Become a party-throwing expert.
Keep your guests safe and happy by avoiding these five common mistakes. (Embarrassment-Saver)
1. Food In Danger-Zone-
There exists a boundary commonly crossed with great risk. Most aren't aware but if your food sits within a temperature range, something else begins to feed off it.
Harmful bacteria find the best time to propagate within 41-135 degrees Fahrenheit. This happens to be the temperature range most party food sits in.
Control for this by portioning. It's okay to have a chaffer dish sit empty while you refill but it's not okay to stick the whole lot in one blob and hope for the best.
Download this helpful reminder.
2. Food Allergies-
This is where you must do a bit of investigative work but there is a huge payoff...namely that nothing happens. Yes, your goal with food allergies is to not let anything happen. Call your guests and inquire; they will love you for it and feel a level of special that warms the spirit.
According to allergy experts, the most common food allergens in adults are:
Fruit and vegetable pollen (oral allergy syndrome)
Peanuts and tree nuts
Fish and shellfish
3. Fad-Diet Dishes-
Stick to crowd pleasers, remember, this is a special event. While you want everyone to eat your Atkins, Paleo, Zone, Keto, or whatever dishes, this can backfire because you are literally forcing people to consume or starve. Having no choice without seeming rude, they may not like the fare. Give smiles, not dietary lectures.
4. Running Out Of Food-
(Timing vs Expectations) What does the word "inferred" mean to a caterer? The same thing it does to the person throwing the party: an expectation that partiers will bring their hunger. The timing of your party has a lot to do with managing these expectations.
If the invitations don't say otherwise, you can anticipate a feeding frenzy during normal eating hours.
For example, you decide to have a few guests over at 6pm for light appetizers. You should expect that the little plates will get loaded beyond their rated capacity and that second and third passes will commence until people aren't hungry anymore. Your little party just turned into everyone's dinner. Without planning for such, you will run out of food.
5. Cooking During The Event-
When we are stressed, we go somewhere familiar. Throwing a party ushers in a whole new level of stress and you'll be tempted to stay in your kitchen under the guise of a busy cook making magic. You are not a host at this point. You are hiding.
Make sure to give undivided attention by having all food cooked beforehand. When it is time to party, simply "retherm" (or reheat) and go back to making guests feel welcome.
Plan ahead means more than simply 'Save The Date'. Know what your invitees can AND CANNOT have to make it a successful event.
Or...you can hire a caterer because we live for this stuff. :)