Last week, we talked about the ins and outs of providing drinks at parties. Food of course, is just as fundamental, existing in some form at nearly every kind of event.
1. Keep Food Fork Free
Unless your party includes a formal meal, go light on the cutlery and heavy on the napkins as you provide food which can be eaten with fingers.
Party-goers like milling around, and the necessity of a fork and knife forces them to not only sit but sit at a table. Finger food allows people to nibble while they continue to socialize, keeping their attention on the conversation rather than their meal.
Dishes which need only a fork, such as cake, can be doable. But the food must be soft enough for the fork to easily cut through it.
2. Avoid Messy Foods
If you’re going to have people to eat with their fingers, give them something that isn’t going to smear across their hands and leave streaks on your furniture. The problem isn’t just the damage it can cause, but also how uncomfortable it can make guests. They don’t want to damage your carpet or your chairs, so they’re likely to be extra fussy about eating to avoid making a mess.
3. Always Get a Party Platter
Party platters are kind of the best of all worlds: they provide variety, they’re affordable and all of it is finger food. If you’re not serving dinner, party platters can keep friends going all evening. If there is a scheduled dinner, party platters make for great appetizers.
They’re also a great way of not running out of food. Not sure if you have enough? Get an extra platter. Might there be some last minute drop-ins? You don’t have to spend a lot to make sure you have a little extra, just in case you underestimated who all was likely to come.
4. Be Prepared
It’s your party. You should be socializing, not slaving away in the kitchen. Prepare as much as possible the night before or the morning of. Keep food warm in crock pots. Keep cold food in the fridge, ready to be set out without additional preparation.
Planning on grilling? Get everything organized ahead of time. If you have a mix of special seasonings for your hamburgers, put it all together the night before.
It’s no fun if the party’s host is stressing over the food. A little planning goes a long way in this department. Serve food which can be eaten by hand and aren’t overly messy. Prepare as much as you can ahead of time. And don’t be afraid of using pre-made items such as party platters, which can save a ton of prep time. Create a menu great for both you and your guests, and you’re on your way to a great party.