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Buffet for a wake

(19 Posts)
kittydinner Sun 14-Oct-12 16:02:06

Hi all

I am trying to plan a wake for my grandmother's funeral. Not getting much help from family, no one's taking charge of practical things... understandably. However, I am in a state of befuddlement and have turned to strangers on internet for guidance. Please take pity.
I am on a tight budget (too tight for caterers) and have no idea at this point how many folks will come after the funeral. I know we need to provide something, and I'd certainly like to, but every time I draw up a menu I just think it looks like a bloody party. Possibly grief talking. Just don't want anything flashy. Need some perspective.
This is what I was thinking of:

Sponge & fruit cakes (bake in advance, freeze, defrost, portion)
Christmas box type biscuit selection
Sandwiches (on white and brown): egg mayo / ham & mustard / cheese & pickle / prawn & rocket
Tossed salad
Potato salad
Slices of vegetarian quiche
Mini sausage rolls / pork pies etc (starting to look like party...)
Cheese selection with apple slices and grapes + crackers?

Tea / Coffee / Juice / Wine / Beer

Please help. Got two weeks.

ldt87 Sun 14-Oct-12 16:05:16

Firstly sorry for your loss. I know what you mean about party food, but i think what you have listed is more than enough and sounds lovely. I hope everything goes to plan and you get some help soon. Xx

kittydinner Sun 14-Oct-12 16:09:49

Thank you. I've just thought as well is there some magic equation for planning how much to make for each person e.g. 1 serving = 1 sandwich (2 slices bread), 1/3 cup potato salad, 1 pc cake, 2 bisc or whatever?

I am definitely going to pay for my funeral in advance inc caterers if I am ever in a position to do so.

ManifestingMingeHooHoosAgain Sun 14-Oct-12 16:10:22

Sorry for your loss. I wouldn't worry too much about putting on a great spread - just nice fresh sandwiches and cakes/biscuits is fine - by all means add sausage rolls and crisps.

I would offer some very plain sandwiches, just cheese, just ham, and maybe a bowl of salad and mustard/pickle on the side that people can add if they wish (I am one of those odd people who doesn't like pickle/mustard/mayo)

As long as there is a bit of something to eat, it doesn't need to be posh or even imaginative IMHO.

oreocrumbs Sun 14-Oct-12 16:10:53

Sorry for your loss.

What time is the wake? If it doesn't hit on a meal time then I would say sandwiches and cake/biscuits is fine.

If you are unsure of how many are coming then have some quiche and pies in the fridge that you can pop in the oven if lots turn up, and if you don't need them they can go in the freezer.

If it is a meal time I would pad it out with a salad bowl, maybe a bowl of pasta, some cheese and crackers.

Get a couple of bottles of pop for people, most will drink tea and coffee.

Sorry about your grandma.

I think you could cut things down and simplify, which will save money too.

Two kinds of sarnies, or three at most: egg mayo / cheese and cucumber / one meaty one
Quiche (bought)
Coleslaw and a green salad.
Tea or coffee or juice.

Or you could just do cheese, crackers, grapes, celery, bread, cake.

kittydinner Sun 14-Oct-12 16:28:35

These are good ideas, thank you, and I'm glad I'm not way off the mark. It's a funny time - funeral is 14.15 so will prob start at 15.30 - I imagine that lunch will be missed by many (certainly our lot) and there will be oldies and kids there who like to eat earlier on the whole I think.

AnitaBlake Sun 14-Oct-12 16:34:32

Is it worth getting a couple of quotes just to find out? I'm up north so appreciate it tends to be cheap up here, but most caterers do a very cheap funeral menu, usually just sandwiches, corned beef slice, pickles, crisps, and some sort of cream cakes.

ldt87 Sun 14-Oct-12 16:37:19

I think you should mainly base your numbers on close family. In my experience of funerals, even when lots of people attend the service, a lot of them don't go to the wake after. I would think about the size of your family then cater for a set amount more. Eg 20 people on top of close family and friends. I hope it goes well for you and don't stress yourself out about it, people won't be eating meal sized portions, more likely just having a couple of things each.

stinkymice Sun 14-Oct-12 16:40:53

Sorry for your loss.
The funeral I went to recently just served tea/coffee sandwiches, cake, and scones with cream and jam (lovely) This was catered. I think keep it simple. Stick to finger foods. Hope it goes well.

Tryingtothinkofnewsnazzyname Sun 14-Oct-12 16:43:39

Agree that all sounds good and more than enough. I would not do prawn sandwiches - more expensive. Stick to ham cheese and egg. Just one sweet thing too, either cake or biscuits, and don't feel you have to offer booze in the daytime if on tight budget.

Allalonenow Sun 14-Oct-12 16:52:01

Sorry about your Granmother, Kitty.
I'd just keep it very simple, sandwiches, sausage rolls, cake, tea/coffee, are what is usually offered.

jicky Sun 14-Oct-12 16:52:21

I wouldn't do the salads as then you need cutlery and people often want to sit down as its tricky to eat one handed while standing up.

At that time of day - which is basically tea time - I think some sandwiches, crisp things and cake is fine or even just tea and cake. No one goes to a wake expecting a meal even if they would normally eat then.

Why do you think people will not eat lunch before hand - if they are travelling some distance, could you suggest a pub near the church that does food where family meet beforehand for lunch - with everyone buying their own, not you paying. Then you don't need to worry about them having missed a meal - assume they will have eaten and it's their look out if they don't.

Unless you have a grieving grandfather or your grandmother died tracially young I don't think you should worry if it seems party like - think of it as a celebration of her life. For my mothers funeral I'll certainly be go for nice party type food. It's what she likes now and so would be logical to serve (not that I think she will die anytime soon, but she is in her 70's and MIL in her 80's so I know they will be coming)

sashh Mon 15-Oct-12 08:56:57

My granfather's funeral was in winter, they served soup and it was so welcome and quite filling.

Just a bowl of soup and a sandwich would be pleanty, with tea / coffee / juice.

kittydinner Mon 15-Oct-12 11:26:26

Good point about the cutlery requirements... there is no where to sit! It will be weakest to the wall on the day (seats round the edge and give way to those in need). Also good point about booze, I guess little groups can toddle off to the pub in the evening if they want to. Might be less drama if there's no alcohol come to think of it as there's lots of ex this and thats there. I work for a wine merchant and so I always think everything requires wine. Maybe not.
Love the scones and jam idea, yum. And I suppose I could preload them with topping so no cutlery required.
Thanks all xxx

Soup is a lovely idea - could serve in mugs if not enough bowls: can't beat a sarnie and a mug of soup on a cold day!

IamtheZombie Mon 15-Oct-12 18:38:20

Sorry for your loss, kittydinner.

MIL died in April and we found the most efficient way to do the food for the wake was to order it from Sainsburys. We had platters of sandwiches, assorted canape type things, quiche and a cheese board. It was much cheaper than using a caterer and easier on everyone concerned not to have to prepare it ourselves.

Fluffycloudland77 Mon 15-Oct-12 20:40:22

Buy all your ingredients at Aldi, only you will know.

I am sorry you lost your Nan.

cate16 Mon 15-Oct-12 20:56:27

Sorry for you loss. x

I would definitely keep it to finger food rather than needing cutlery. So drop the potato salad etc.

Do you have a food wholesaler nearby? We have a 'Bookers' and they are a lot less fussy about who that use then nowadays. We were able to buy the big catering sized chilled foods for my MILs.

We also asked a friends daughter (student) if she wanted to do the 'prep and waitressing' on the day - which she did a fantastic job with her friend. We bought all the foods, made the sandwiches - they laid tables made/served tea/coffee etc.

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