BRIAN IN THE KITCHEN  brought to you by Stittsworth Meats

May 30 2011

Graduation Party - Tips For a Large Gathering

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Doubling or tripling a recipe may not always work

So be careful with this unless you've tried it before. It may be safer to cook two or three batches rather than doubling the recipe. Or look for recipes for large numbers. There are plenty on the Internet and you may even be able to find a recipe book meant for large crowds.

Prepare as much as possible ahead of time

You may not be able to cook everything ahead of time but you can certainly chop, pre-cook (where possible), and pre-mix (where possible). Even pre-measuring may save you a lot of time on the day of your party. Of course, keep in mind where you are going to store everything. If you have limited refrigerator space there may be only so much you can do ahead of time. Don't be shy about borrowing your neighbor's fridge space if you need to!

Ask for help!

If you want to cook and bake for the party that's great. However, it would be a shame if you had to spend the whole time in the kitchen instead of enjoying the party. Consider asking a friend or two to help you in kitchen finishing the cooking and preparing the food to serve.

Keep hot things hot and cold things cold

For hot foods, borrow or rent chafing dishes, warming trays or buffet servers. And don't forget the Sterno or electrical extension cords! For cold foods, use bus tubs or kiddie pools filled with ice. Be careful about keeping foods out for a long period of time without keeping them properly chilled or heated.

Make several smaller trays of the same food instead of one large tray

Smaller trays are easier to store plus it's better to replace empty trays with full ones rather than adding food to existing trays. Plus, foods stay at the proper temperature better, if you are replacing them more often.