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"open house" Silver Wedding food.... ideas please

(19 Posts)
24yearsandcounting Sat 23-Mar-13 20:02:43

Have made many, many buffets in the past for big numbers... but only for when everyone was eating together.

Our Silver Wedding is in the summer, just before we go on holiday. WOn't be having a party, but thought about doing an "open house" the weekend before. Could manage catering easily if people came at set time for food (could do breakfast/lunch/tea "sittings") but that sounds a bit too organised & would prefer it to be more informal.

So, if I wanted to have a pretty much all day thing where people could come and eat whenever they arrived, what would I do to keep it all safe? If winter, would just set a load of slow cookers off. But summer more difficult.

Ideas very welcome (yes, I know it's a long way off but due to work commitments am planning now while I've got a bit of a break )

Thanks

LovesBeingWokenEveryNight Sat 23-Mar-13 20:06:12

I would suggest keeping it topped up when people arrive so everything is kept in the fridge/regularly coming out of the oven - Sid it just light a BBQ and chuck a sausage on when they arrive grin

24yearsandcounting Sat 23-Mar-13 20:11:11

I guess that is what I was asking Loves... what are best things for keeping topped up when people arrive so safe...preferably stuff I've made myself but
BBQd sausages a given ;-)

Maryz Sat 23-Mar-13 20:41:09

I would do a load of salads on smallish plates, so you can just take out a new plateful every so often.

And have the bbq going with sausages to start with, burgers later in the day.

Have a load of cooked the day before chicken drumsticks in bbq sauce (very easy to do in the oven) and simply heat them a few at a time either on the bbq or in the oven/microwave.

And dips with crudites and crisps.

Later in the day have cakes to dish out with tea/coffee.

But you do know what will happen - the first people to arrive at 9 am for breakfast sausages will still be there drinking and downing desserts at 9 pm grin

24yearsandcounting Sun 24-Mar-13 19:44:09

thanks - and yes, knowing our friends those coming for sausage butties in the morning will still be there at teatime!!

Any other ideas gratefully received. Thanks.

Ellenora5 Sun 24-Mar-13 21:50:08

Maybe just start in the afternoon, If you start in the morning you will be going all day and end up exhausted by the evening. My parents are married 50 years this year and they are having something similar but starting at 3.00.

Even though it will be late summer they are planning on hot food aswell as cold. Couple of big lasagne and big pot of curry, bread rolls or garlic bread to go with it and it will be a serve yourself type of thing as and when you want it.

Some meat platters and salad platters and cold pasta salad, again with rolls or brown bread all ready sliced and ready to eat.

Smoked salmon platter with capers and lemon wedges and mild lemon mayonnaise.

Various dips and crisps placed around the place

Cheese platter with variety of crackers, apples and grapes

Baked alaska, trifles, and one big anniversary cake

Well that's the plan so far, so hoping it all works out. Might be a few changes but this is the general plan. Congratualtions on your anniversay.

Ellenora5 Sun 24-Mar-13 21:55:28

Oh sorry forgot to say that the platters will be kept cold on the table by sitting them on ice and adding more as needed. They have two fridges though so can keep a lot in them until needed. Would you consider hiring a second fridge just for the ocassion.

24yearsandcounting Mon 25-Mar-13 16:37:22

Thanks Ellenora - and congrats to your parents too. I never have any problems planning BBQs/buffets, it was just when I started thinking about having food on the go all day that I began to worry about food safety. Think I might have to hire or borrow a second fridge - good idea; also good idea about having some hot food - I've a couple of slow cookers so that would help keep stuff "on the go". Maybe I just focus food around being available at certain points during the day - say lunch and early evening.

jojane Mon 25-Mar-13 16:42:43

Why don't you want everyone at the same time??? Just that an all day thing will be exhaustin for you to keep preparing and serving food an greeting people etc. how about starting at 2pm with afternoon tea until 6pm, cakes can be left out and sarnies can be wrapped in fridge so would be just a case of serving tea and champagne!
Then if you wanted eve in too a BBQ would be easy to do with some big bowls of salad etc

24yearsandcounting Tue 26-Mar-13 12:23:42

we could have everyone at the same time, just thought it would be nice to have the whole day and not everyone would be able to come at the sametime, plus easier to accommodate numbers, especially if weather not kind on the day. Will have a rethink - it's a long way off still, was just bouncing some ideas around, but maybe all at once would be easier in some ways. Thanks for all the comments - all being noted and pondered... keep them coming!

dreamingofsun Tue 26-Mar-13 13:40:32

we went to an open house just before christmas and it was very unsuccesful. we ended up eating (for our dinner) a small bagette type role with a slice of ham. this was because all the decent stuff had either been eaten (presumably) or dried up at the edges and looked ripe for food poisoning.

as a guest - i would much prefer to come at a certain time and be fed. though obviously its your day to do as you please and as long as you don't mind putting the work in the food will be better than our experience.

how will you gauge how much food to put out/keep back for later quests, without wasting loads?

MissWooWoo Tue 26-Mar-13 14:14:02

- small red/yellow/orange tomatoes
- mixed olives
- roasted red peppers
- cheese straws/scones
- couple of pates
- pickles/gerkins
- meat loaf - people can cut a slice off themselves
- rice sald - I like mine with sundried tomato, sweetcorn and chorizo
- decent cold sausages
- selection of breads: french stick, sourdough, olive, cheese
- grapes, berries
- macaroons
- fruit pies
- chocolate brownies

24yearsandcounting Tue 26-Mar-13 18:54:48

MissWooWoo - thanks for your suggestions - lots of good ideas.

dreamingofsun (me too!) ... not having enough decent food would be my worst nightmare as a host (as a guest too, but less so).

Maybe open house with food all day wasn't such a bright idea and I should settle on serving most food at a particular time, say 2pm, BBQ if weather good, hot buffet inside if not, then having cold meats & cheese & naice bread plus cakes to bring out a bit at a time later on.

I have done a lot of catering for large numbers, just not something ongoing and was up for a new challenge, but maybe I need to be more sensible!

what about having a set meal time for main buffet/bbq, and then supplementing with fairly hassle-free snacks the rest of the day e.g. bacon/sausage butties first thing; anti-pasta platters (mediterranean meats/cheeses/olives/artichokes/tomatoes etc with bread) easy to lay out as snacks in interim, with BBQ/buffet mid afternoon; anti-pasta platters or bacon butties again in the evening?

*antipasti

JamNan Sun 21-Apr-13 11:57:19

Hog Roast? Huge leg of lamb Greek style. BBQ. Big huge paella with everything in it cooked outside on a bbq grill. Tapas and sangria.

I have to say an all-day buffet sounds exhausting. You'll need that hoiday grin.

Think about hiring a tent to go in the garden or buy cheap on eBay.

If you really want to do an all day thing, I think you need to think simple but good. Don't try to do a lot but do what there is really well.

SO: 11ish = jugs of Bucks Fizz, piles of croissants and pastries, nice bread, fruit platters, jams and honeys, juice

1.30ish - cheese board, crackers, bread, grapes, celery, radishes, maybe some cold meats, pickles, beer or wine

4ish - scones, jam, cream, cakes, strawberries, Pimms

6.30ish slow cookers loaded with either chilli or curry, bowls of rice, bowls of salad

glorious Sun 21-Apr-13 12:43:33

I'd come in a flash if you served the menu remus suggested (and stay all daygrin )

ivykaty44 Sun 21-Apr-13 12:56:26

I would go for hot food and have some out in slow cookers and some in the fridge ready to use if needed.

Afterwards you can place all the hot food in the fridge and then freeze - when you get back form your holidays you can then eat up and it is not wasted.

Serve hot food about 1.30pm and then around 4 clear up. Then serve more hot food around 7pm and clear that up about 1pm. Place in slow cookers to keep hot

that way you have never gone over the four hour rule

A couple of summer trifles and fruit kebabs after the hot food has been out an hour or so and possibly some cheese and crackers

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