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90th birthday - How much to cook?!? Does this look ok?

(11 Posts)
Stropzilla Wed 05-Oct-11 19:27:27

Please, please help! It's my Grandads 90th birthday, and we've got approx 45 guests coming for an open house party. Will be on between 11am and about 4pm, with people coming from Isle of Wight so most will be here 4 or so hours. Mum and I are doing the food because we enjoy cooking, but have no idea of amounts. Please can you wonderful MNers cast your eye over the list of food we're doing and give me your opinions, additions/subtractions and crucially if the portions look about right?

Hot foods -
Chili con carne 25 portions jacket potatoes 25 portions
Chicken strips with peppers and onions 30 pcs

Cold foods -
Mediterranean rice 20 prtns , greek salad 20 ptns
coleslaw 2 large tubs , sausage rolls 20
veg, nachos and dips , onion bhajis 20
garlic bread 2 sticks , veg samosas 20
cheese puffs 40 (quite small) mince pies 45
Cheese platter (4/5 500g chunks) with large box mixed crackers
Meat platter, grated cheese, various condiments etc.

Desserts -
Large bowl fruit salad (think the old fashioned ceramic mixing bowl)
Banoffee pie 1
Cake 50

Drink -
Orange juice 4 cartons Champagne 2 bottles
Red and white wine 3 bottles each Whiskey 1 bottle
Vodka 1 bottle Beer crates 2 so approx 48
Coke and lemonade 3 bottles each Courvoisier 1 bottle
vodka 1 bottle Water, tea coffee etc.

There's a wide age range from about 30 up, with the majority being 60ish. I'm trying to make a lot of people happy I think, and I'm not sure how we're doing. And yes, some things will be shop bought we can't do everything. I'm worrying that I've under-estimated how much food to do, Mum thinks this is fine.

Any help much appreciated!

NatashaBee Wed 05-Oct-11 19:35:24

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

NatashaBee Wed 05-Oct-11 19:37:06

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

harbingerofdoom Wed 05-Oct-11 19:40:41

If it turns cold I would do some more jacket potatoes (not fillings) then the guests could use the grated cheese and coleslaw etc.

Onlyaphase Wed 05-Oct-11 19:47:03

To be honest I think you're offering too many choices. I've catered for parties of 40-60 people before and IME the easiest way is to offer limited choice. It's only one meal, no one will starve if they don't find everything to their taste

I'd go for the chili (do enough for everyone) and the chicken (again, enough for everyone) with jacket potatoes and lots of french bread and garlic bread. A big side salad and maybe a veggie chili if you have vegetarians coming.

If you start offering lots of cold platters and dips etc I feel you really have to have enough to offer everyone everything. So I don't bother.

If you want to do a bit of showing off, then do 2 or 3 decent canapes to offer around before lunch

Puddings tend to get eaten, so I'd again make sure I had enough of 2 different puddings for everyone to have a bit of each. Or one pudding and a huge cheeseboard with celery, grapes etc as well, especially if there is going to be cake on top of everything.

It is really difficult to cater so that everything is eaten and nothing is wasted.

Same principal for the drinks - if someone is drinking champagne everyone will want some so your 2 bottles won't go far. I'd offer a limited choice ie beer, red or white wine, orange juice or lemonade or water. And make sure I had enough champagne for everyone to have some at the appropriate time.

winnybella Wed 05-Oct-11 19:54:37

I agree with Onlyaphase. It doesn't make sense to prepare a bit of this and a bit of that.

If you're getting champagne, you need to have enough for everyone. Also only six bottles of wine-that's 36 small glasses, nowhere near enough imo.

Stropzilla Wed 05-Oct-11 20:45:47

Brilliant replies, thanks so much! I've amended some of the menu, taken out the sausage rolls, samosas, bhajis. I've upped the jacket pots and chili and chicken to be enough for all, and more champagne so everyone gets a glass. Does that sound a bit better?

Onlyaphase, Mum wants to know if you're in the South... ;)

Onlyaphase Wed 05-Oct-11 21:11:13

Sounds much better to me!

And no, I live in the north now. I used to live in the south and have big parties there - the last one we had DH told me 35 people were coming, and then 65 turned up. Nothing could phase me after that!

Stropzilla Wed 05-Oct-11 21:13:40

LOL wow that sounds hectic!

I appreciate everyone's input, now it's time to do the shopping list - eek!

Stropzilla Wed 05-Oct-11 21:14:58

Oh and Natasha - we're now including a cold pasta salad so thanks for that suggestion. The family aren't big drinkers, so I think what we have should be fine.

harbingerofdoom Wed 05-Oct-11 22:07:58

Congratulations to your Grandad. It's a very good age .

All the best

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