Monday, February 23, 2009

How to cater for 25 adults + children

Hey all, I hope everyone has had an extraordinary weekend. I know I did.

As usual, I posted a quick update on my twitter account and this one obviously caught the eye of many of my followers. I simply said something to the effect of: "Susan is hosting 25 adults plus children for Sunday lunch."

I was pleasantly surprised by all the good wishes I received and the questions regarding how I (as one person) was going to prepare and host this many people.

Well friends, in true family room style, I did it. We all had a great time, the clean-up was quick and relatively painless and I'm onto tonight's dinner of lamb chops and all the fixins.

So, how does one cater for this many people? Simple, a one-pot meal plus salads, bread rolls and an extra crock-pot of meatballs on the side.

Let me start at the beginning (it's the very best place to start :)!

Friday night, we had a family from school over for a nice, very relaxed dinner. We had a great evening of good food (that amazing and very simple, yet dazzling, recipe to come this week ... stay tuned), great conversation, lots of laughs and a new friendship was birthed. What a great night. Saturday night saw us treated to dinner at our great friend's home. As they say, what goes around comes around. Another great night.

On the way home from our Saturday dinner, we did a quick stop at the supermarket. I purchased a few ingredients that I was missing for Sunday's feast, headed home and began to chop and cook whilst enjoying the company of my eldest daughter (hubby took the two little ones, told stories and tucked them in for some much-needed sleep). My daughter and I not only got a huge head start on Sunday's lunch, we also had a great conversation. It's amazing how much you can learn when you spend quality and quantity time together (read The Gift of Time post from Monday, November 24, 2008).

Our Menu for the Lunch (all recipes will be posted later on this blog):
  • Susan's Yummo Chilli
  • Crunchy Salad
  • Macaroni Salad
  • Veggie Stick Platter
  • Bread Rolls
  • Extra Crock Pot of Meatballs

We prepared everything ahead of time, we even set the table and chopped the vegetables for the veggie platter. We placed everything in containers in the fridge ready to be assembled on Sunday following church (you see, we didn't have all Sunday morning to prepare).

Once home (after church), I had a few last minute clean-up duties to tend to. My eldest was placed on vacuum duty, my son on upstairs tidy and my little one on play room clean-up. I then prepared the last minute sauces, heated up the chilli, added the spices, arranged plates and cuttlery plus small bowls (for the chilli). My husband ran out for a 'forgotten' ingredient, returned home and created a fun atmosphere through his music choice.

We were ready. I believe in order to host people in your home the trick is to keep it simple. Don't stress and complicate matters. People just want to be invited and included. Who would think that a pot of chilli would be appropriate to serve people? We seem to think the simple foods we eat should only be for our family ... well friends, I think if it's good enough for my family, then it's good enough for all!!!!

I hope you are encouraged to open your doors and invite someone in. It's not hard, truly it's only hard in our head. Once we simplify and get everyone involved, whether you are hosting 2 or 25, the difference can only be heard in the sound of the voices resonating through your home. Only one sound (for me) tops that of people coming together and that's the sound of my children's laughter - which, by the way, could be heard throughout our Sunday fun.


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Anonymous said...

Okay that's amazing. You're so right, we always think we need to cook something amazing (not saying that your chili wasn't amazing) but it's keeping it simple that allows you the freedom to open your doors as you say.
Thanks for sharing with us. Can't wait for the recipes to follow.

Anonymous said...

Your day sounded fantastic, I totally agree with you, KEEP IT SIMPLE. Wish we were with you sharing your wonderful Chilli.
Well done

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