Funny how a photo can trigger a memory; I came across this rather unexciting shot whilst looking for something just the other day and it immediately set me off thinking about how hard it is to please everyone when it comes to food – especially at a party!
Childhood parties conjure up horrific memories of jam and banana sandwiches that always made me sick (it later transpired that I was allergic to bananas!), soggy sausage rolls and strange coloured snacks!
When I had children of my own and we had a birthday party the buffet table consisted of the same fare we always had when salad was for tea! So, think cold potatoes with salad cream and chives, dishes of cold baked beans (oh yes!), plenty of cheese, pickled onions and the inevitable sausage rolls. My husband would have been devastated if there wasn’t a pork or gala pie visible somewhere (but it was always under the understanding that he cut it up) and huge dishes of home-made coleslaw and pickles were a must if my Dad was coming. I was the “saddo” who got excited by salad leaves and cherry tomatoes and my son would eat anything that required little chewing and would go between two slices of bread.
Nowadays we are more likely to have a barbecue than a traditional buffet but this bring its own challenges, a number of our friends are veggie/pesce so I usually make a bean chilli in the slow cooker and this sits on the table for everyone to help themselves. The meat eaters often dollop a generous spoonful on their burgers so everyone is happy! We also have a separate gas griddle for the veggie burgers and the vegetable skewers and this makes for happy eaters all round.
Dinner parties are the easiest for me, I get to choose the menu so I can indulge myself – I recently fed some friends three non-meat courses and there were plenty of compliments so I must be getting something right!
Let me know your methods for pleasing all of the people (most) of the time!