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Food for hosting a casual summer party (post-social distancing/pandemic)?


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I am looking to host a summer party (post-social distancing). I would like it to be a casual, indoors/outdoors event. I am not looking for a crazy/wild party. Just a good time for us to hang out, especially since I have not seen a lot of these people in person for a while.

The people I am inviting are all master's students or young couples so the cheaper the better.

 

Therefore, my question is: What types of food should I make and/or what food friends should bring? (remember cheaper is the key, everything I read about summer dinner parties are shrimp and lobster) :)

 

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Perhaps if you told us where in the world you are it would help. Kind of a no brainer in most places. Your "shrimp and lobster" comment gives pause.

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Would you envision a fully prepared set of dishes or are you fine with some “on the spot” preparations (e.g. bbq, ...) ? Individual courses or buffet style ?

 

For bringing vs. making: let them bring the alcohol, desserts at best and prep all the main foods yourself ... 

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50 minutes ago, paulraphael said:

How about something that gives everyone terrible breath?

 

Masks mostly eliminate that option/ 

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Casual indoor outdoor says "grill" to me. Burgers, dogs, chicken. Easy to grill up a big tray of meats, let people fix their own sandwiches/sides. A vinegary slaw and a German potato salad can sit out for several hours with little problem. Ditto skewers of grilled vegetables. Homemade ice cream for dessert if you can round up enough freezers.

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Don't ask. Eat it.

www.kayatthekeyboard.wordpress.com

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4 hours ago, paulraphael said:

How about something that gives everyone terrible breath?

 

Another idea:  I had to do a shift in the library building this week.  Dinner the night before was Rancho Gordo beans and coleslaw.  Obviates @heidih's mask objection.

 

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I agree with @Duvel - have them bring the drinks and desserts.  If you can get ahold of a few slow cookers, a Tex-Mex theme is good and cheap and a lot of it can be done ahead of time.  i did it for my daughter's graduation for about 50 people.  Three hot items - beans, chicken, beef and then a bunch of toppings - lettuce, tomato, sour cream, cheese, salsa, hot sauce.  Chips, hard and soft tortillas and street corn which can be served room temp.  I served assorted shot glass desserts.  Most everyone can find something they like in such a collection and if you decide to make it pot luck, it is an easy menu to divide up.  

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To the OP: Isn't it pretty to think so? Everything looks so lovely. Without actual people.  Post-social distancing garden parties may not be in the cards, as summer is right around the corner.  Hard to drink a Quarantini while wearing a mask! 

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  • 5 months later...

Since you mentioned cheap and young couples, I would have to recommend to keep chips and dips. I'd done something very similar last year - I'm a masters student myself & I had arranged for a somewhat less glamorous party.

 

But yeah, chips & dips, truckloads of hummus, garlic dip + spicy dip is something that most people always like. you can't go wrong with this. 

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