Skip to main content

Hospitality for the Rest of Us: Big Parties



Sometimes, you just have to host a big party. Whether it be for a work situation or major life event. There are two ways to do this, probably more, but two I've witnessed. There's the chicken with your head cut off mode we'll call that chicken little method and then there's the Little Red Hen method.

In Chicken Little, small things become paramount and by the time everyone is there, you're in a frenzied panic and people are concerned about your well being. I'm sure you can figure out how to do that on your own.

Do you know the story of The Little Red Hen? She wanted to make some bread, but had to start from the beginning of plowing the ground and sowing the seed. All along the way, she diligently takes the steps to keep her moving towards bread. She doesn't just wake up one day and try to do everything in three hours. The end result is a loaf that everyone wants to partake in. In the original story she eats the bread all by herself, but hey, not every fictional story lines up perfectly for the use in examples.

The main idea that I've learned in planning big parties while using the Little Red Hen (LRH) method is that planning and pre work are key. I plan menus about things that can be prepped and made in advanced. I've try to keep the house at a certain level of tidy so there's no monster cleaning session the day before. We try to have a light meal before large parties, even if we're serving a buffet. I also use disposable everything. I do as much work in the days before that I can so that I do not have to work the day of. So how about a for instance party.

A few years ago, we had a party for about sixty people and our food theme was pie. I did not waiver from that theme, there was nothing to eat, except pie. I looked at the time to make and the time table of labor that would be involved and decided that frozen pies would be best. Frozen?!?! You may be saying and to that I say,YES! Us introverts have to be casual with the physical energy we expend prepping for big parties. It's not just a social and emotional event, it affects the body as well. Anyway, I had a variety of pies, including cream pies that required defrosting and baked pies, which are best served at room temperature, so they were cooked the morning of. The day before I placed table clothes on our tables and set out serving ware as well as the paper products. We rented large thermal coffee pots with coffee from a local coffee joint. That had to be picked up the day of. We've also used a Keurig for less day of travel. It was fun. People enjoy pie and what could be better than eating pie and hanging out with friends? Afterwards, there were some pie servers to be cleaned in the dishwasher and some garbage to be taken out, but that was the pretty much it. Added bonus, are friends are pretty tidy people so we had a clean house for the next day, too.

We've done similar big parties with different food themes, cookies, dips, sliders. The key is always as little prep on the day of and minimum clean up required. It means we often do finger foods or desserts, but that's okay. Friends are actually coming to see us not our mad cooking skills.

Occasionally, you will need to serve a full meal at a big party. Either have a big bank account to pay for a caterer or just plan on being worn out for a few days afterwards. Catering for large groups is hard work, don't pretend like it isn't.

I actually enjoy big parties in our home. It's a great time to talk with folks and there's a certain peace that happens with LRH method party. The day before when there is nothing left to do, you sigh and enjoy your tidy well stocked home. The day of its friends galore. And then when you say good bye to the last guest, there is another wave of peace that surrounds you. You realize that you've had fun and that your home did its job. You pick up the few random cups and plates and toss them. Then sit down on your couch and enjoy.


Comments

Popular posts from this blog

James Week 10 James 5: 13-20

We finish up our study on James with some encouraging words about prayer and standing in the gap.




Study Questions Week 10


When you don't feel like yourself, what is generally your first response? Do you start with prayer, rest, food, lashing out at others? When you encounter others that are not acting like themselves what is your initial thought? How do you think your relationships would be different if you began those interactions with prayers? Prayers for understanding for yourself and peace for the other person?When you are happy, do you ever try to keep it to yourself because you don't want to celebrate while others around you are struggling? Can focusing our happiness towards God with praise and worship change how we view sharing those moments? God is the source of every good and perfect gift (James 1:17). How can this verse help shape your worship and praise? Take some time this week to praise God for some good gifts, which are present even if you are in the midst of a s…

Stories from the Kitchen: Taste and See

I celebrated my birthday last weekend. It was wonderful and the leftovers left me with a question or two. Find out what they are and how I'm currently answering them in this week's podcast.

Stories from the Kitchen Season 2, Episode 2: Taste and See






Notes from the episode:

Taste and See by Margaret Feinberg

Dad’s New York Cheesecake (from the back of a Philidelphia Cream Cheese package)
1 ⅞ cups graham cracker crumbs ¼ to ½ cup butter, melted 1 cup sugar, divided 2 lbs cream cheese (4 packs) 2 large eggs (lightly beaten) 1 tsp vanilla 2 tbsp cornstarch 1 cup sour cream
Preheat oven to 450F
Mix well graham crackers, 2 tbsp sugar, and enough butter that the mixture holds together. Reserve 2 tbsp for garnish. Press mixture onto bottom and sides of a greased 9-inch springform pan. Chill in the freezer while preparing the filling.
Mix cream cheese and sugar until smooth and light. Beat in eggs, vanilla, and cornstarch until just blended. Stir in sour cream. Pour mixture into crust and bake for…

Murder, Motherhood, and Miraculous Grace by Debra Moerke

Y'all know that I love a good murder mystery, especially when it's based on a true story. Unfortunately, this is one of the most heartbreaking true stories that I've read.

This is the true story of a foster family and not just any foster family, this was the teach others how to do it foster family. They took all the tough cases and kept larger families together. They knew how to foster kids. This story is about a specific family of several kids that came into their care when their single mother ran into some problems with the law.

There was one little girl from the displaced family, Hannah, found a very special place in their hearts. It became clear during their time together that Hannah was not treated the same as her siblings by her birth mother, Karen. She showed fear and the other children distanced themselves from her. When it came time to return to live with their birth mother, Hannah begged to stay with the Moerke family. The Moerkes did all they could to keep tabs…