May 7, 2010Party At A Progressive Dinner
PARTY AT A PROGRESSIVE DINNER
By Cheryl Gochnauer
The best banquet in town won't be found at the buffet down the street. Ifyou want a great blend of friends, food and fun that won't cost you abundle, try a progressive dinner.
THE MORE, THE MERRIER. Round up a couple of dozen of your buddies anddivide them into four groups. From each group, choose one person tovolunteer their home as a stop on your tantalizing tour.
Usually, it's best to choose houses close to each other, so drive time isminimized. Draft mini-van owners to ferry people from point to point, soyou don't freak your neighbors out with 20 cars in your driveway.
VARIETY IS THE SPICE OF LIFE. Split the party menu into appetizers,salads, entrees and desserts, then assign each course to a different house.A group of 20, for instance, would break out like this:
House No. 1: five appetizers.
House No. 2: five salads.
House No. 3: five entrees.
House No. 4: five desserts.
Avoid repetition by coordinating with others assigned the same course.Brownies are great, but you don't want to face five or six pans of them whenyou could have pie...and cake...and cookies...and ice cream sundaes...andcobblers...and whatever other goodies your imaginative friends cook up.
Hosts furnish ice and soft drinks; everyone else provides their favoritetreat. Make enough of each dish so everyone can have a sample.
PROGRESSIVE PRE-PLANNING: When they sign up for the dinner, have each familypitch in a dollar or two to cover the cost of paper goods and utensils,which will be transported to each location.
Drop off dishes at the respective houses ahead of time, simmering in CrockPots or cooling in refrigerators. Choose heated foods that can bemicrowaved or otherwise warmed quickly. You don't want to be stuck cookingan entree at House No. 3 while everyone else is munching on appetizers atHouse No. 1.
GRUB AND GAMES: Tie a group activity to each stop. While everyone snacks,draw them into a rousing round of Pictionary, Charades, Truth or Dare, orother favorite game. Peg the last house as the place where everyone goesbelly-up for a movie marathon or other low-key activity.
T.J. Stephens, who's chomped through many a smorgasbord with his Lee'sSummit church group, offers this advice: "The key to these dinners is, youkeep standing up. That way, you can eat more."
And when you're done pigging out, and you've got to sit somewhere? "Youdon't," T.J. says. "You just lay down."
(Cheryl Gochnauer is queen of her castle in Kansas City, Missouri. You may write her at
, or visit her website at
. Her book, "
So You Want to Be a Stay-at-Home Mom
," isavailable through
Dr. Laura#146;s Reading Corner
. Copyright2001 Homebodies.Org, LLC. Permission granted for use on DrLaura.com.)
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