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Help! I'm catering for 60... Need ideas and help to get the quantities right please.

(8 Posts)
IceNoSlice Fri 12-Apr-13 12:14:26

I have arranged to have DS baptised next month with an informal buffet lunch afterwards in the church hall.

It is lovely that almost all of the people I asked have accepted but... Eek, I didn't really think about how I would sort put the buffet. I am expecting 40 adults, 10 kids and 10 babies (about 1 year old). Possibly another 10 adults.

Current ideas:
Baguettes - about 15?
Cheese - sliced and a cheese board
Salad - bowls of cucumber slices, lettuce, cherry tomatoes plus some salads eg beet root salad, potato salad
Ham - 2 large hams, sliced
Beef slices
Salmon - 2 sides
Quiches - 5 large (inc 2 vegetarian) to be bought no made
Sausage rolls (cos I secretly love em) bought in
Large gala pork pies - 3
Cake- fruit cake as the christening cake plus lots of chocolate fairy cakes (I don't like cupcakes)

What do you think? Have I got the quantity about right? And any other ideas please?

Many thanks

AnimatedDad Fri 12-Apr-13 12:28:15

that sounds about right - in terms of quantity. You've got a lot of choice there, and the problem with that is it's likely that one thing will be very popular and something else will be left... then you won't want to waste it.

If it was me, I might be tempted to just do loads of soup and rolls - because it's cheap and keeps people warm... but that might not work for lots of reasons.

Another possible - which I've seen at kids parties - is to go to an indian takeaway and get them to provide the lot (a few trays of curry, baji's, popadoms and breads). They'd be used to the quantities involved, and would probably do you a deal that's as cheap as buying ham and salmon.

Nicknamegrief Fri 12-Apr-13 12:34:16

I've got lots if experience catering for this sort of occasion and size (as a Mum not professional).

I would consider what sort of crockery and cutlery there is available.

If its paper plates I would rethink a couple of things personally.

A lot of the things you have suggested are great and the quantity size is easy enough to change.

I would consider some soft rolls for the children and babies. Some children prefer them in my experience.

If you are doing a cheese board, provide crackers. In my experience a cheese board with that many people is problematic and slows the buffet train down. Either do two or leave it out (I now just do cheddar and Brie).

If you don't want to provide cutlery just have slices of tomatoes and cucumber for people to put in a sandwich. Eating salad while standing or off your lap is hard work, so think about sitting arrangements. I typically have clementines, wedges of melon and grapes to provide some of everyone's five a day.

Less choice can also make it easier and help with quantities. I would do the Ham, Salmon and cheese and forget the beef altogether and if cost is your consideration (it is in my case) forgo the salmon for chicken drumsticks or a tuna pâté (I make a homemade one).

You probably have too much quiche, not everyone likes it and many people will only have one slice. Presuming you will get 12 slices out of a large quiche, I would do one veg and 2 bacon. I also would only offer one pork pie. I would do 60 small sausage rolls (at least) as kids tend to consume these at an alarming rate.

Individual rather than sharing crisps are also good as they help with portion control and again kids appreciate them.

I would also up the puds.

Not many people I know like the rich fruit cake so I do a big Victoria sponge celebration cake, fairy cakes/cupcakes and then a big tray bake or fridge cake as well as the fruit.

Things like this are always hard work but we as a family and extended family love them we do something on this scale at least once a year, with smaller ones (25-30) a couple of times.

IceNoSlice Fri 12-Apr-13 12:34:38

Thank you smile

IceNoSlice Fri 12-Apr-13 12:46:42

Wow Nicknamegrief that's fantastic, thank you! I'll definitely get some soft rolls and amend quiche, pork pie etc quantities. With the crisps, do you mean individual packets? So buy in some multipacks? And fridge cake is a genius suggestion although I'll have to hide it from DH if I make it in advance!

BikeRunSki Fri 12-Apr-13 12:53:10

I went to a first birthday/ christening once, where there were about 15 children from 1sh to 3ish. There was a separate kids buffet on a separate, low table and a picnic area set aside for them. It had Dairylea sandwiches, twiglets, cheese chunks, fruit chunks, tomato, cucumber sticks and party rings. Raisins. went down a storm.

IceNoSlice Fri 12-Apr-13 13:28:30

Thanks BikeRunSki, I'll bear that idea in mind when I visit the church hall again smile

Nicknamegrief Fri 12-Apr-13 14:22:02

I buy multipacks and try to get them on offer.

We don't have a Costco card but friends do and I know that for these things they can be amazingly useful.

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