Do you want a party?

PROSPECTIVE MENU AND AMOUNTS AND SCHEDULE – for about a hundred people to arrive around 6PM Saturday

My husband jokes I am a field marshal when it comes to giving parties, but it isn’t that complicated at all. We provide loads of fresh bread, two flavors of vegetarian beans, St Louis-style ribs, Thai-sauced salmon, lemon-caper sauced salmon, nine pies, and a humongous cake. Some years I add corn-stuffed pasilla peppers and marinated grilled giant mushrooms. I ask the participants to bring hors d’oeuvres, drinks, vegetable dishes and salads because my biggest problem is always refrigerator space, and those items require a lot of room. Almost everything happens outside. To protect everyone’s digestions, I use surgical gloves while preparing food, washing at every turn, and am paranoid about leaving anything at room temperature until actually serving. You can find many official sites on-line that will review food safety protocols. There are great net food umbrellas that you can buy in most pharmacies in the picnic section to keep off  flies. Remember that botulism can work its will in any cooked food left at room temperature in an anaerobic condition. Think beans. Serve those beans burbling hot!



honey gold bread

dark rye whole wheat bread

pork ribs with hot tamarind plum sauce – 9 slabs

salmon with Thai sauce and salmon with brown sugar lemon and caper sauce– 6 flanks

2 bins of barbeque beans;   (three lbs dry) both vegetarian

Gold Country Cake: double layer golden cake with blackberry filling and cream cheese frosting *recipe to follow in next post

10 pies/ four apple, two grape, two rhubarb custard, one peach.

at least one case sodas, five gallons plain water, a case of beer, whatever wine is in the house. Set outdoors in shade, embedded in ice in coolers. I like to pre-rinse bottles and cans so the melting ice is not full of unwelcome bacteria.


clean fridge and ovens

continue clean-up house/yard

treat and trim roses

make cakes

pick apples, lemons, Thai lime leaves, bay leaves for beans, thyme, whatever else is in season in the yard

do basic food shopping except for salmon.


make pastry for pies/ roll and store in fridge — At least eighteen crusts this last time.

make fillings for cake

make sauce to be used on Thai salmon

make rib rub

clean house (yuck)


make all possible pie fillings — pack and store in fridge

set beans to soak overnight


boil till tender, then bake those beans with all sorts of flavorings –best to have two distinct flavors.

assemble and bake pies

strip ribs of silver skin/ dry salt them, bag in fridge.

(assemble/finish cake– this can be put off to tomorrow)

make sauces for salmon

Just before bed, mix two kinds of bread dough and go scant on the yeast so they won’t take over the world by morning. These are safe to leave on the counter if you use no milk or egg in the recipes.

Get tables from neighbors!

Set Up Suggestions

Two days before

Clean Property– there’s always more to do on this

The Day Before

Move all benches, chairs, etc., into position

Make tables with OSB boards and wooden horses if you run short

Borrow chairs & benches from neighbors

Pull out camp coolers

String Christmas lights all over the place but make sure they will not catch anyone of height

On The Day

Go buy the salmon and loads of ice

Set drinks to cool

-Power & light to cooking area outside by grills

– Power & desk lamps to tables

As people arrive,

– have hors d’ouevres go to outside front table

– All desserts to remain “distant” at first, but bring out to table early after serving of main meal Otherwise if served inside the mess on carpets is phenomenal.


Obtain salmon and ice

Morning– fuss around and do some pick up

12:30 assemble cake

1pm start ribs at 250 F CAN DO THIS IN GRILL or inside ovens

3 form bread loaves or rolls

3:00 ribs to grill if not already there

3:30- 4:00 bake bread in relays

4:00 beans to second oven to reheat

6:00- 6:30 oven-poach salmon

Grab a glass of your favorite beverage and drift about watching people eat. The real trick is that if you invite over a hundred people to dinner asking them only to bring the details and vegetables and salads, they will be happy even if you overcook something! People really love the scent and sight of fresh bread but it’s one of the easiest things to make. Just don’t forget the butter!

party underway1



Filed under food

3 responses to “Do you want a party?

  1. I appreciate your lists and how detailed you are. That’s exactly what I do. In fact, my sister, niece, daughter and I spent months making detailed lists in anticipation of my daughter’s wedding. My husband moaned and groaned throughout the months, but in the end, he saw how spectacular the wedding was (this past Saturday) and chalked it up to our long “meetings” as he called them. Looks like your party was a success as well.

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