FMS: FAILPROOF WAY OF HOSTING EVENTS
Hi, I may or may not be a food/event snob. I can't help it but at least I own up to it. Have you ever been invited to an event after hearing how wonderful someone's cooking is only to find out that well it's good, but you aren’t sure what the rave is about? As someone who cooks and happens to be a tad on the picky side, I am definitely apprehensive when it comes to eating someone else's food. What's good to many, may not be good to me. And I don't proclaim to be the best at it, because I know that I flub up plenty of times. In addition, to quote the songstress Erykah Badu, "I'm an artist and I'm sensitive about my shh"... I'm not alone in this, people who cook can be a bit temperamentalBecause I have a tendency to flub up, I become a bit compulsive when it comes to planning menus for events. It's to a point where I don't sleep the night before because I am prepping all night to ensure that everything is close to perfect. There's a method to my madness and I think with this list of tips, everyone can have a stress free and fun event.
This list will help for ANY in home event. It doesn't matter if it's for the Super Bowl, Grammy and Oscar nights, the All-Star game, the Play-Offs or just an intimate night of Taboo, I'm all about the in home gathering.
1. First things first. Plan your menu in advance. To reiterate, I am a bit compulsive when planning because for one I can be a bit indecisive. I'll go to my favorite sites and pour over recipes for days. A theme would be nice but if that's not for you, find recipes that will feed a crowd but also something fun. For events like that, I love Buffalo Wings.
2. Once your menu is planned, set up your budget and shop for the food. Depending on what you are making, get the food 1-2 days before the event.
3. The night before the event prep the food. That means cleaning soaking meat if you are having any. Season and marinate the meat/fish over night. Chop vegetables or anything that you think you may need. Some things taste a lot better if made the night before. Like Potato Salad. CLEAN UP AS YOU GO!
4. I usually don't sleep the night before, but I don't recommend it because you want to be fresh for your party. But this is the prime time to ensure that everything is set up. For instance, while you are boiling noodles for Macaroni and Cheese, start cleaning your apartment. Grate the cheese. Do little odd and end things to keep the flow moving. I like to optimize all of my time. I'm a serious food setter upper, so if I'm making mac and cheese or lasagna, best believe that it will be set up the night before so that all I have to do is throw it in the oven on the day of the event. This also helps to bind all of the ingredients together. And I’ll say this again, CLEAN UP AS YOU GO!
5. Try to get some rest, because you have a busy day ahead of you.
6. Depending on what you are making, you may want to wake up EARLY. This helps if you are frying anything like fish or chicken and are expecting a full house. I would get that started as quickly as possible. Because it gets hot in the kitchen and if you don't have a lot of space or windows, your guests will smell like fried chicken. Not a good look. I remember once I made fish for tacos with my stove top grill and it made my apartment really smoky. I had to open all windows and the door. No one wants to smell like smoky food all night.
7. Have a friend try to get there early to monitor the stove so that you can shower, clean house, straighten etc. This of course needs to be a friend that knows their way around the kitchen.
8. If your party starts at 6 and you told guests 5:30, most times they will get there at 6:30...lol, or maybe just my friends... You'd think that you have a lot of time, but TRUST me that time flies. If you wake up at 9 AM, 12 PM will be there before you know it. This is what people fail to realize. You do not want to still be sweating in the kitchen when your guests arrive.
9. Set up your platters and table. If you have appetizers, put it in a common area. When people come into my home I make sure that they are good. So I place any appetizers out so that they can nibble and get settled in. Some people don't want to eat right away but if they are anything like me, they go straight to wash their hands and then to fix their plates. As a starter, chips always work. I like making my own tortilla chips and serving a good salsa/guacamole. A crudités works also.
10. Understand this, everyone does not eat meat. Salad or some vegetarian friendly dishes must be out early. Chips will not get the job done. And you don’t want your guests to get full off carbs before the main event.
11. When everyone has eaten and is full, start your first round of clean up. This will relieve LOTS of stress at the end of the night. This is when your friends come in handy. After you've slaved in the kitchen all day and night, your friends will be more than happy to do the job.
I think that's all for now, I'm sure that I left out something, and if you think I did, feel free to leave a comment.
Thanks all for reading and have a wonderful event.