1
   

Potluck salad party... I need help!

 
 
Reply Fri 5 Nov, 2004 09:46 am
My 2nd best friend has been in school in Australia for the past 3 months and gets back 11/29. Another mutual friend of hers and I convinced her husband to have a welcome home potluck for our friend/his wife. She'll like it, but she'll also be tired and so, we 2 friends of hers will be basically hosting the thing at the guest-of-honor's house. There are a few glitches~ or maybe not that I need to figure out...

#1: She's a triathlete: salads are her favorite food, so that is the theme- potluck- but bring an item for salad. They have a dining room table which seats 6, should be enough room to lay the food out... then we all sit on the floor...

#2: Her husband just finished the floors. Hardwood, sort of parquet, very nice, over the whole space (maybe 20'x30'? Then there's an alcove about 10'~12') so there's a lot of space, but the guests I'm thinking of inviting have about 10 children under 10... who will be eating on the floor... unless I can bring my low table over... the family has a coffee table, too... Should I do some major moving of furniture around? Or is that unsettling- better to throw some sheets ont he floor and make the kids sit picnic style in the house? The husband said he wants it inside, the view, the possibility of inclement weather... Confused There will also be at least 10 adults, probably more like 20... Not sure the husband is aware that I only know how to throw big parties... Well, he is, but he's not thinking about that--- and I don't want to overwhelm his wife, who will have gotten off a long flight (Australia to Hawaii) that morning...

#3) She's told me in the past she doesn't feel she has any real friends besides me, but she does! Everyone simply loves her and thinks the world of her- she's one of the nicest people, an inspiration, etc. I cohosted a party when she did her last Ironman triathlon for women for whom she was an inspiration... Cohosted with another woman whom she inspires tremendously (who also likes excuses to throw a party) we chose another mutual friend of ours who happens to be her neighbor for that location. She has since told me that she almost never sees that neighbor, and it was great to get together there... But since that party (2 years ago) they have probably seen each other only a handful of times. Weird to invite these neighbors who are nice, but busy, and live up a long driveway and are never seen, or not? That neighbor has a girl my boy's age, so we were in baby groups together, and her husband and I hit it off quite well; we all used to exercise together, but then our kids went to different schools and the mom in that household went back to school- and now she's a science teacher at my 13 year old's school. They are friends of mine, and friends of the person we're throwing the party for, and I would love to see them and they live 2 lots away from the guest of honor... Weird, or not to invite them? They have 2 daughter the same age as my friend's 2 daughters, but due to different religious beliefs + different needs for/from schools, their kids all go to different schools from each other and rarely have time to play, but do like each other... Confused

#4: Same thing, different scenario for the woman who I cohosted the last party with... She hardly sees the guest of honor, hardly has time to see me except in passing or at get-togethers. I know she will want to come, and is a great party person, and always goes all-out and buys the best bubbly she can find, etc. And has a daughter the age of the older of the returning friend's daughter... but she, also goes to a different school; and while all the girls get along, they aren't best friends, and the moms all get along, but aren't best friends... Thinking now that maybe my friend hasn't had time to establish any real best friends besides me, and the woman who is cohosting this time (who moved over not too long ago- is my neighbor and my friend's surfing buddy- with a daughter the same age as the guest of honor's oldest daughter...) And a woman who lives about 30 miles away whose husband used to be my friend's husband's best friend, but they never have time to see each other any more... Confused

So, I guess what I'm asking is should I invite these people who are social acquaintances/friends of mine who also are of the woman who is returning? When we threw the party post Ironman, my friend (the guest of honor) said that most of the women there she hardly saw... Confused She was happy to have them all together, we all made sloppy-drunk (er, I mean tipsy) promises to stay better in touch, but didn't follow through for the most part... Embarrassed Of course, it is the start of the holiday season... Razz

#5: Then back to the party situation: she has a tiny galley kitchen, then all this open space, hardly any counters, but a dining room table and a coffee table. How much cooking should we be doing in her kitchen? And what is the most efficient way to clean up so she won't be left with any sort of mess? We tried to talk the husband into doing a barbeque downstairs... The cohost's husband offered to bring his state-of-the-art bar-b-que grill over to cook on (he likes using it...) and I know my friend well enough to know she would prefer the mess be outside, that most messy kids eat outside... then we could move it all upstairs as night draws nigh, set up a table for nibbling off of, kwim? But that's not her husband's vision, and it's his house... Confused

I'm thinking of telling him we'll make the party start earlier than 5, the time we agreed upon, and then we could cook outside, like maybe from 4? Have the bulk of the guests expected around 5- after work? Eat, with the party through at 8, since it's a school night... But I don't want to overstep my place, kwim?

#6: Oh, and finally, her favorite thing I make is my enchilada casserole, but it's made from whatever leftovers I have on hand. I'm somewhat embarrassed to make that for a party, but it's easy and uses up the stale corn chips that accumulate in the cubboard. Embarrassed So, should I make that, since she always swears she loves it, or make something somewhat more elegant? I'm leaning toward simply boiling soybeans, a good simple food, good for the vegetarians who are numbered among her friends, since I will be busy setting up the food table(s) and creating a beautiful build-your-own-salad centerpiece, and cleaning things up, keeping the party running smoothly... but enchilada casserole isn't a hard dish to make and people always assume it's fancier than it is, unless I start telling them how I needed to use up some chili, and had some beans left over, threw in some aging tomatoes and some chili powder and had these stale chips, + an old green pepper and... etc. Embarrassed but if I'm drinking, I wind up saying all sorts of inappropriate things (all the more reason not to bring enchilada casserole... not to mention the gas factor... Embarrassed)

So, any tips, any advice? Wwyd?
  • Topic Stats
  • Top Replies
  • Link to this Topic
Type: Discussion • Score: 1 • Views: 1,459 • Replies: 3
No top replies

 
shewolfnm
 
  1  
Reply Fri 5 Nov, 2004 10:45 am
WOW

you have alot on your plate darlin!!!!! Laughing
My best friend is a coordinator for KB Homes. ..
I sent her this thread and let her read through it..
Her and I came up with some suggestions..
I hope you are able to decifer one from the other because I cant use the 'quote'feature on this.. I want to point out diffrent things that may/may not help.
( I wish you were MY friend. Just that you would go to so much trouble speaks volumes to your guest of honor.. count on that. Very Happy ))



OK...#1: She's a triathlete: salads are her favorite food, so that is the theme- potluck- but bring an item for salad.

For a salad pot luck style..
Find some of her favorite bowls. Place an ingredient in each bowl. Croutons, sliced ham, spinach, rd romaine lettuce.. etc.. Place them across your table. So that they can be USED for everything, but are visualy together so there is a make-your-own salad theme.
Each bowl is something she enjoys, adds texture/character and makes for a good conversation setting. ( Also personalizes the dinner if there ends up being alot of people ) Use this setting to your advantage ..
#5: Then back to the party situation: she has a tiny galley kitchen, then all this open space, hardly any counters, but a dining room table and a coffee table. How much cooking should we be doing in her kitchen? None. you are providing the salad fixings.. there is no cooking.. You are making space on her small tables to hold the food.. eat standing up.. forces conversation between people. Make all of the food and drink/desert flow around the room so that everyone has to MOVE to a diffrent place to get what they want. Everyone in turn passes each other, and talks..
#4: Same thing, different scenario for the woman who I cohosted the last party with... She hardly sees the guest of honor, hardly has time to see me except in passing or at get-togethers. In a small room where everyone has to move to get what they want.. YOU WILL see everyone, everyone will mingle and get to know each other. Then there wont be the feeling of... I dont know such and such.. or who is that... Make sence?
#6: Oh, and finally, her favorite thing I make is my enchilada casserole, but it's made from whatever leftovers I have on hand. I'm somewhat embarrassed to make that for a party, but it's easy and uses up the stale corn chips that accumulate in the cubboard. Emeril Legassi uses stale chips in his recipies... :wink:
If it is her favorite and you can make it at your home, and bring it over? Do it. This is for her right ? Very Happy
Gas factor?? If everyone is there 12 hrs later when the body starts to produce the toots.. then use it as a sign to make everyone GO HOME! hahaha
Children... Create a child friendly space. Find picnic blankets and put them on the floor. Put them not off to the side.. they will feel left out and not want to be there.. Place them in the mddle of the room against a wall. Not in the back, not in a corner. You want them to feel comfortable too AND when they are comfortable adults can have fun. ;-) Encourage the parents of the children to bring child friendly activities. Extra coloring books, videos, things like that.
Try and create a surrounding for the kids. Place child size chairs on the edges of the blanket to create a visual blockade. They also work for tables for the kids to put thier plates on. Have finger foods for thekids. Have the food in the same area as the adults food. Simple psyche 101.. they will feel included in the party and feel a real responsibility to entertain THIER guests. hehe.
Is there a place outside for the kids? If so, buy/borrow a kid size picnc table and do the same outside. Just make sure that the adults go outside too or the kids will feel left out and want to be inside.

I hope this helps?
DO have a wonderful time.
DO enjoy your friend
and remember, just that you are taking the time to think about her like this and want to do something like this for her speaks volumes .. even if things dont go as planned!
Enjoy.
0 Replies
 
princesspupule
 
  1  
Reply Fri 5 Nov, 2004 04:41 pm
Oh, aren't you sweet, swnm!

It's sort of coming together, although I haven't made an official guest list yet or anything... We have the beer covered, and I probably will make enchilada casserole... I'm bringing a bottle of champagne, maybe 2. I'm hoping to get the other cohost to pitch in at least 1 more bottle, then we can have a toast when the party starts and everybody else will get beer. Wink

Cohost's husband fishes, so he'll either provide fish or chicken and either barbeque it at his house, or I prefer he take it early to the party's house... then the cohost + husband, guest of honor + husband, and I can begin the party at more like 4... I'm thinking that way we can find out from M (guest of honor) whether she wants everyone out at 8 on the nose, is okay with kids eating inside, etc. And F (cohost) and I can set up accordingly...

Then everyone else will arrive (my boyfriend gets off at 4:30, has to pick up his kid; can't get there before 5) will arrive between 5 & 6, and we'll sort of mill around downstairs under their house, or upstairs, depending on the weather...

I'm going over the Sunday to check and see that her husband cleaned up at all... He actually said he'd be more inclined to do it if there were a party than for his wife! Laughing Make sure he has t.p and candles and napkins and such, bring what is missing...

I suppose I do have ulterior motives... I throw a big bash for Christmas, and I expect M & F to both help me to some degree, so helping preemptively will probably be a smart move as well as good pre-prep for my own party 2 weeks after... We don't really have family over here, so we have to be there for each other, and it all makes celebrations more memorable as well as easier to manage. :wink:

I just feel badly that I can't think of the names of her runner friends... I know her swimmer friends, a few other ironmen on the island, a few church friends of hers, a lot of cross overs... But she'll be tired, I know, but want to see everybody and reconnect... And of course she'll need to eat, so food is a good idea...

I just want to make it a little bit nicer than paper plates, but keep it casual, kwim? She has table settings for 4 with mismatched for 4 more; they've put all their money into their educations and travelling and their house built without a mortgage, so live simply, as we all do, but as well as possible... We were at F's house when we suggested it (her birthday) and everyone said how I had a natural gift for party planning (I do) but I felt like it put pressure on me...

I do have 2 other parties to host/cohost: Thanksgiving for my best friend's family + sister's family visiting from the mainland (best friend, C, & I will stuff the bird at my boyfriend's house; he's offered his home and tables which seat 15 easily for the celebration,) then I have a "Deck Our Halls" party Dec. 15. I'm actually trying to figure out how to coordinate the buying of stuff so I have it all handled in a timely manner... It feels like a lot of pressure... I'm putting it on myself, actually... but these things are something I care about. I like having people over and like them to remember these good old days most fondly...
0 Replies
 
shewolfnm
 
  1  
Reply Mon 8 Nov, 2004 09:35 am
Place settings....

Mix and match several pieces from a good will. You can buy good looking easy to maintain china pieces, durable cornell pieces and all for under 20 bucks. It will look like a million. :-)
Buy pieces that match the color decor in her home?
You are going to have alot of fun !
You are a wonderful friend and I wish you all te luck. If you need any quick advice/suggestios you can always PM me or email me ( it is in my profile) I will gladly help !
0 Replies
 
 

Related Topics

Quiznos - Discussion by cjhsa
Should We Eat Our American Neighbours? - Question by mark noble
Favorite Italian Food? - Discussion by cjhsa
The Last Thing You Put In Your Mouth.... - Discussion by Dorothy Parker
Dessert suggestions, please? - Discussion by msolga
 
  1. Forums
  2. » Potluck salad party... I need help!
Copyright © 2021 MadLab, LLC :: Terms of Service :: Privacy Policy :: Page generated in 0.03 seconds on 08/05/2021 at 06:29:36