave. There are a lot of ways to get rid of leftovers real quick.

I think every member here would rather have leftovers and know that their guests left with a feeling of fullness and well being, instead of being underfed and looking for a restaurant where they can get some food to take out and eat at home.

Don't be in a hurry to clear the table. Let your guests sit around the table and talk. Any food left over will begin to appeal to them after about twenty minutes of digesting, and will be looking to put a bit more food on their plate for seconds or even third helpings.

Cook for eight. Any food left over will take care of itself.
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Old 03-02-2015, 11:30 AM   #6
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You asked for menu ideas. Ham is a given unless your ethnicity calls for something different. I know Italians make a pizagaina pie. Start with the meat of your choice.

Baked twice are always a big hit or even just plain baked potatoes. Any leftovers of them can be diced and sautéed for breakfast with bacon and eggs.

For dessert my family always had to have a custard pie. One was always made with coconut and one plain. Chocolate mouse with a topping of whipped cream. Try to keep dessert light after a big meal. And let them sit and talk before serving dessert. Give your guests a chance to digest their dinner.

I am sure others have more ideas for your menu.
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Old 03-02-2015, 11:33 AM   #7
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I would cook a traditional dinner and deal with the leftovers.

You could consider feeding them breakfast. Scrambled eggs, bacon, toast, juice etc... can all be done at the last minute.

The only other approach I can think of is to cook a basic dinner and ask the potential guests to bring a dish to pass. The more folks that show up the more food that will be on the table. Nobody will die if dinner consists of a ham and six bowls of jello salad, it will be a story they can all tell years from now.

Good luck.
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Old 03-02-2015, 12:07 PM   #8
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Something a little different that we have done successfully for years is to purchase cold cuts, cheese and breads that we normally eat, with a few extras, and lay out a spread of ingredients to make great sandwiches, with each participant making their own, and using mayo, mustard, salad dressing, olive oil, etc. to dress the bread. That way, you have leftovers only of bread and things that normally go into your fridge anyways. And if there are leftover black olives, or pickles, well they store in the fridge too, and are great for snacking on. No cooking, little clean-up, and everybody is filled with whatever kind of sandwich floats their boat.

How extravagant, or simple it is is totally up to you. As always, hope this helps.

May your hot foods be hot, your cold foods be cold, and your cheddar at room temperature.

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Old 03-02-2015, 12:13 PM   #9
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We don't eat ham, so leg of lamb is traditional at our house. I actually like having leftovers, because it means I can make lamb stew.
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Old 03-02-2015, 02:26 PM   #10
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Thanks everyone. The ham looks like my best option. Now what can I do to dress it up a little. Pineapple and cherries are a little 1950 so even though hubby would love it I would like something more today.
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