7 Creative Ways To Feed A Crowd

4 min read
7 Creative Ways To Feed A Crowd

Gathering some friends together is a wonderful way to share a milestone in your family’s life.

Food is particularly important for celebrations and while being the “hostess with the most-ess” is a great idea and appropriate for some events, other times you need more cheap, cheerful and/or creative ideas to feed the hordes. If your budget of money or time doesn’t stretch to you hand making 12 dozen sausage rolls or salads for 30, here are 7 creative ways to feed a crowd:

1. Hot Or Cold?

Decide whether you want to serve hot food. For good hygiene, food must be served within 2 hours of being cooked to 75C or hotter, and kept at 60C or hotter. Consider buying or hiring Bain maries from a kitchen supply shop or homewares shop, hire place, other friends. Perhaps a bbq means you can use your skills with fire to have hot food, or find a venue with a number of ovens. Save time by having things already cut up or in small portions meatballs on toothpicks, sausage rolls in small pieces, frittatas in wedges, potato wedges etc.

2. Be Savings Savvy

Work your menu around what ingredients are cheap such as in season fruit and vegetables, rice and pasta, minced beef, eggs. Have a look at recipes that are centred on these things, such as salads, paella, risotto (made into arancini balls to get two dishes from it), cold pasta dishes, lots of egg dishes, meatballs, beef patties and sausages, or go vegetarian to make food easier to prepare.
Creative Ways To Feed A Crowd

3. Platter Up

Ask the local chicken shop if they sell their cold chickens the next day cheaper, or can do cold platters, chickens and salads for you. The supermarkets may also have platters you can order and purchase with a little lead time don’t leave this too late, especially around public holidays or celebrations.

4. Dietary Requirements

Are you going to cater for all varieties of diet and lifestyle? Gluten free, dairy free, wheat free, Paleo where do you stop? Making the whole event nut or egg free might be a good idea. Consult your guests and suggest those that are particularly limited can bring a plate of their own but don’t be afraid to ask for a favourite recipe and make it for them.

5. Go Pre-Prepped

Premade party food is easy to buy in bulk. There are bulk food suppliers who can make it and you buy it and cook it or heat it up, or can make it, deliver it and clean up. This ranges from bulk frozen yum cha through to a spit roast lamb with all the trimmings and different levels of service.

6. BYO

Maybe you could bring the concept of a “pot luck” to your circle of friends and family. Every family attending brings along enough food to feed their family, in the form of one dish. The dishes are then set out and you supply plates, cutlery, bins, drinks, and places to sit. To avoid ending up with 4 bowls of fruit salad and no greens, tell the people with names A-K to bring savoury thing and L-Z to bring a sweet. Make suggestions in your invite finger food, sliced before arriving, served cold. This avoids getting soups or difficult-to-serve pies.

7. Savour the Spud!

Baked potatoes and fixings go a long way with a crowd. Prick the washed and scrubbed potatoes all over, before putting them on the rack in the oven at 180C for an hour and a half. Check they’re done before removing. Set out platters of baked potatoes with sour cream, grated cheese, corn, beetroot, Mexican flavored mine, refried beans, coleslaw, bacon bits, natural yoghurt with mint, baked beans, shredded carrot, butter, chives, salt and pepper, ham, prawns, tuna and sweet corn, avocado or guacamole, mushrooms, turkey mince, pesto, hommus, salsa, chutney; the possibilities are endless!

Keep it simple! Invite who you’d love to share a meal with, plan a budget and let the food talk for itself. A few decorations will brighten the event tea lights, balloons and music really lift the mood.

What are your go-to creative ways to feed a crowd?

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About Author

Saskia Brown

Saskia is mama wearing lots of different hats while parenting two small girls. She is a midwife, is married to a scientist and lives in the Adelaide H...Read Moreills in South Australia. When she's not juggling parenting and working, she likes to do a lot of walking, photography and crafting. She enjoys yoga when the childerbeasts are asleep, writing when the mood strikes, reading a good organisational blog or dreaming of far off places. Read Less

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