Parties are a great way for us to connect with friends and family. It’s a great opportunity to get together and have some wonderful food and drinks while you catch up and talk about life. While most people would be content with ordering a few pizzas and drinks, it’s a nice change of pace to self-cater for your party every now and then. You can be more creative with your dishes, you get a great sense of accomplishment at the end and you can adjust flavors and dishes to appeal to your guests. Here are a couple of self-catering tips to help make your party a great success.
Decide between a sit-down meal and finger foods
For an active party where lots of people will come at different times and engage in activities, finger food is usually preferred since your guests can pick it up and eat whenever they want. You can run a buffet-style party that offers many different types of finger foods, but it’s important to keep them at the right temperature for the best experience. If you self-cater for a lot of parties, it could be worth picking up a food warmer tray or two.
For sit-down meals, you’ll need to get your dining room in order and invite a specific number of guests that you can accommodate. You don’t want to invite too many people unless you have helpers to give you a hand in the kitchen. Think about large meals that can be shared, such a large paella recipe or a communal-style hotpot meal. If you’re going to be cooking a large meal to be eaten at a specific time, it’s crucial that you plan ahead for your menu. Ask everyone about dietary preferences and make sure you plan out your courses and portions. Cooking a feast is complicated and requires a lot of work to get the timing right, so don’t jump into a large 12-person feast if it’s your first time self-catering.
Pick food and drinks based on a theme
As you can imagine, the theme that you’re focusing on is going to have a huge impact on everything else in your party. For instance, a tropical theme can go great with something like pitchers of banana rum punch, or you could even consider mixing tropical drinks of your own with fresh ingredients. If you’re looking for something a bit more autumn-like and relaxed, then consider using lots of apples or even pumpkin spice for that homely smell and taste.
For a summer party, consider cooking outside with a grill. With excellent weather that keeps the skies bright well into the evening, an outdoor barbeque can be an excellent option during the summer. You and your guests can enjoy the great outdoors for longer, embracing the summer vibes and cooking some delicious meals on the grill. A self-catered barbeque is also a great way to share lots of finger foods and the smell is always welcome as it wafts through your backyard.
Try to use seasonal food ideas from other countries
You can also try out ideas that are inspired by other countries. For instance, a party inspired by Japanese culture could involve sushi platters which are great for sharing and easy to keep at the right temperature. Sushi can also be made at home in large batches and kept chilled in the fridge until serving time. It’s also highly customizable and you can add whatever ingredients and sauces you like. Your Japanese-themed party could also involve the famous Nagashi somen, a noodle slide where guests catch their food as it slides down a chute. For desserts, shaved ice is incredibly popular in Japan throughout the summer. It’s a fantastic way to cool down on a hot day and you can try lots of unique flavors and toppings.
There are lots of different countries that you can take inspiration from when self-catering for your party. Just make sure to try and be as authentic as possible if your theme is based on another country. However, if you just want to take ideas then that’s perfectly fine too! You could mix and match party ideas from different cultures to create something unique and personal to you. Just remember to make use of shortcuts and plan ahead to reduce the amount of work you have.
We hope that this article has given you some fun ideas for your end of summer party bash. It can be a lot of work planning a party, but it’s a great way to say farewell to a long summer.
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