If you have ever hosted a holiday dinner party, you know how difficult it can be to please everyone on your list. There are so many different expectations, likes and dislikes, that it can almost seem impossible to plan for all your guests’ preferences. But this can be done and your budget doesn’t have to suffer. Let’s take a look at a one idea for providing your guests with the foods they love while staying within your budget. Personally, my family has always used the potluck idea of holiday dinners because then everyone can bring something that they like to eat.
The Potluck Makes a Comeback
A wonderfully old-fashioned way to both host a holiday party and make sure you please your guests is to throw a potluck. This is one way to ensure that the dishes you serve will be what your guests will want to eat. Because, after all, your guests are bringing their favorite dishes! Here you are, providing your guests with bragging rights to their great-grandmother’s plum pudding recipe while, at the same time, pleasing your guests tastes and keeping your budget under control. If that sounds sneaky, it’s not. Everybody knows the score! Your guests will love providing their favorite dish just as long as you provide the place and the basics for the meal.
When you issue the invitation, keep it casual. Say something on the order of; “You’re Invited to a Holiday Potluck,” then explain that you want them to bring a favorite dish of theirs. Also, let them know to keep their dish small since everyone will be bringing something so you’ll have more than enough for everyone. This keeps them from going overboard making way more food than is needed. Be sure to ask what dish they are bringing so you can orchestrate the meal at least a little. You don’t want an endless supply of gelatin salads or pinwheels and no sweet potato casserole or veggie tray, for instance.
This is also a great way to start conversations between people as they find their favorite dishes and talk about the recipe. You can also ask your guests to bring recipe cards if they would like to share. Perhaps you could gather the cards and put them together in a book for your guests as a little Thank You gift for coming and sharing in your potluck party.
Next week we’ll discuss two more options for holiday dinner, Tapas and Comfort Foods.